Going to see a band you’re unfamiliar with is a risky affair, and after briefly listening to Holy Holy’s latest album I was not exactly hyped to spend an hour or so with them. I stood at the lovely, intimate Oporto venue sipping a beer to avoid any pressure to dance or cheer enthusiastically.
Fortunately, I soon discovered that my prejudices were unfounded, just a side-effect of my musical snobbery – and I was entertained by a rhythmic, tight band, who’d come all the way from Australia to play to a room of twenty people.
The mix at the gig was especially good, the vocals were quieter than they were on record and it allowed each instrument to rise and contribute to a collective wall of sound, which at times was almost shoegazey. The synth in particular helped to build a great, enveloping atmosphere which seemed absent on their album. Each song built up and broke into a roaring crescendo – which admittedly made some of the songs appear quite samey, but was nonetheless impressive each time.
The vocalist and lead guitarist stole the show with their talent, but each member of the quintet shone individually throughout the gig. Professional and cohesive, the band’s intricate rhythms encouraged me to see off my lager quickly and move my once bigoted feet. Certainly an entertaining gig that wasn’t tainted by a frontman with shit banter and an even worse haircut, Holy Holy are absolutely worth seeing if they decide to come back to the UK.