Synth lords Holy Holy delivered a Melbourne show to remember

Synth lords Holy Holy delivered a Melbourne show to remember

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Words by Priya Francis
Pics by BandAnna Photography

They could be Australia’s synthesiser kings.

There’s something about an ambient, atmospheric entrance onto stage that gets punters of all ages and backgrounds excited and instantly hooked, and it’s something that Australian duo Holy Holy have mastered. Countless performances at international and national festivals like Byron Bay’s Bluesfest, Groovin’ the Moo, The Great Escape and Primavera, to name a few, and the band were ready to party for their album launch at The Forum.

Opening act, Melbourne group Baby Blue, led by Rhea Caldwell tried their best to keep the crowd entertained as they trickled into the theatre with their blend of ’60s surf rock and Americana indie-pop, however, it wasn’t until Carla Geneve stepped onto the stage that everyone found their positions. With soaring vocals and gritty guitar playing, shown off during songs like ‘Empty Stomach’ and ‘Greg’s Discount Chemist’, she kept the crowd moving and thoroughly entertained.

When the lights finally dropped, it was like another surge of energy spread through the crowd and it was only old mate John’s commentary that stood between us and Holy Holy’s anticipated appearance, “Stuff Kanye, Holy Holy were gospel before gospel became cool.” And it was with a gospel-esque synth and gentle guitar riff that the two-piece, made up of Oscar Dawson on guitar and vocalist Timothy Carroll, made their entrance.

It was ‘Elevator’, the third track from their 2017 album Paint that heralded the start of the show, and for like much of the show, fans were more than ready to sing along word for word. ‘Maybe You Know’ welcomed songs from their latest album, My Own Pool Of Light, a record that encapsulates Holy Holy’s own unique, self-produced genre of melancholy, ‘gospel’ indie rock.

As was an ongoing trend, audience participation was at an all-time high, highlighting just how well-honed the band’s live performance has become. While Carroll’s vocals were strong and consistent throughout the concert, Dawson brought his absolute A-game, and a cheer was raised every time he stepped forward with his guitar pulled around in front of him. The energy and dynamics he brought to the performance was not taken for granted, and each riff he played only raised the bar for the following song.

Carla Geneve lended her punchy vocals for a cover of ‘Green Light’ by Lorde, a cover that was welcomed by everyone in the crowd who screamed each lyric along with her.

Throughout the entire concert, people all over the theatre called for ‘True Lovers’, so when the recognisable guitar and synth intro rang out, it was received more than warmly. It felt as if the volume of people on the floor physically doubled, and the exuberance within the mosh pit only increased for the duration of the song.

‘Frida’ opened up the encore, however it was the final song, ‘Teach Me About Dying’ that had everyone cheering and ready for a dance. People were visibly losing it, right at the back of the theatre, and it seemed no one was immune to letting go and moving along with the mass of bodies crammed into The Forum, entirely and utterly enthralled by Holy Holy.

Highlight: ‘Teach Me About Dying’.

Lowlight: The huge amount of phones that continuously blocked everyone’s view for the entirety of the concert.

Crowd favourite: ‘True Lovers’.