LIVE REVIEW: Holy Moly & The Crackers @ Sage Gateshead livestream (23.04.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Thomas Jackson, Tynesight Photography

Some bands have a natural ability to turn their live shows into a party. That magical combination of songs with a strong rhythm and sing-along lyrics delivered by a band bursting with personality makes each show a memorable event. Holy Moly & The Crackers falls into this category and it was always going to be interesting to see how the zestful live performance translated into a livestream filmed without the live audience.

The show represented the first time that the band had been together since they had tried to get back from Denmark, mid-tour, as the borders closed just over a year ago. Opening with Sugar, it was quickly clear that the band showed little sign of rustiness as a result of the enforced separation. Sugar was a good choice as the simmering sultry start quickly segues into a full folk blast showing the dynamic range that the band can operate with.

They followed up with All I Got Is You, with its railroad-like driving beat, and it was likely that some of the audience would be up on their feet making the most of the show. Having said that, the high quality of the live sound meant that you could appreciate the lyrics more than might be the case in a face-to-face show. This was especially the case in quieter numbers like I Will See You Again.

Whilst the songs draw on influences such as polka and blues, the band are more than capable of polished radio friendly rock, and Road To You is their most commercial-friendly track.

We were treated to new songs about werewolves, gig favourites like Bluebell Wood and some songs they admitted had not been performed for a couple of years. Between each song there were interesting asides from Ruth and Conrad, but it was clear that they were missing the immediate feedback that comes from a live audience. I am certain that anyone watching was also wishing to be present in the venue too.

The footage was well shot; there were close-ups of the performances but no obvious cameras in the long shots. This was one of the better livestreamed shows that I’ve seen during lockdown. Sure, it is no substitute for being actually there, but it did act as a nice curtain raiser for the resumption of the band’s tour later in the year.

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