Holy Esque - Broadcast
Live Review

Holy Esque – Broadcast, Glasgow

Highly rated Glasgow rockers Holy Esque are off to play at the world famous South By South West (SXWS) Festival in Austin, Texas later this month. It is a tremendous opportunity for the young band, and they have raised the funds for the trip themselves, with no help from any of the Scottish music bodies. This show was a combination of a fundraiser for the trip and a celebration of the band’s success – and they made it a tremendous night.

Opening act Father Sculptor, another young local band, got the night off to a strong start. Their dark, eighties inspired music is hard to define, taking influences from gothic, punk and electronic music to give a dystopian wall of sound. With a strong lead singer who hit the high notes well, a solid guitar and rhythm section and a melodic keyboard and synth edge they create a big sonic landscape. The music is largely slow and passionate and while there could perhaps be a little more variation between tracks, Father Sculptor are an engaging live band.

Holy Esque have come a long way in a very short time. As a live band they create a massive, powerful sound. Pat Hynes’ passionate and intense vocals growl and scream over the massive riffs that he and Hugo McGinley throw out with apparent ease. Ralph McClure on drums is a one man rhythm section, a blur in the dark at the back of the stage, while Keir Reid on keyboards and synth adds melody. There is something elemental and dark about the music, yet there is also a feeling of hope in the songs.

The band’s new EP was produced by Kevin Burleigh (Glasvegas, Simple Minds) who came along to a gig and enjoyed it so much that he wanted to work with them. Lead single St. was a highlight of a fine set, a burst of drums and some great riffs opening the track before the forceful vocal came in. Crowd favourite Rose got the biggest cheer of the night from a near capacity crowd who forced their way forwards towards the stage.

The dark underground venue added to the atmospheric feel of the music to give a tremendous setting, Smoke billowed across the stage, the band almost disappearing at time, but the music continued to flow. Holy Esque do not waste a lot of time on intros and banter, they let the music do the talking for them and the songs continued to come. The final flourish saw one last riff heavy barrage before the band left the stage in a massive howl of feedback.

Holy Esque have a fairly simple approach to live music, and play solid rock with passion and quality. Their live shows have to be experienced to comprehend the sheer raw power that they possess, and they have a big future in front of them. I’m sure they will be a hit at SXSW.

Venue: Broadcast, Glasgow
Support Band: Father Sculptor

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