Live Review

Holy Fuck, ATP Nightmare Before Christmas

These songs should be filling dancefloors of all persuasions, not just those frequented by bearded scenesters.

Let’s be honest, Holy Fuck is a bloody stupid name for a band to choose. Not only does it make the Canadian four piece sound like a Scandinavian Death Metal group, but surely it must seriously restrict the amount of radio play they receive. And I don’t know how liberal your family is, but there is no way I could ask my Auntie for a Holy Fuck album at Christmas, and I’d have serious reservations about buying a band t-shirt for fear of being attacked by religious zealots in the street were I ever brave enough to wear it in public.

If Holy Fuck’s risqué choice of moniker is harming their crossover appeal it would be a genuine shame, as tonight’s performance in a sweaty Red’s Bar is testament to the fact that their joyous and engaging electronica is deserving of a far wider audience than they currently seem to currently enjoy. These songs should be filling dancefloors of all persuasions, not just those frequented by bearded scenesters.

Central to the band’s sound is their rhythm section. Drummer Matt Schulz is a keen disciple of the Motorik beat, over which bass player Matt McQuaid weaves elastic bass lines, seemingly borrowed from Nile Rodgers. The remaining members of the band may then coax a variety of alien sounds out of the array of unidentifiable boxes and pedals at their disposal, but the result is always utterly danceable. A perfect example of this is ‘Red Lights’ from their 2010 album ‘Latin’, which despite appearing midway into the set gets everyone moving, from the saucer eyed kids at the front to those ATPers trying desperately to look cool at the back.

Judging for the various furrowed brows on stage and swift equipment changes it seems the band experienced some technical problems but it is certainly not evident from the sound, and as the keyboard riff of ‘Lovely Allen’ builds and builds like The Chemical Brothers on steroids you can’t help but wonder what Holy Fuck’s career trajectory would look like if they weren’t such potty mouths.

Records, etc at Rough Trade logo

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