Nervous Twitch / Charley Stone – JT Soar, Nottingham – Live review

Nervous Twitch / Charley Stone – JT Soar, Nottingham – Live review

With new releases on the horizon for both Nervous Twitch and Charley Stone, their sets were joyful and companionable at Nottingham’s JT Soar on their 28 March 2024 date.  

Line-up: Nervous Twitch, Charley Stone (Sophie Diver also on bill, but I sadly arrived too late to catch their set)
Venue: JT Soar, Nottingham
Date: 28 March 2024

Nervous Twitch on stage at JT Soar

Tonight was a reminder of what I loved about music.

I was long overdue a return to the familiarity of being alone in a crowd, simultaneously losing and finding myself in the music. I was out of practice with being in a crowd – even more so an intimate one such as JT Soar hosts. I wasn’t sure what I’d feel (if anything) and I feel as awkward and out of practice trying to alchemise the gig into words now.

Nervous Twitch and Charley Stone and the vibe of JT Soar, unknowingly to them, couldn’t have given me a more gentle but insistent welcome back. They embody the best of the DIY scene, and bring brilliant wit and fortitude through their music.

Hesitantly stepping through the door I may as well have fallen down a rabbit hole. The drab March night full of flashing blue lights and city sounds disappeared to be replaced by the homely quirk of a softly lit JT Soar, with Charley Stone already in flow. The magic of music caught me and left everything else behind.

Dipping between the sways, nods and smiles of the crowd there was nothing which could have taken their attention or mine, from this set. There are stories, and wry commentary from The Artist, between songs which are sweet, salty, and full of self-assured melody.

A playful set including previous single Does She Mention Me and an extra treat as a fuller band sound (introduced as The Actual Band v2.0) erupts forth as Tim Maddison and Amy Bean join for closers A Scream and Free Food. There is such ease in Stone’s playing, a palpable sense of verdant creativity and intelligence, along with a vulnerability. A compelling artist delivering a brilliant set.

Nervous Twitch on stage at JT Soar

In the pause between bands I note the pleasing personal synchronicity that Nervous Twitch were one of the last bands I managed to see live before I took a much needed break from music, and one of the first I have come back to.

After that last gig, in the tail end of 2021, I wrote of them: “There is something so effortlessly cool about the band’s sound, a love letter to the retro sound at the heart of what they do, perfectly balanced to be referential without being staid. Short, sharp, and punchy songs leave no-one behind with infectious rhythms and racing riffs take a hold of you. If you get away with only a self conscious tapping of the foot you’ve a higher resistance than I to their catchiness.”

This still stands true now. A hardworking, humble and prolific band they seem to be in perpetual creative motion delivering their music live and recorded. Following the release of their self-titled fourth album in 2021 they’ve been working on new material while also pulling together compilation Odd Socks. This brings together off-cuts, b-sides, and live versions of tracks from across their years as a band and makes a wonderful deep dive for those that know them as well as an interesting entry point for those just picking them up.

With a comfortable confidence to their stage presence, tonight they pack in a generous amount of surf-rock and punk. There are sharp-cornered chords, slithering melodic lines, and tumbling fills. There is homage to their musical forebears, and recognition of friends in the watching crowd. There is observational story-telling starting to come through in their tracks and brilliant punchy delivery as they cherry-picked from their extensive catalogue.

Tonight was a not just that reminder of what I loved about music. It was rekindled embers leaving me aglow with love for it all once more.


Find Nervous Twitch: Twitter (X) | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

Find Charley Stone: Twitter (X) | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

Live images: Pete Darrington

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Disclaimer: As well as being Popoptica Sarah Lay is co-founder and label manager at independent record label Reckless Yes, through which Nervous Twitch and Charley Stone have previously released music.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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