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For the first night of their A Heroine tour, Holy Holy managed to fill Oxford Art Factory with doting fans on Friday night – a miscellaneous crowd that featured a surprising amount of middle aged couples eating one another’s faces. But despite the soft core porn slowly unravelling around me, three bands were on the agenda, and things were off to an atmospheric start with The Franklin Electric, an alternative folk-pop outfit from Montreal, Canada.
Kicking off their A Heroine tour with a bang, Holy Holy and friends put on a show to remember for punters at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory.
Serving as their first show in Oz, performing tracks from their debut This Is How I Let You Down, The Franklin Electric dived head first into a trumpet embedded set, with sonic compositions, rolling piano, and resonant harmonies, alongside true to life lyricism.
If this performance is anything to go by, The Franklin Electric are a band to keep a watchful eye on. Cathartic in every sense, their onstage energy and unyielding musicianship filled me up and sent a wave of emotions rippling through my body, until a few tears were shed during the poignant Unsatisfied. A sense of enthralment swept through the crowd, and stayed firmly intact the entire performance, easily the most absorbing set of the evening.
Olympia, the project of Melbourne based front woman, and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Bartley was up next, and with tons to live up to. With a glitzy presence, minimalist guitar, bass and drums to boot, and vocals of power, things appeared promising from the outset. However as time went on the band’s overall lack of togetherness was apparent, giving them a incomplete sound.
Despite Bartley’s vocals being vigorous, and delicate at all the right moments, her lack of pronunciation made it difficult to distinguish the lyrics, which saw her lose the crowd a number of times. The set struggled to pull me in, leaving me cold, and dissatisfied, with the sense that the entire band had far more to offer the crowd than what we were given.
Headliners, Holy Holy were up next, with a bountiful audience in the palm of their hands, they belted out tracks from their acclaimed record, with the inclusion of two covers, Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise, featuring Olympia on vocals, and a guitar based snippet of Bowie’s Starman during the encore. Also they teased us with new tracks Island and Elevator, both of which held entrancing, twin guitar riffs.
The highlight of the night was easily Dawson’s handling of his new 12 string Maton – his Gilmour-esque solos plunged and swerved, rambling alongside Carroll’s fever heightening vocals, whilst the remainder of the band offered up their expertise to top off the tightness of the duo’s on stage chemistry.
The energy shared between the band and their audience was unsurpassable, and reached it’s peak during their last track of the night, the crowd pleasing You Can’t Call For Love Like A Dog. Overall it was a generous set that offered up bucket loads of passionate playing, and general finesse.
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