• Charlotte Claber

LOUDER LIVE: Holding Absence at Electric Ballroom 06/11/21

Holding Absence are one of the best bands bubbling in the scene at the minute and the release of The Greatest Mistake of My Life further cemented the respect for their songwriting, craftsmanship and live show. Pandemic aside the band have flown from the Underworld to Scala through to Electric Ballroom in a short space of time, reminding punters they are the best of Welsh music right now. Adding their name to the list of bands that have exploded out of the country like Funeral For A Friend, Bullet For My Valentine and more, they will go down in history.

The Greatest Mistake of My Life tour sees Holding Absence take out post hardcore newcomers As Everything Unfolds and Pop rock icons Yours Truly. For a crowd that are still very aware of the pandemic, past the covid security checks is a room quickly filling in time for an opening act, coming out to support new young talent is so key to keep the industry going and As Everything Unfolds keep you excited for a future of new talent. They fly with poise and aggression through their set featuring stellar songs from the band's debut album Within Each Lies the Other including Stranger In The Mirror and On The Inside. There’s an infectious presence from vocalist Charlie Rolfe that lingers off stage and keeps the audience bright eyed and wanting more from the group.

Quickly following their set, all the way from the land down under, Yours Truly the pop rock quartet spring onto stage and the bar for energy has been set. Vocalist Mikaila Delgado makes her presence known and her vocals soar as the band run through tracks taken from their debut album Self Care through to their Afterglow EP. Tracks like Circles have the crowd erupt with glee as soon as it kicks in, this band are making their stamp on the UK one show at a time, they could certainly command a crowd on a headline show.

Darkness and ambience fills the room, lights flicker and tension high as the crowd hushes awaiting the spectacle that is a Holding Absence set. Awake lingers through the room, whoops and hollers begin and within seconds eyes are filled with tears as vocalist Lucas Woodland sings out “I’M ALIVE”. Celebration Song sets the tone for the night, an evening of enjoyment and love for the music whilst also being thankful for the memories and moments. In those few minutes that begin the show, the room is unified and electric. There’s no slowing the band down as they quickly introduce friend and guitarist for the tour Michael McGough (Heart of Gold/Being As An Ocean) and they launch into Curse Me With Your Kiss and Monochrome. The band have a synergy on stage that is incomparable, guitarist Scott Carey grins from ear to ear, appreciating every second of every song. Now more than ever, this night feels poignant and is a huge step in Holding Absence’s career, it is simply one for the history books. Bassist Benjamin Elliot, brings bass licks on repeat as he bounces around the stage during Beyond Belief, a track full of groove and ardour. The band fly through many momentous tracks and we’re quickly met with the midway point in the form of Die Alone In Your Lovers Arms, this moment feels extra special. The melting pot of Lucas Woodland’s vocals alongside touring friend and Yours Truly vocalist Mikaila Delgado’s is simply stellar, a heavenly blend and a beautiful opportunity to watch the pair share the stage. As the song draws to a close, the band slowly exit the stage leaving Drummer Ashley Green to take ownership of the space for a few minutes. Many question drum solos, use it as opportunities to chat, go to the bar and more but this is a moment to be witnessed. Simply described as nothing short of a machine, Green shows talent and sheer genius with a few minutes that let you see the musicianship that goes into every layer of the band. As it draws to a close the room erupts, nothing but love is shared.

In Circles gets a special stripped back appearance, taken over by Lucas and Scott, it has a new layer of emotion and yet still is greeted with a room full of happiness. The night quickly draws to a close and and Holding Absence close the evening off with Wilt, there’s not a dry eye as the realisation that another gig has ended kicks in. Lights up and Gracie Field’sThe Greatest Mistake Of My Life echoes through and the crowd filters out. Overall the band have created a community at their shows and this is a band that keeps impressing, is there anything they can’t do? A Holding Absence show will always leave you wanting more.

All photos by @chc_creative

Holding Absence