Reviewed on Thursday September 19

“My girlfriend got me a present before the show,” states lead singer Simon Jones at the beginning of the gig. “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, I think she thinks I’m really nervous.” Which he evidently was. But no matter, the crowd at Goodgod seemed to compromise 80 per cent family and friends, and 20 per cent randoms, so the audience responded with appropriate amounts of good-natured heckling and cheering. It made for an intimate night within the confines of Goodgod’s den-like Danceteria – a perfect opportunity for the band to demonstrate just how far they have come in the last few years.

The Holidays’ debut release Post Paradise saw the four-piece hit Splendour, SXSW and Laneway. It was an album that propelled them into the Sydney gig scene, but even then the crowds were pretty sparsely populated. But I do remember having an amazingly rollickin’, percussive good time at those early gigs, happily floating along to the tropical tunes and breezy guitar riffs.

In 2013, the boys are producing a much more grown-up sound. Although there are still elements of the pina-colada-flavoured, happiness inducing poppiness, it’s harder, much more prickly around the edges and much less easy to dance to. But it’s also richer, and the intimate, completely packed out venue allowed the band to really showcase their new sound, accompanied by Jones’ endearing between-song banter.

The gig was an even mixture of Post Paradise and tunes from the new album, due to be released in 2014. ‘Voices Drifting’, the lead single, was a standout as Jones crooned, “And I like you ’cause / You don’t care too much / You say what you want / You go where you want.” I couldn’t help but be nostalgic for the old album though, and the crowd seemed to agree. The party really only started when the band got into old tracks like ‘Golden Sky’, ‘Moonlight Hours’ and ‘Broken Bones’.

Maybe it’s not so much fun growing up after all.


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