The NOVA Effect

Even the most typically stereotyped chino clad, polo donning Durhamite must have heard of Durham’s biggest new night: the notorious NOVA.


Since its launch last October, the House music night has gone from strength to strength, with four events to date and three more in the pipeline for this term.

There were many new nights that joined the fray of the Hundred Beers War last term yet, unlike NOVA, they did not return victorious. 

So what does NOVA have that they didn’t? It could be down to the drive of NOVA’s creators, who were fed up with the lack of music diversity in Durham.  Or could it be that they had a double-edged sword on their side that the other nights did not?

Whatever the reason, NOVA has undoubtedly introduced ‘edgy’ to Durham, whether it is through the fashionable flat caps and crop tops or the eclectic new music.

With great power comes great responsibility, and NOVA now has to deal with the reaction from the big dog of Durham nightlife: the newly rebranded Monk or Absolute Life as it was previously known.

To tread on the toes of this Durham giant is one thing, but to stand next to it is definitely another.  Is trying to be edgy a threat?  Rumour has it that Monk want to join with NOVA for a night and that the new image is part of ‘trying to be edgy.’

But when The Tab approached NOVA’s brainchild, Yousef Al-Qatami, he said ‘We are flattered but no, we don’t do Loveshack Wednesdays.’ Perhaps NOVA’s biggest charm is its pledge to remain separate and ‘alternative.’

But that isn’t to say there is bitterness between the two.  Ed Little, another of NOVA’s avant-garde, says ‘all this innovation from both sides is helping to reshape the image of Durham.’

From Monk’s unique ‘Gospel Projects’ and Freeze Saturdays to the elusive NOVA girl or the spray paint art work that adorns the walls of Fabio or Loft.

This is also certainly true with the announcement of the headliner for the next NOVA night on Tuesday…that’s right people; BEN PEARCE is coming to D Town.

In many ways Ben Pearce’s rise to success can be paralleled with that of NOVA’s or certainly used as an inspiration: starting out in Manchester, Ben cut his teeth with many years running and DJ-ing for a successful night and is now producing records with an ever filling gig diary.

His first full length EP, within a few days, reached No.1 on the Deep House Chart and, along with the smash hit record ‘What I Might Do’ has been supported by the likes of Pete Tong, Maya Jane Coles and Annie Mac to name but a few.

The NOVA kids say: ‘We are all really excited to bring in a big name and we hope that it will encourage people who were previously on the fence to come along.’

NOVA’s success has undeniably brought a new dimension to the nights of Durham.  In the now seemingly unpredictable world that is Durham nightlife, will NOVA paradoxically turn ‘edgy’ from nouveau to the norm?

Rumour has it there will be a video made at the event with Ben Pearce on Tuesday, so girls and guys: whether you are a fan of the SUPERNOVA or prefer to stick to the ever-popular Monk nights, DONT BE SHY and get down to Loft to see for yourself what the NOVA hype is all about.