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HOLY HOLY @ Metropolis Fremantle gets 8/10


Holy Holy @ Metropolis Fremantle
w/ Queen P
Friday, April 22, 2022

8/10

As much as we’ve apparently all been looking forward to it, last Friday felt like a nervous return to touring gigs. Holy Holy are a band well and truly capable of selling out Metropolis Fremantle and their impressive live set up included everything from lasers to backing singers and an epic stage design to boot. Alas, it belied the empty balconies and sparse turn out on the night.

HOLY HOLY

Still, out of adversity comes opportunity (so said Benjamin Franklin), and in this case opportunity equalled intimacy. This really was a stadium-sized production for just a few hundred people, and even the tiniest punters would’ve had no trouble finding a good vantage point to one of Australia’s most impressive stage shows.

Opening with the one-two punch of Believe Anything and How You Been from latest record Hello My Beautiful World, we were toasted with a bottle of red before Maybe You Know lifted the atmosphere three tracks in; singalongs and happy faces the result. That momentum seemed to double again for Faces, and it immediately felt like we were in for something special.

HOLY HOLY

From there it was a hit parade dominated by the band’s last two albums, with highlights including the rad finger tapping guitar of Sandra, 2015’s Sentimental and Monday, and an early appearance for the excellent Elevator, dating back to classic 2017 album Paint. It would’ve been good to hear more from their first two records, with other faves like You Cannot Call for Love Like a Dog, Gilded Age and That Message making way for covers of Lorde’s Green Light and Empire of the Sun’s Walking on a Dream. While these were fun and certainly got the crowd going, they felt like throwaways next to Holy Holy’s own tunes (St Petersburg was also noted by many as an unfortunate omission).

Queen P

Joining Holy Holy onstage were backing vocalists (and sisters) Lily and Grace Richardson, aka CLEWS, who shone during their guest spot on The Aftergone and, notably, the high notes of Walking on a Dream. Particularly impressive was Melbourne rapper Queen P, who not only acted as the night’s support act—dropping Missy Elliott samples and “living for today” with her impressive live band—but then nearly stole the show on Holy Holy’s own Port Rd. Working much better live than it does on record, it built to a huge coda of lights, energy and magic.

Closing the main set, it’s hard to overstate just how good Teach Me About Dying was and, perhaps if it’d come earlier, the slight crowd would have come to life sooner. There was a clear appreciation of the classics and guitar-based numbers, over the untried likes of So Tired and its Coda that occasionally derailed momentum.

HOLY HOLY

Perhaps Holy Holy’s best song, Frida, was perfectly placed, however. Opening the encore, it suited the intimate atmosphere to a tee. With Green Light wedged in-between, it left True Lovers to be a finale for the ages as CLEWS and Queen P returned to the stage and danced the night away. It was impossible to leave unimpressed by a show that was both a long time coming and well worth the considerable wait. Imperfect but alive, slick but energetic… it’s time to go out again, Perth.

HARVEY RAE

Photos by Linda Dunjey

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