We may have a little GigRadar first today as we introduce our first intergenerational band, in Berwick-upon-Tweed rockers Not Now Norman. The Northumberland band have honed a feisty rock sound that’s gained them a reputation for in-your-face lyrics and direct delivery.
Not Now Norman was started by vocalist Taylor-Grace Mitchell in 2019 as a self-confidence project. She’d just graduated but found it difficult to find work due to having disabilities, which in turn affected her mental health. But her Dad stepped up to help.
As Taylor-Grace explains: “My guitarist, who is also my Dad, started some recording sessions with me to try to build up some motivation to get out of bed and grew from there. After he found out I could sing, he suggested I try working in music. With his experience in music and guitar Not Now Norman was born.”
They added bassist Lara and drummer Bodhi to the mix and Not Now Norman was complete. And, if you’re wondering who exactly this Norman character is, then the eye-catching name was inspired by a family cockerel who liked to rule his roost. As Taylor-Grace explains: “A while ago my family and I had a cockerel called Norman who was very territorial, especially when it came to his flock of hens. It was my sister’s job to go and feed them, so she would go into the garden wearing wellington boots and armed with a dustbin lid to protect herself from his charges.
“We always knew when she had reached them with food because all you would hear from the back garden was her shouting ‘NOT NOW NORMAN!’ It was too good of a name to just let slide and it’s why a lot of our graphics have cockerels on them.”
In the last two years, the band have finetuned an old school, catchy rock sound, which includes releasing a debut EP last year. As Taylor-Grace tells us: “If you like old school, there’s a chance that you’re going to like us! In terms of sound, if I were to sum it up it would be that we’re loud and punchy. One thing that we’ve been noted for is our in-your-face lyrics and direct delivery. I think we’ve developed a bit of a reputation for it. I’d say our tracks are both personal and relatable in their own way. As a whole, I think the best way to describe our music is loud, sassy and fun!”
Our latest taste of this is Little Frankenstein – [The Franken-Lee Remix], which is a preferred rework of their debut track. Taylor-Grace explains: “So I have this rare bone condition called Hereditary Multiple Exostoses, where benign bone tumours grow on my body and the treatment involved is painkillers, physiotherapy and surgery. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone with it and kids tend not to like things that they don’t understand. Little Frankenstein is the result of all the emotions built up since I was a kid. The name comes from a name some kid called me a while ago.
“It was originally released back in 2019 and went really well, especially in the Exostoses community. But during this time I was going through a traumatic time and the original track became a casualty to the point where I couldn’t look at it the same way. At one point I even considered dropping the track all together, but luckily the rest of the band wasn’t going to have that. They convinced me to rerecord everything and send it to Ally Lee who, since our second single End of the Day, has been producing, mixing and mastering our tracks for us. He changed it into a completely new song to the point it felt ‘clean’ again. Little Frankenstein – [The Franken-Lee Remix] is our rebirth both personally and professionally.”
The track opens up with lively guitars that continue under Taylor-Grace’s engaging vocals “I know I’m in peaces, The pain never ceases, That ain’t gonna change, It doesn’t prevent me from being the best me, I can be happy when it rains, Don’t stand in my way, I’ve got plenty to say, I’m not six foot tall and blonde, I can get cranky when people stare at me, But you can look whenever you want.”
That feeds into a big singalong chorus “I can be your little Frankenstein, Come and join me in the pantomime.” Another feisty verse ends with the line “Why don’t you fuck off right out the door” and flows into another catchy chorus. A cool wah-wah ridden solo takes over, drops into another chorus, then a stabbing guitar riff and driving drums lead into a big rocky outro. Check it out in the video below:
The feisty nature of Not Now Norman is epitomised by End of the Day, the title track of their debut EP. It opens up with lively guitars that drop out as Taylor-Grace’s powerful vocals “What do you see looking down at me when you don’t know shit about the mess of things in my head?” take over. It flows into a huge singalong chorus led by vocals that’ll have you screaming along.
The pace slows down half-way through leaving a plodding bass and Taylor-Grace’s high-pitched vocals. That builds up into big powerful vocals then a lively instrumental section led by a shredding guitar solo, which feeds into a big rocky chorus. Check it out in the cool fan-focused video:
The Not Now Norman sound has been inspired by classic rock bands and artists like The Pretty Reckless, Joan Jett, Guns N Roses and Black Sabbath, as well as P!nk and Foo Fighters. Taylor-Grace tells us: “I think a common theme in who we look to for inspiration is in their attitude as well. Artists who are unapologetically themselves and make the music that they want to make, I have a huge respect for especially in the age of digital music streaming.”
And when it comes to writing music, Taylor-Grace adds: “We often write about things that are personal to us in some form, whether it be about something that has happened to us like with Judas or our opinion of issues like in Little Cheryl.
“One thing that helps with me with writing is because I’m on the spectrum, adding that blunt element is almost like second nature to me. It’s really strange for me because I have a problem with vocalising my emotions and thoughts because of it and I would bottle a lot up inside, but now that I’m making music I’ve been able to vocalise everything. For a long time music has been a part of my life and now it has become my voice.”
Not Now Norman have honed a diverse sound that’s largely feisty rock that makes you want to belt out the words along with Taylor-Grace. There’s also plenty of riffing and ripping solos to get your teeth into, as well as a more melodic edge with tracks like King of a Wasted Land (which has a really cool outro, go check it out).
Furthermore, they’ve also worked on a collaboration with music producer Geo Moon, which looks like a Game of Thrones tribute track and will be out on Saturday. Taylor-Grace told us: “This is the first time I’ve ever experimented with this sound so I am looking forward to how people will respond to it. Working on this track actually inspired the vocal direction of our next release. What’s great about both tracks is how they link into each other with their subject and message.” You can tune into the YouTube Premiere from 10pm (UK) on Saturday.