NOVELTY ISLAND is the surreal-pop project of Liverpool-based songwriter/producer, Tom McConnell. In 2018 he made the ultimate pilgrimage from his native north to study at Abbey Road Institute where NOVELTY ISLAND was born. Inspired by classic pop, woozy electronica and northern wordplay, NOVELTY ISLAND debuted their primary-colour psychedelia on London’s live-scene in 2020 with the ‘Welcome To Novelty Island...’ and ‘Suddenly On Sea’ EPs. McConnell then returned to Liverpool where he began work on his one-man band debut album, How Are You Coping With This Century? The 12-track ‘surreal northern nervous breakdown’ was released in 2021 to five-star reviews (Shindig / RnR) with NOVELTY ISLAND emerging from lockdown to launch the debut album in late 2021.
Of the evocative band name frontman Tom says, “The name Novelty Island is taken from a Vic Reeves Big Night Out sketch. My music has always been inspired by the Vic & Bob way of life & mind so my girlfriend suggested using a name from one of their shows for my project. Novelty Island is an escape from the white noise of the 2020s, but it’s also a happy accident that it has connotations to the UK becoming its own Novelty Island in recent years…”
The second NOVELTY ISLAND album, Wallsend Weekend Television was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Damon Albarn's Studio 13 and Abbey Road Institute and will be released on 24th March 2023. New single ‘Eureka, I Can See!’ was written in the small studio in the basement of Abbey Road, says singer Tom, “Late one night I was locking up. I was working there as the technician for Abbey Road Institute. I was missing the North so the lyrics are inspired by that. The recording was done in Studio 2 of Abbey Road (The Beatles room...) and the main piano is the Mrs Mills from Penny Lane, Rocky Raccoon,With A Little Help From My Friends.” NOVELTY ISLAND have supported Sea Power and The Pale White and performed at Glastonbury and Moseley Folk Festivals and will be announcing their 2023 live dates shortly.