3rd December 2007
Monday night in Birmingham and 3000 people are crammed into the Academy to watch Queens Of The Stone Age plough through a set of psychedelic stoner rock while a few metres away in the bar next door just fifteen lucky punters get to witness one of the most entertaining and somewhat risky performances the venue has ever seen.
Hailing from Seattle and signed to 1965 Records (The View/Ripchord/Metros), Holy Ghost Revival could be forgiven for giving a half-arsed show, considering the amount of people that have turned up tonight. Instead they spend the entire set throwing shapes, interacting with crowd members, swapping instruments, snogging their label manager, falling to the floor and generally giving it 110%.
Frontman Conor Kiley mixes the swagger of Axl Rose with the charisma of Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood, all the while demanding your attention as he strolls around the audience, getting right up in their faces and at one point tying up a group of unsuspecting crowdmembers with his microphone lead.
The entertainment factor is certainly high but this is a band with tunes and musical talent to back it up. Songs like “Autumn’s Children” and “Green Raised Vain” brilliantly showcase the band’s baroque, 70s rock vibe yet sound in no way dated.
A band which is sure to get plenty more attention in 2008, Holy Ghost Revival may just be the group to bring the fun and excitement back to your local venue. Make sure you catch them when they return to these shores.
Words & Photos – Steve Gerrard ROCK PHOTO