Newtown Social Club proudly boasts itself as the hub for local inner-west bands. With this in mind, we were excited to see The Holy Soul and The Laurels play on their home turf. After making a name for themselves around Australia, it was wonderful to see a well-known group of musicians perform together after a short absence from the scene.
Holy Soul have been around the circuit since 2001, drawing in the older crowd thirsty for some old-fashioned Rock N Roll. A desire that culminated in a very drunk woman attempting to join the band’s performance to everyone’s entertainment. With their experience, Holy Soul have acquired a versatility in their sound. Drawing parallels with Bad//Dreems in guitar work. Long lasting guitar jams and breakdowns within sets that were derelict, dirty and amazing. With a touch of The Pixies’ and Kings of Leon’s lyrical mannerism.
With the heavy rock atmosphere hanging thick in the crowed after an intense head banging session. We were already ready and primed for The Laurels to kick it up a notch.
The Laurels have received multiple awards over the years for their distinct music and live shows, including a nomination for 2011’s Best Live Act in FBi’s Sydney Music, Arts and Culture Awards. The crowd was eager to get another taste of their neo-psychedelic/shoe-gaze sound and when they finally took to the stage, we were not disappointed. If you have only listened to The Laurels though speakers or headphones, you don’t truly get the depth of this band as when heard live. Only with a live experience can you absorb how captivating, loud and just how completely enticing this band plays out.
With the layering of three guitars, The Laurels bring memories and comparisons to My Blood Valentine and this by our standards, is far from a big thing. The band create very dense musical textures, that in moments tonight, has the ground vibrating and many heads banging. They played all of their well-known songs including ‘Tidal Wave’ and ‘Soul Arising’ and in finishing their set, personally, I was so overstimulated that I was a bit disappointed when there wasn’t a big roar for an encore.
All in all, it was a mind-altering experience seeing both bands play and a completely unforgettable night, witnessing some great Australian bands establishing themselves in the alternative rock music scene, an inspiration.
But that just goes to show that both The Holy Soul and The Laurels have complete mojo and with The Laurels set to release their new track, ‘Zodiac K’ we’re certainly ready to see where they go next.