Monday, October 17, 2016
Live Review :: Holy Fuck :: Village Underground, London - Oct 15 2016
Village Underground, London
October 15 2016
Words/photos: Mike Dench
Holy Fuck are a band I first saw at the Electric Ballroom nearly six years ago, when they got a London crowd on a Monday night dancing their proverbials off, so I was looking forward to see if they were as brilliant a live band now as they were then.
With their newest album 'Congrats' having been released in May (their 12th year in existence as a band, and first long-player since 2010), this four-piece from Toronto have always strived to take electronica to another place. And tonight at this sold-out date they showed their belief in their latest release with at least seven tracks off it being given a live airing.
They kick off with the almost tribal percussion beats of 'Chimes Broken' - the first of the 'Congrats' songs - which got heads nodding and saw limbs being warmed up for the 80-minutes of dancing that awaited the assembled throng. The distorted bass and syncopated synths of 'Tom Tom' keep the pace up before 'Latin America' gets the crowd moving big time.
The two keyboards and effects men, Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh, refine the HF sound that result in less bombastic passages. The epic straight-to-the-point 'Stay Lit' follows - "Some day maybe she'll come back to me / And I'll say / 'Why don't you go fuck yourself?'" - and the funky, smooth groove of 'Neon Dad' gets the arms in the air and sweaty limbs going even more. This is probably their most commercial sounding song to date to my ears - which is no bad thing with the quality of these guys - and they do it with great energy and a sense of genuine enjoyment and the crowd lapped it up.
'House of Glass' saw some big time shapes being thrown by the audience along to its disco-funk and dubstep fusion effects, while 'Red Eyes' upped the ante a further notch with Walsh bouncing around behind his keyboard and enjoying every minute of it. With barely a moment between songs to get our - and their - breath back, the band launched into the immense 'Caught Up', and kept the electronica heaven going over the next 20-minutes as a sweat soaked Borcherdt led the band in a colossal 'Lovely Allen' where they pulled out all the stops on energy and effects to appreciative whoops and cheers.
Finishing the set with the motorik sounds of 'Super Inuit' - both this and 'Lovely Allen' coming from their 2007 album 'LP' - it was a brief reprieve for the pumped up fans before the band returned to the stage for an encore of 'Shivering' where shimmering synth build in layers over electronic tones, followed by a blistering 'SHT MTN'.
Holy Fuck are a band who truly leave you repeating their name after witnessing them live.