HOLY HOLY AND QUEEN P (THE LATE SHOW) @ THE TIVOLI, BRISBANE, FRIDAY APRIL 23RD 2021
One of this writer's most rewarding observations during my 15-plus years in the music industry is watching the remarkable slow burn, the evolution and the growth of Holy Holy. Watching their social media, they have genuinely struggled with having to cancel or reschedule individual shows or parts of their tour for what seems like the longest time.
Needless to say, there is sincere, overwhelming celebration in the air of the Tivoli tonight for "the late show" (the second of four shows across these two days) as support Queen P takes the stage with genuine gusto. However, she is NO support, she's the real deal and it'll be only a matter of time before her upbeat hip hop attracts the country's big stages. She covers Missy Elliott's 'Work It', a fitting choice if recalling the interlude on the same Missy album where she preaches about the old school mentality of when hip hop was fun, like her biggest influences Salt-N-Pepa and RUN-DMC. Queen P embodies this very spirit, embraces the lighter side and stands up for her fellow-ladies with dancers, a live drummer and keyboardist in tow - a truly spirited and uplifting set.
Holy Holy's entrance is met with screams that could pierce hearing in Townsville. They're visibly overjoyed to be here for us tonight and the audience returns gratitude ten-fold. Perhaps that is one of the up-sides to a lockdown, our gigs are now not to be taken for granted, and gratitude is prevalent in its place (except that one toxic dude down the front who demanded more space than he's entitled - he knows who he is).
The band leaps right into 'Maybe You Know' - arguably their greatest single now - and a subsequent three tracks from their most recent album release My Own Pool Of Light - 'Faces', 'Flight' and 'Sandra'. Right up front, it's obvious even to the casual observer, that Holy Holy have grown exponentially. They always were one of the country's greatest live bands, but now they're taking no prisoners, reaching for that title good and proper. Tim Carroll has become the consummate frontman, more Thom Yorke than Bono of the classic frontman, if a comparison is needed - assured, confident yet ultimately humble and unafraid to physically step back and give his band mates the spotlight. Plus he doesn't have just any bandmates, he has master minded this project, developed his songwriting friendship and connection with Oscar Dawson and constantly challenged his naturally- shyer presence to become one of the best. Dawson, similarly, is somewhat of a master-shredder these days and pulls appropriate shapes while soloing, almost knowing that he's all that and a bit more. Ryan Strathie is - head and shoulders - the finest drummer in the country full stop, and his partnership with bassist Graham Ritchie makes for one mean rhythm section, producing motor-like powerhouse musicianship.
With three albums under their belt, as well as a couple of new songs presumably from a fourth soon, the band roll from one highlight to the next, pulling from all albums. 'You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog' stands out, largely thanks to Dawson's aforementioned guitar prowess. Tia Gostelow joins them onstage for new single 'How You Been' and their triple j Like A Version cover of Lorde's 'Green Light', a song that nearly collapses the whole venue, while Queen P re-enters for recent single 'Port Rd'. This is the song that connects them, truly showing some unity in their very different styles. 'Teach Me About Dying' completes the main set with deafening sing-alongs so loud, it might be akin to Beatlemania.
Carroll and Dawson emerge alone for the encore - a show-stopping, stripped back version (there's not even a vocal mic) of their first album stunner 'Sentimental and Monday', before the remaining band return for one more track, 'True Lovers'. It's a triumph for Holy Holy. Not merely a rock band any longer, they're our very own trailblazers akin to and incorporating
the best bits of Foals, Phoenix and Radiohead. But to say they're anything other than original and are their very own beast, would be selling the short. They have the chops to be one of Australia's all-time greats, and they have the songs to truly leave a long term legacy.
Maybe You Know
You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog
How You Been (with Tia Gostelow)
Green Light (Lorde cover with Tia Gostelow)
Port Rd (with Queen P)
Teach Me About Dying
Sentimental and Monday
Holy Holy released a new video for their latest single 'How You Been' this week. If you've missed their shows around the country recently, well you can check out Timothy Carroll's current signature outfit and dance moves. The song is yet another cracker from the band. Big love.