The Holloways - 53 Degrees Preston - 6.3.07

The venue is only half full tonight which surprises, as anyone who has heard the Holloways will know that these plucky young lads deserve a much wider audience. Bizarrely a helicopter sound effect (much more of a hip hop device than for the intro to an up and coming indie band) marks the arrival of the Holloways. The four piece just look like typical students with much of tonight's audience looking exactly the same as the band on stage, the sort of charity shop look that is effortlessly cool. They share with the Kooks and The Fratellis a skill for instantly catchy pop songs with witty lyrics and rumbustious hi-jinks yet the Holloways are much more musically diverse like say The Wonderstuff. In their midst they have a musician who is a dab hand at playing the fiddle elevating a rootsy folk tinged aura to the music.

The band next single "Dancefloor" is more of a straight forward, typically safe stab at chart success. It ticks all the right boxes but it feels too much like any other indie song written by a committee, intent at pleasing the fans at the expense of any flair or imagination. "Diamonds and Pearls" makes up for it though with a touch of the Levellers style and panache.

Alfie is not your typical rabble rousing frontman. He's natural, charming and just acts naturally rather than putting on a performance like so many other leaders in bands tend to do nowadays. An honest song about the fickle nature of relationships is the humorous "Fit For A Fortnight" which is all about falling in love then getting bored after two weeks. Other songs have a funk based sound which works successfully but the slower more textured tracks are much more beguiling. With pitch perfect harmonies, masterful riffs and a chorus so instantly recognizable that will have you joining in straight away, the song in question has to be "Generator" which sees everyone dancing.

These musical magpies of mirth and merriment then saunter off stage but with their biggest hit already performed what on earth can they do to keep up the momentum? If you're in the The Holloways, then it's not a problem. "London Town" is heavy duty jubilant rock. Playing a solid set for a good hour The Holloways entertained majestically and will be welcome back anytime

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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