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Come In From Out Of The Cold

by Roger Young, images by Peter Reyneke / 15.06.2010

I’ve been to three of Holiday Murray’s jangly indie vibe gigs this week but it was only at The Assembly where the sound was fucking excellent (now that the sound is great again, we can, for the time being, stop referring to them as The Ass in private conversations) that I really saw how good, how solid a band they are. They launch out with a tight bouncy snare beat, clipped strumming bass, plucky lead guitar, strummy acoustic bits, jumpy and tight, they have a Beatenberg air about them, but less lyrical and more bass driven. It’s a rich playful dancey feeling that has people jumping up and singing along (not hard when the lyrics are something like “babadababadadaa”).

Holiday Murray make sweet harmonic guitar driven songs but even with the good sound, it feels like they haven’t really hit full stride as songwriters. Well dressed good looking boys with hip haircuts (except for the lush locks of the Jennifer Connelly look-alike), they perform their songs well and tight, even though they seem so into the performing that they haven’t quite grappled with the performance. Its not that anything they do is bad, its just that they give the impression that they’re not entirely used to an audience.

They come across like well dressed stoners, focussing on getting the details right obsessively without looking at the bigger picture; while their pace is fun and upbeat, the fact that it stays the same throughout the set, means that the songs feel like they’re blending into one another.

The all boy harmony band is a bit of a thing right now and if Holiday Murray are to distinguish themselves as more than a fun indie pop band they’re going to have to work on some things like projecting into the crowd or a more nuanced pacing of their set. But their dorky humour and joy at playing gets the consensus of the crowd anyway and they play a blisteringly powerful set while the dance floor bounces along. I recall that feeling of them blistering rather than any one thing about the actual gig.
I come away with a sense of joy without being able to remember but one lyric, “nobody escapes me like you do”, which makes sense, because Holiday Murray makes perfect pop, not instantly memorable but instantly danceable.

All images © Peter Reyneke.

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