HOLY HOLY | Live at Northcote Social Club

November 8th, 2014 | Northcote Social Club

Arriving at the Northcote Social Club that night, I admit, I was quite under the weather. My head felt spacey, my eyes were burning, and my body just didn’t want to be amongst civilisation. To make matters worse, I had travelled from the south eastern ‘burbs – a trek that I am hoping will soon come to an end when I make the move northside. In my quarter-of-a-century wisdom, I decided to do the mature thing and drive in. Public transport? Not that night. $120+ total for cab fares? Fuck that.

In typical NSC style, the venue was booming. There were people drinking beers everywhere. And although I was not one of the majority, I still appreciated the atmosphere that surrounded me. Still, my head was spacey and body giving in, but I hustled through it. After all, there was a gig to be seen.

For anyone that has never stepped foot into Northcote Social, there is a particular atmosphere around the venue that words could only partly describe. Vintage carpet dons the floor, whilst the roof is bedazzled with low-beam lighting. And when an act comes on, the only lights you can see is that of the stage. This night, the crowd’s central focus was on Melbourne/Brisbane outfit, HOLY HOLY.

Walking onto the stage with humbleness and almost bashfulness, the band appeared amongst the colourful lights that supported them for the duration of their set. Lead vocalist Timothy Carroll took to the mic with his guitar as the rest of the band dispersed amongst their respective instruments… and so began the night that HOLY HOLY blessed their Melbourne audience on what was to be the last (sold out) show of their tour.

The band performed a collection of songs, including a cover of Neil Young‘s Southern Man, their infamous Triple J Like A Version cover of Joy Division‘s Love Will Tear Us Apart, as well as their latest single and appropriate tour name, History. Sing-alongs and sways ensued throughout the entirety of the set, and whilst some obnoxious audience members took it upon themselves to spend the entire performance discussing the intricacies of the Ebola plague, how they got “so lyk fukked up at tha races”, or even the meaning of life – for the most part, every one in that room was captured by what was happening on the stage.

Amidst the pleasure of witnessing these guys live, a few things popped into my head. The first was that I could imagine this exact moment in a festival setting. Imagine – dusk at Splendour In The Grass or Falls Festival; a crowd singing in a call-and-response as the band performed. The second was the pure ongoing admiration for Carroll’s vocal ability. Time and time again you listen to bands on an album or an EP, and then come the live setting they let their standards down. But Carroll, no. His voice is a complete and utter powerhouse – sending shivers throughout the crowd that had their eyes firmly planted on him.

And let’s not forget the other members of the band, who took it amongst themselves to provide the perfect mise-en-scéne for the night. I often judge a band’s talent by, if you were to divide them up as individuals, would they still sound as good? And in this case, without a doubt.

Interjecting between songs to thank the audience in the most adorably timid way, an anecdote or two were also thrown into the mix. A favourite had to be the one about the band and tour team having to sleep in “double beds, or more king singles” in a dingy Adelaide hostel, “spooning the night away.”

So thank you, HOLY HOLY. That night, despite feeling like I had been beaten over the head with a brick wall, I felt you spooning me the same way that you were spooning each other in that Adelaide hostel. And all you need to know is that I was spooning you right back, you incredible sons of bitches.

And so I end this review with a word of wisdom for you, the reader. If you haven’t already become acquainted with this band, do yourself a massive favour and do it right now. HOLY HOLY know what your ears like.

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