The Holidays live in Brisbane

The Holidays live

Sydney-based band, The Holidays, recently embarked on a tour of the East Coast of Australia to coincide with the release of ‘Tongue Talk’ – the third single from their acclaimed sophomore LP, “Real Feel”. We sent Keely Thurecht to check out their Brisbane show:

The Holidays list their influences as congas, analog step-sequencers, screaming lowpass filters with curtis chips, Jazzmasters through Marshalls, tape echo, vintage dimension, loneliness, coffee, boredom, escape.

I can’t say I know what all those things are, but I’m infinitely glad they exist.

Otherwise, god forbid, who knows if we would have The Holidays that we know and love today? The soul/pop/fuzz/electronica group came to the attention of the wider music-loving community when they performed The Preatures’ Is This How You Feel? on Triple J’s Like a Version. However, many have been very much aware of the boys since 2006.

Upon discovering The Holidays, whether that be eight weeks or eight years ago, you go on a magical journey. Their first album, Post Paradise (2010), blended African and tropical polyrhythmic percussion with guitars and synthesised sounds in an offbeat pop context and they have also (finally) released their second longplayer, Real Feel, featuring genius singles Voices Drifting and All Time High.

I’m going to describe their performance at Alhambra in Brisbane by dividing it into two parts: sloppy-joe and button up.

Throughout the first half, frontman Simon Jones donned a sloppy-joe, attire that tied in perfectly with the soul-tickling, easy-listening tunes. The presence and engagement of each and every band member was immediately noticeable. Their sound was exotic, woven with xylophones and bongos, synthesised sounds and delicious vocal chords.

At an indefinable point, easy-listening ceased and the boys gradually ascended into what can only be described as fired-up territory. The beat moved faster and faster until our sloppy-joe wearing frontman stripped it off to reveal a rebellious button-up. Thus begun the second half, during which the audience witnessed the more intense and more emotional side to the band. Lyrics carried more weight and the tone of every song resonated.

Despite sore feet I couldn’t stay seated. My head started swaying and my foot tapped. I felt it in my core and soon found my whole body moving until I was lost in the music and dancing like an idiot. However, this was ok because so was everyone else.

Props to the super enthusiastic girl up the front, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many headbangs in one show.

Keely Thurecht


The Holidays live review by Keely Thurecht. Photo by Courtney Dabb, taken at The Holidays’ live gig at The Metro Theatre in Sydney the week before. See the full photo album from that show on our Facebook page.