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The Bloody Hollies, Cherry Bar

Gig Review: Sat 12 Nov 2011

Halfway through the Bloody Hollies set my friend Lucy turns to me and whispers, “They make me want to move to California!” She couldn’t have put it better because if gig on Saturday night at Cherry Bar is anything like what’s happening in San Diego, consider me there!

The support acts Bittersweet Kicks and Devil Rock Four each owned the stage with their own style of garage rock and both seemed genuinely delighted to be supporting the Bloody Hollies. There was one man who seemed a little more excited than everyone else, and that was the one touring the band, Cherry Bar co-owner James Young who eloquently explained, “They say never tour acts you love, only tour acts that are played on Triple J and sell a heap of records… well I say “F*** that! The Bloody Hollies are the best live act in the world.”

The man in the cowboy hat wasn’t over exaggerating; Cherry Bar must still be buzzing from the shows over the weekend, the music was outrageously good. For those of you playing at home, The Bloody Hollies are a four piece from San Diego. Their sound? Well, the term “rock and roll” is thrown around a lot, but for these guys it just seems right. It’s a little bit classic rock, a little bit garage rock and is served up with a side of blues and punk. Check them out (, you’ll see what I mean.

Hearing an announcement that what you’re about to see is the BEST LIVE ACT IN THE WORLD does pave the way for a certain expectation but to my delight, I wasn’t disappointed. After five albums and a hell of a lot of tours, these guys just get it. Belting through an hour of tracks, I was completely swept up in their show. It’s pretty incredible how hard each member of this band is working on stage, and how freakin’ cool, calm and collected they remain. Foot stamping, guitar heavy sounds complimented perfectly with howling vocals meant there wasn’t a single soul in Cherry Bar that was not up and moving.

This was the kind of live show that genuinely thrilled, from the loose antics of the Bittersweet Kicks to the tight, well balanced Devil Rock Four paving the way for the Bloody Hollies to blow our minds. One can only hope James Young can bring his favourite band back our way sooner rather than later so I can say “These guys are the BEST live act in the world” and share them with others.

- Tess Armstrong

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