Saturday, April 20, 2024

Holding Absence host emotional sellout show in Liverpool

Visiting Liverpool for the first time and selling out the small room, Welsh post-rock band Holding Absence bring their bouncy yet emotionally driven brand of hardcore while showcasing some of the best local talent throughout their tour. Holding Absence were joined by Liverpool locals, Maybank, and touring mates Void of Vision.

Maybank | Photos by Chris James Ryan

Immediately packing the room, Liverpool-based Maybank began their set to almost immediate acclaim despite having a new singer fill in for their original vocalist who was ill. It remains to be seen for many which vocalist is a better fit for the band but the laid-back and reserved attitude of the fill-in vocalist served the band well. His mild-mannered attitude helped establish a dreamlike quality that is often associated with shoegaze.

Maybank | Photos by Chris James Ryan

Following up, Void of Vision took to the stage and significantly ramped up the intensity as the audience went absolutely feral. The charisma and energy from frontman, Jack Bergin, was stellar and there was absolutely no sign of him slowing down at any point in the show. His vocals had an inimitable ferocity that may have seemed out of character for this kind of show but it took the band absolutely no time to win over the crowd.

Void of Vision | Photos by Chris James Ryan

Vocalist, Jack Bergin, held up his shirt to reveal a tattoo reading “Year of the Rat” which introduced the next track, a vicious number that continued to ramp up the intensity with its pounding double bass drumming and aggressive seven-string assault. Void of Vision would lean further towards the aggressive end of the spectrum and this may have been off-putting for some hoping to hear lighter bands if it weren’t for the fact that the majority of their songs were so easy to dance to and even managed to inspire a few mosh pits throughout the night.

Void of Vision | Photos by Chris James Ryan

The small room in the Liverpool 02 is not really designed for giant walls of death and mosh pits but the crowd did a fantastic job keeping the energy going without resorting to reenacting scenes from Shaolin Wooden Men.

Holding Absence would finally take the stage and the response and energy in the room was phenomenal as they opened with the spacey and emotive ‘Monochrome’ which would lead into ‘Beyond Belief’, a bright colourful and hopeful track that gave a sense of optimism throughout the audience despite the lyrics being so bleak.

Holding Absence | Photos by Chris James Ryan

The band took the time to slow things down to play a song that could be considered a ballad or perhaps a moment for everyone to sit in quiet contemplation, something this genre is known for. ‘In Circles’ was a much-needed change of pace without being a whiplash moment.

Jack from Void of Vision joined Holding Absence to play their heaviest song, ‘Aching and Longing’, and their chemistry was perfect. These bands have been touring with each other for a significant amount of time and it would be very easy for lesser bands to botch a song like this that is somewhat different from their usual style but they knocked it out of the park.

Holding Absence | Photos by Chris James Ryan

Feizel from Loathe joined the band to play ‘Penance’, he fit the band perfectly as they breezed through an almost progressive-sounding epic that seemed to cover almost every spectrum of emotion and sonic idea the band had invoked throughout this set. Loathe could be one of the biggest new acts to come out of Liverpool in a very long time and to see their members lending support to newer acts and the local scene is an amazing sight to see.

Holding Absence | Photos by Chris James Ryan

The band ended the show with the ultra-emotional track, ‘Wilt’, which felt as grandiose as a closing song should with its slow build-up, stomping bass and ethereal synth work working in tandem with Lucas Woodland’s haunting vocal performance. The band’s talent is on full display as songwriters and performers in this track and it makes them easy to recommend purely on the strength of this track.

Holding Absence are a band that are quickly gaining notoriety in their genre, whichever one you would consider them doesn’t particularly matter, their dedication to pushing boundaries and forcing their way into a scene that is deathly afraid of experimentation is as admirable as it is inspiring.

Holding Absence | Photos by Chris James Ryan
Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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