Review – Holding Absence

Date: 23rd March 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: The Lunar Process, The Nightmares, Luke Rainsford

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Unfortunately due to transport issues on a Saturday night I didn’t get chance to catch the first band of the night The Lunar Process, however after speaking to a few people after the show they started the night off nice and heavy and I’ll certainly be giving them a listen after this.

Opening up when I arrived were The Nightmares from South Wales playing a very synth heavy set of alternative rock. Their set floated by really exploring all aspects of the genre! Starting with very atmospheric tracks it became clear early on why they had been chosen to support Holding Absence. With new single ‘Dorothy’ being a stand out track from their set really showing how well the band worked in harmony with the crowd looking on in amazement. For a band that I hadn’t heard before tonight they’re definitely one that I’ll be keeping an eye on in the future.

Main support tonight came from local favourite Luke Rainsford. Whilst his acoustic pop rock may have initially stood out as different to the other bands playing, it was clear to see that he was certainly well received from the crowd. Having the entire of the venue in his palm right from the start, the crowd sang along to almost every word and when big songs such as ‘Nightmare’ were on the crowd were louder than Luke! It was great to hear him complimented with a full band to really showcase how well put together the songs were without taking away from the impressive lyrics. Finishing on a powerful note with ‘Frame’ the set really built to an impressive finish with the crowd never wanting it to end! Luke and the rest of the band were definitely the perfect warm up act tonight for Holding Absenceand really prepared everyone for the masterclass that was still to come.

After a short change round it was time for the main event of tonight in Holding Absence. Mixing different parts of each of their supports together they really finished the night off with a bang! The heaviness ofThe Lunar Process, the electronica and synths of The Nightmares, and the energy and vocal prowess of Luke Rainsford; they really were the complete package! After having them down as one of my top bands of 2018 you could feel the anticipation in the air as they took to the stage in a packed Key Club.

Opening with ‘Perish’ from their new album, it was clear to see that the fans of Holding Absence were dedicated as the lyrics were screamed back just as loud as they were coming from the stage. From this huge starting point things only got better! As they progressed through their set you could really tell how well the set played to each member’s strength with the incredible vocals really tying it all together in the perfect package. With a heavy focus on the tracks from their debut self-titled album, it really showed just how incredibly these new tracks fitted into their live sets with the likes of ‘Your Love (Has Ruined My Life)’ and ‘Like A Shadow’ crashing down around the crowd to a thunderous reaction. It was great to hear these mixed in with the old classics such as ‘Dream of Me’ as well which at this point has aged to perfection! Unfortunately due to a technical issue there was no time this evening to do the piano cover however this did mean that following their performance of fan favourite ‘St Cecilia’ they finished strong with the impeccable ‘Penance’ really leaving the crowd on a high. As the set built to its final crescendo with crowd surfers flying left and right it was clear to see the impact that Holding Absencehad on everyone in attendance.

As the music faded out and the crowd dispersed it was clear to feel that this was a show that was a special one for all involved. It wouldn’t surprise me given the greatness of their debut and the performances at these shows that Holding Absence will be hitting much larger stages and crowds in the not too distant future

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