With The Holy Soul’s swampy, garage rock sound radiating heat from the stage, it didn’t feel like winter at all upstairs at the Sando band room. Dark, guitar driven ballads of murder, death and isolation managed to create a dramatic, tense ambience. They instinctively rely on dynamics, repetition and restrained menace to create a sound that carries on a tradition started by iconic Australian bands like The Scientists, Beasts Of Bourbon and The Birthday Party. A rumbling bassline heralded signature song Train that featured a ripping solo by guitarist Jon Hunter, with Kate Wilson’s drumming keeping the boys in check. It was a short but blistering set from the local quartet.
Staging two sets tonight, Kim Salmon performed the first set as a three-piece playing a repertoire of groovebased favourites from some of his past incarnations, of which there have been many, to an audience that moved along with reverence. He played three songs from his 1999 release Record, which he said sold the least number of copies despite getting the most airplay. I’ll Be Around was a highlight, showcasing some of Salmon’s dirtiest, bluesiest licks. Disconnected, also from Record, sounded raw and powerful minus the horn section that featured on the recording. The very sexy Cool Fire finished the set, rendered as only Salmon can, with intense restraint and humility.
A change of outfi t (well, T-shirt anyway) and drummer followed for the second set. No bassist this time, just Salmon on guitar with original Scientists drummer Leanne Cowie casually playing some Scientists classics such as Set It On Fire, I’m A Drop Out and the archetypal Swampland to name a few. As a retrospective, this show was great. We Had Love had the entire audience moving and for a moment it was like being transported back in time to the heady days of the ‘80s when it seemed like a good thing to party like it was 1969. It was a great live show from one of Australia’s most underrated and talented musicians.
(source => drum media 23/08/11, pg. 60)