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BAND OF HOLY JOY: Live in Bristol

BAND OF HOLY JOY – 23.11.17: Live at The Thunderbolt, Bristol

BOHJI’ve waited far too many years to see Band of Holy Joy so was delighted to finally have my hands on a ticket to catch them live at The Thunderbolt in Bristol.

A small, intimate music venue (fortunately selling Tribute Ale) was perfect for the gathering audience as the support act took to the stage.

A special mention to Short Stories, a duo of acoustic guitar and excellent bass playing, covering an array of subjects from Trump to the continual abhorrent treatment of women in society today. A great little set and the perfect warm up to the evening.

And so to the main event and Band of Holy Joy took to the stage and, just as it opens their latest album Funambulist We Love You, the band plunged straight into A Revivalist Impulse. Testament to sounding the same live as on record, it was the ideal opening to engage the crowd as well as get all members of the band into full swing.

The Land of Holy Joy upped the tempo some more but the whole set went up another notch with another track from the latest album, A Beautiful Cat. Lead singer Johny Brown and his unique vocal delivery came to the forefront as the audience response and movement grew in tandem.

The band were now effortlessly bouncing from song to song and the extended high tempo ending to I Have Travelled the Buses Late At Night really was a ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ moment – brilliant musicianship from all band members.

The standout track from the aforementioned new album is The Song of Casual Indifference was also a high point of this set. An excellent song touching on the exploits of Trump as well as, I’m guessing’ a personal journey for Johny himself – “what can I do to make you stay……….away?”

The encore began with the title track from the album and concluded with the Band of Holy Joy classic Who Snatched the Baby. Johny finished the set in amongst the audience which was a fitting end to an excellent gig where band and audience really did connect. He stayed to chat with people as they left and it was plain to see the appreciation of the turnout was equal on both sides.

A band that deserves far bigger audiences but as Johny explained afterwards, he just loves playing venues like this. It was a privilege to witness a unique band still sticking to what they know and what they do best.

Get to see Band of Holy Joy for yourselves. It certainly won’t be as long until I catch them again.

 

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