Holy Fuck @ 100 Club

The basement walls of 100 Oxford Street have reverberated to the sounds of every possible musical genre in its 60+ years as a music venue. From its roots in the Jazz of Humphrey Lyttelton, through Punk and the Pistols, Indie, Afro, and R&B. Ornate frames decorate throughout with signed pictures of past performers – some long forgotten, others now icons – giving the place the feel of a musical version of “Sal’s Famous Pizzeria” from Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.

Tonight “Lo-Fi Electronica” can be added to the genre list along with that modern day phenomena the “Blog band”. Only the all conquering Radiohead can currently compete with Toronto’s Holy Fuck for the title of “most blogged about” band in the last year or so.

At either side of the drums sit two trestle tables groaning under the weight of ancient gizmo’s, gadgets, and keyboards all held together with gaffa tape. The unaware could wander in and mistakenly enquire if they’d take 50p for that old bit of a washing machine before realising it wasn’t actually a car boot sale. This is electronic music without the electronics, the ubiquitous glowing apple logo is no where to be seen, replaced instead with the vintage or the homemade.

In between tracks Brian Borcherd & Graham Walsh pull out plugs and switch toys as new gadgets appear fighting for space on the tables. Out with the bontempi keyboard in with the phaser gun, or in the case of Graham pulling strips of film through an old cine editing block (see pic from Nicole Blommers). What part the film strips play in the glorious noise whipped up is beyond me, but it’s a damn site more fun than someone hunched over a laptop.

A few songs in and both audience and band are working up a fine sweat. Bizarrely only the drummer remains dry despite laying down a relentless back beat almost the equal of the masters of the BIG drum sound, Battles (musically they have much in common too).

The highlight of the night is unsurprisingly “Lovely Allen” a track so grand and epic in scale that an online campaign has been launched to declare it as the new official Canadian national anthem.* Its one of those songs that soars to incredible heights only to explode into a cacophony of drum fills, violins, bleeps and whoosh’s.

If there is a fault then some mid set songs don’t stand out, blending into each other, but mostly tracks like “Super Inuit” will stay in the memory of all those present for many a year (or until they rush back next time the fuck visit these shores).

Holy Fuck

Myspace / HolyFuck.com / Holy Fuck Blog


Holy Fuck – Lovely Allen (Live on Radio One: Rob Da Bank)” (MP3)
Holy Fuck – In Session on BBC Radio One: Rob Da Bank)” (MP3)
Radiohead – Nude (Holy Fuck remix)” (MP3)Vote for it here


Holy Fuck – “LP”
Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen” (Single)


My flickr set of Holy Fuck @ The 100 Club
Nicola Bloomers of the PopScene blog has put some great pics up on flickr too

*Totally made up but its not a bad idea!

Holy Fuck @ 100 Club


Support act Free Blood devide opinion between those that consider a band pressing go on a backing track no better than glorified karaoke, and those that don’t give two hoots how the music is made as long as its this funky.

At first I felt I’d made a terrible mistake and gatecrashed some art students recreating that “K-rrazzy” youtube clip they’d posted last week, only this time they’ve got microphones in place of hair brushes. Wait for the machine to start the beat… now arch your back, over act and screech.

Its hard to be that harsh for long though as the sheer energy former !!!’er John Pugh puts into his performance wins you over. His mic lead’s so long you half expect him to wander up the stairs mid set and start serenading startled shoppers. As it is he’s content to explore the venue, collapse on the floor, or find the nearest table to clamber on and sing.
At one point he made good use of the pillar oddly placed right in front of the stage, wrapping his lead round and round any unsuspecting audience members leaning on it. There’s nothing like being tied to a post and personally serenaded by a large bearded man to leave a special traumatised look!

Their track “Grumpy” is a particular favourite, although the Found remix that someone kindly sent me has the slight edge on the live version. Found strip the track completely down, accentuate the cello and achieve a sparseness that’s chillingly good.

Free Blood – Myspace


Free Blood – Grumpy (Found remix)” (MP3)


Puregroove / Rough Trade