Live Review: Holy Holy – Corner Hotel, Melbourne (29.01.16)

There’s plenty to be said for a band who sells out Melbourne’s Corner Hotel quicksmart, and have people scrambling for tickets right up until show day. It’s no surprise, however, that Holy Holy managed to pull it off. This band has been turning heads since they dropped debut single “House Of Cards” a little over two years ago.

Before openers The Franklin Electric even stepped foot on stage, there was a large crowd gathered in the room. Worth it, too, as the Canadians put on quite the show, with great energy and a power that easily captured attention for their set’s duration. Funny, too, as some live trumpet lines seem to always wow a crowd.

Without delay, main support Olympia appeared and got right into it. I’ve seen Olympia in the past supporting a wide array of established and well-loved Australian artists and no matter how much I wanted to love her, I could never quite get there with her looping, disjointed sets. This time, however, that was all thrown out of the window. Performing with a bassist and drummer, Olympia had an energy and spark about her that was previously missing. In a stage-perfect green/blue jumpsuit, Olympia was witty, interesting and an utter joy to watch, dealing with the bustling crowd like the consummate professional. There’s no doubt that she won over more than a couple of people on Friday.

Holy Holy hit the stage to a cheer I’ve not heard at The Corner in some time and they kicked off with an absolute explosion of sound – there’s really no other way to describe it. Each and every member of the band is truly a master of their respective instruments and it really shines through. Not only that, but Holy Holy seem to gel together like few bands do, making their live set one you could not fault.

With the promise of an hour-long set, we knew there would be a great array of tracks in the performance, but with a small tech issue toward the beginning of their set (blasted amps…) we were lucky enough to be the only audience of the tour treated to their cover of the Terminator 2 theme song as it was fixed. Completely mindblowing.

Tracks from their debut release, The Pacific EP, snuck in amongst those from last year’s album When The Storms Would Come, but the most exciting feature was two new, yet-to-be-released songs that many are no doubt already totally in love with. “History” had a choral crowd singalong, and lead guitarist Oscar Dawson drew more than one amazed cheer with his phenomenal guitar solos that feature heavily throughout Holy Holy’s repertoire.

The proclaimation that they had “just one” song remaining was one we all new to be false, but indulged anyway, and their inevitable return to the stage saw Dawson and singer/guitarist Tim Carroll perform a short, yet beautiful rendition of Bowie‘s “Starman” before ripping into “You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog” (2015 song of the year, without any doubt).

My ears almost bled from the cheer upon its end, and rightly so. This is a band that consistently set the bar higher and higher for all other Australian bands, improving with each live show and release, and are without a doubt one of Australia’s two best live bands right now.