holy holy

Gig Review: Holy Holy at Oxford Art Factory

Finishing their tour with a sold out show at OAF, Holy Holy have had a big year. They’ve been touring with Boy and Bear, played Splendour in the Grass and sold out their biggest national tour following the release of their debut When the Storms Would Come.  In a sold out crowd of over twenty-fives, Holy Holy’s nostalgic vibes and travel worn sound showed why their star has been on the rise.

Melbourne’s Fractures opened the night in sensual style, moving the crowd and delving into heart-melter territory. In molten darkness producer Mark Zito had the crowd transfixed with favourites Twisted and You Won’t Win as well new single Reactor, the first track of his album set to debut next year. With his idiosyncratic moody elegance and some back up fleshing out his sound to dreamier heights, Fractures had OAF in its groove by ten o’clock, ready to celebrate the final night of Holy Holy’s national tour.

A chanting echo of spoken word brought Holy Holy on stage, opening with History. Lead guitarist Oscar Dawson plunged through the familiar California rock riffs, bouncing around the stage in glee and kicking the show off in thrashing, glorious style. Above it all Timothy Carroll’s warm voice was like a ringing bell, smoothing the textured sound into a softer, clearer whole. Every syllable was saturated in earnestness as he cried out across the crowd in Sentimental and Monday. Tim Hart of Boy and Bear joined the boys and bolstered the Americana feel of Pretty Strays for Hopeless Lovers with throbbing guitar riffs and stacked harmonies.

Spectacular solos from Oscar and drummer Ryan Strathie let the talent of the group rise through Carroll’s ballady belting and there were many shining moments in the details of shimmery instrumentals. The crowd was treated to a new unreleased track with an upbeat heartbeat and after blasting through their “spirit song”, Theme From Terminator 2, Holy Holy finished the set with the lashing crescendo of You Cannot Call for Love Like a Dog. The strongest punch, however, came with the final encore of Neil Young’s Southern Boy, a clear herald of the band’s classic influences and a joyous moment for the tour to come to a close on. With so many influences steeped in nostalgia, we will wait and see what fresh direction Holy Holy steers in next as they return to the studio.