Live Review: Holy Holy + Clews + Bri Clark – Mojos, Fremantle (29.11.18)

Thursday evening saw Holy Holy’s Faces tour hit Western Australia, with a show at Fremantle’s Mojo’s, the first of three in the state. Joining the band were Sydney indie rockers Clews and Perth local Bri Clark. 

The evening kicked off to a rather muted start with Bri Clark taking to the stage, armed just with a keyboard as accompaniment. In hindsight Clark was a somewhat odd choice for an opener, not because she was bad, she wasn’t, but because it just didn’t quite fit the mood or tempo of the rest of the evening. Clark has a wonderful voice, and she certainly knows how to craft a song, but on this evening unfortunately she never quite captured the crowd’s full attention. 

Clews really ramped up the energy over the course of their set. I was largely unfamiliar with the Sydney based sisters before Thursday, but having now seen them live, I’m definitely a fan. In many ways they remind me of First Aid Kit, that is if they were Australian and with more grit and rock swagger. Certainly, they’ve got the harmonies sorted, and the guitar work was solid too. Recent single “Crushed” was well received, as was the as yet unreleased “Hollywood”. 

Thursday night was also my first time seeing Holy Holy play live, and they certainly did not disappoint. Despite not really knowing much of their back catalogue, it was perhaps one of the best gigs I’ve been to this year. They’re undoubtedly a band who know how to deliver a show, and a performance. There was almost an effortlessness about the way they went about things on stage, and the set had that almost perfect ebb and flow. “That Message” and “Willow Tree” from 2017’s Paint were early highlights, as was the sublime “Sentimental and Monday” from the band’s debut record. 

With the announcement that their third record was about 70% complete, the band took the opportunity to test drive some of the new material, including of course the most recent single “Faces”, with the Clews sisters taking on backing vocals. Another new song “Teach Me About Dying” was also a strong highlight (who knew a song about dying would be such a bop?). Along with a host of new material, the audience were also treated to a live rendition of the band’s Like A Version cover of Beyoncé’s “Hold Up”. Other highlights from the main set were “Darwinism” and “True Lovers”, again from 2017’s Paint, the latter getting a strong reception from the capacity crowd. 

It was a strong performance from the band, their only real misstep of the evening coming when they told the crowd that Fremantle reminded them of Hobart. Otherwise, they were in fine form; Oscar Dawson’s guitar playing was truly excellent throughout, and Tim Carroll proved himself to be a charismatic and captivating ‘frontman’, with a little bit of the Matt Berninger about him. And, if the little glimpses we were afforded are anything to go by, the band are onto a good thing with album number three, when it’s completed. 

 

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Holy Holy’s Faces Australian tour continues on Thursday December 6th at The Gov, Adelaide (Tickets) before concluding on December 7th at 170 Russell in Melbourne (Tickets)

The reviewer attended the performance on Thursday 29th November at Mojos, Fremantle.

Simon Clark

Simon Clark is the Books Editor at the AU review. A reader of books and admirer of songs, Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his, and his alone. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @simonjclark