Words by David Cheney.
If your ears are in dire need of a luscious indie treat, your soul yearning for gooey, intimate alt-pop rumblings then buckle up princess because Holy Holy are just what the doctor ordered. Chasing up enormous career successes ranging from ARIA top 10 albums to coveted JJJ Hottest 100 ranking, the dynamic duo-turned-five-piece live act descended on a sold out Tivoli to serve up a delicious set for Brisbane’s adoring crowd.
Local starlet Hallie provided an absolute treat for the steadily growing crowd. Like a love child of past and present, this confident young performer mashes the cool chic of Stevie Nicks with the ephemeral loveliness of Florence and the Machine. Her tunes are solid, belting out some nontraditional-yet-intoxicating verse structures and multi-vocal harmonies on set opener, What’s Good? Might I add. Her guitarist? Yeah, he fucking jams, completely unafraid to let buttery flaming lead after lead sail straight out of his Telecaster across a tantalised crowd. Humour and left turns peppered Hallie’s set. “This song is about polyamorous relationships and, uh, ironically it’s called One”. She playfully announced to the crowd before proceeding to bury them in impassioned vocals like a lover wrapped in blankets. Not enough? Why not bring the drummer up front for a 4-way laser precise choral performance? What a wonderful upcoming act. Hallie will be setting out on an Australian tour this October so do yourself a favour, take your next Tinder date to one of her shows, thank me later.
Next out of the pipe was Carla Geneve and her fucking incredible three-piece band. Carla is another breed of special. Completely unassuming, effortlessly charming, like Doc Martin princess from high school you never plucked up the courage to chat with because of her intimidatingly powerful eye makeup. The trio opened their arms to us with indie grunge filth storm Empty Stomach, a track that lurches forward like a wounded rhino. The interplay of the band is show stopping. Every volume swell, every guitar lead break, every articulate little drum fill was like a magnet pulling the hairs up on the back of my neck. Seattle would be proud. Some Australian quirk that’s not afraid to show its fangs reminiscent of song writing greats like Paul Kelly. Carla watches movies by herself on 2001, she’s not shy about admitting to a good friend zoning either. The confessional nature is a refreshing drop to the greater Australian indie cannon, sitting somewhere between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Diary of Anne Frank. Her songs carry a hopeful sadness that’s willing to drag itself out of the swamp with a smile. Fresh off a successful USA tour, Carla Geneve is bound for big things.
The stage? Set. The crowd? Bristling. The lights? Bluer than a millennial on a comedown. It was under that tangible feeling of energy that Holy Holy emerged to take the stage for a show they coyly declared “They’ve been waiting for their whole lives”. Oscar Dawson and Timothy Carroll have really crafted something special here as the dual frontmen transform the mid-tempo banger into a master craft. Might I add, I’ll respect anyone with the balls to bring a soda stream bottle on stage, big props. Moody synths flooded The Tivoli as the band leap into the indie pop jam Elevator followed immediately by the irresistible and sultry That Message. Oh, we need to talk about Faces. Look, I can vibe the hyper effected guitar leads, I’m down with the irresponsibly loud bass, but Holy Holy showcased their finest instrument: the crowd themselves. Picture 800 sweaty punters oohing and ahhing like an evangelical church sermon coated in corduroy.
A highlight moment saw the crew bring the lovely Carla Geneve back onstage to perform their recent hit Like A Version rendition of Lorde’s Green Light. The crowd knew what to do every step of the way, breaking out into spontaneous clap-alongs and belting out every emotional laced lyric that bursts from Carroll’s husky tenor pipes. The show felt extra personal given that five years ago to the day, the band graced The Tivoli stage while supporting Boy and Bear. When called back onstage by the adoring crowd for an encore, the sea of punters was lit up by phone lights at the request of Dawson, resembling more of a grand final than a gig as their thunderous Teach Me About Dying rang out across the venue. As the show closed and punters began to stream out of The Tivoli, the energy in the room remained. Holy Holy are truly a force to be reckoned with in Australia’s indie scene.
The tour continues in Mackay on the 19th. Full tour details below.
HOLY HOLY – TOUR DATES
Supported by triple j
Thursday 12 September | Villa Noosa, Noosaville QLD
Friday 13 September | Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff NSW
Saturday 14 September | The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Thursday 19 September | Mt Pleasant Tavern, Mackay QLD
Friday 20 September | Magnums, Airlie Beach QLD
Saturday 21 September | Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville QLD
Sunday 22 September | Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns, QLD
Friday 27 September | The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28 September | Astor Theatre, Perth WA
Sunday 29 September | The River, Margaret River WA
Thursday 17 October | Uni Bar, Wollongong NSW
Friday 18 October | Roundhouse, Sydney NSW
Saturday 19 October | The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
Friday 1 November | Torquay Hotel, Torquay VIC
Saturday 2 November | Forum, Melbourne VIC