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Live Review: Holy Holy, The Money War, Machine Age

17 July 2017 | 1:31 pm | Mark Beresford

A brilliant set from a band that is at the top of their game.

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There's a just feeling having the night open with Machine Age playing to an already-packed room.

The set speaks volumes to his experimentation with music and for just one person standing on stage, with a guitar and sample pad, he vibrates the room wildly with a thickened sound as well. Adrian Mauro may not have been a name many knew before the night began, but by the time the wild whips of Chivalry Is Dead engulfed the room, it was the name one everybody's lips.

Local outfit The Money War had a clear following in the room with the crowd moving along instantly. Their bouncing rhythms and lush vocal harmonies sat just right with Stars and Real Life flexing the pair's live muscles. Saving their best 'til last, the fuzzed-out guitars and la-la hook of Recall transformed the floor into an all-out dance party.

The difference in sound between Holy Holy on record and live is not massive, which is impressive given the complexity of their work, but the energy of the full band dynamic on stage creates something else altogether.

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The pairing of Timothy Carroll and Oscar Dawson is a unique and fantastic one, setting an incredibly rich vocal waving over Shadow. The pair could likely contain the sold-out room on their own merit. Yet, the rest of the group easily managed to shine through right alongside them, from the John Bonham-inspired tub thumps of History or the upbeat melodic riff of Amateurs, it was expert musicianship on display. Most notably the former Hungry Kids Of Hungary stickman Ryan Strathie delivered a show-stopping drum solo mid If I Were You that saw the band and crowd alike awestruck. From that point, there was no looking back. Each track outshone the previous with Holy Holy cherrypicking from all of their releases to create a cascade of energy that included their Like A Version of Hold Up by Beyonce. The deafening encore applause was greeted with a set highlight thanks to crowd-supplied vocals leading Sentimental And Monday over acoustic guitar before the arrangement exploded with sound for the final chorus. This sealed a brilliant set from a band that is at the top of their game.