Holy Moly And The Crackers made the journey down from their dwelling city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, by way of Devon, to play in Canterbury, the place by the way they thought they’d be taking part in to a few folks! Now if that is not a band dedicated to the trigger then I do not know who higher matches the invoice (After the gig they had been stopping off in Cambridge to interrupt up the 300 and thirty mile journey again dwelling!). If their efforts to entertain audiences far and huge weren’t sufficient there was additionally a chap within the crowd who’d made his method down from Hull particularly to see the band (A Refreshing beer, or two, and a Hospitable Canterbury B&B had been his vacation spot publish present).
Prior to the complete band taking to the stage of the Marlowe Theatre Studio it was their drummer Tommy Evans, sporting a moderately jaunty corduroy cap, who began the night’s leisure in superb type. Playing a string of very properly captured covers, he started with a few Bob Dylan tracks, ‘Baby Blue’ and ‘The Times They Are A Changin’, and moved on with songs by Bob Marley and Johnny Cash, in addition to an amazing tackle The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’. The percussionist, who might have simply handed for an additional in Oliver, left the consolation of his drum package to sing and play an acoustic guitar all through the seven-track set, apologising for his proficiency in addition to his time on stage. He needn’t have achieved both. His guitar taking part in wanted no apology and his singing was revelatory at instances, particularly throughout his two close-out tracks from Nina Simone with ‘I Put A Spell On You’ being notably good.
During Tommy’s help set he had confessed, because the band’s driver, to having at all times thought that Canterbury was within the South-West, not the South-East. It mattered not as he’d bought all of them from Honiton in Devon, the place they’d performed the evening earlier than, by way of Stonehenge, to Canterbury in Kent for his or her first present within the Cathedral City. As all of them took to the stage, Conrad carried his spouse Ruth to her bar stool for the evening (We needed to faux that she wasn’t there for the needs of the encore) and the remainder of the band, together with Tommy after his wardrobe change, took up their respective positions.
Conrad beckoned the gang nearer to him and the band set about their opening monitor, ‘Sugar’. The snarling, stomping and, befittingly, theatrical monitor lifted from their 2017 album ‘Salem’ was a implausible introduction to an evening that had the environment of a gypsy carnival. The tempo was ramped up additional with the lead single from their newest album; ‘All I Got Is You’ introduced collectively the entire components of the band superbly. Ruth’s irresistible vocal, Rosie’s deftly delivered accordion and Tommy’s metronomic beat paired with the ever regular bass beat of Jamie Shields, the fevered guitar work of Nick Tyler and the charismatic whirlwind antics of Conrad Bird ensured that the immediacy and upbeat nature of the tune weren’t misplaced on the enthusiastic viewers.
2018’s energetic slice of downright soiled Deep South Rock n’ Roll ‘Gravel Rag’ arrange a monitor from the band’s first EP from 2104, ‘Lilly’. ‘Cocaine’, “one other tune about going out on a Saturday evening, however a bit extra naughty this one”, with “lyrics present in a Ted Hughes poetry e-book” went down a storm. If the get together hadn’t absolutely kicked in earlier than this monitor it actually did as the primary notes had been performed. Ruth Patterson’s violin taking part in was equally as compelling as her vocal and Conrad Bird’s trumpet taking part in simply took the monitor to a different degree. The barely sleazy combine labored splendidly to seize the essence of the tune earlier than the band segued effortlessly into ‘Grace’.
Tales of Tommy’s misdemeanours in Hungary performed out by ‘Naked In Budapest’ earlier than the band’s breakthrough monitor, ‘Cold Comfort Lane’, bought the gang fired up on the impromptu dance ground created in entrance of the stage. The pulsating, energised monitor was delivered with an impassioned intent as Bird’s trumpet sounded out for all it is price and Tyler’s guitar delivered its incendiary energy chords. Holy Moly’s folks roots got here to the fore on the toe-tapping cautionary story ‘Devil And The Danube’, earlier than a fairly good ‘Upside Down’ closed out the primary set in double fast time.
As the gents of the band took their depart for a quick second of respite, Ruth remained serenely perched upon her seat, Conrad having not taken the possibility to hold his associate from the stage. She did not have to attend lengthy earlier than he returned to hitch her for a duet as the keenness of the gang demanded extra. The the rest of the band got here again to conclude the excellent fourteen-track set with one more riotous and rousing belter, ‘Mary’.
As gigs go, tonight’s was fairly particular. Not solely had the band discovered the venue and performed to much more than three folks, they’d delivered a stellar efficiency that had environment aplenty, engagement in spades and a set stuffed with banging tunes that captivated all earlier than them. The festive season is close to however I can assure that these are by far the most effective Crackers you may see all Christmas.