Plagued with financial difficulties, Sweden’s Holograms have been forced to cancel several UK shows over the past months. Finally, they have made it here for a full UK tour to play songs from their eponymous post-punk-influenced debut album. Holograms’ songs are dark and bleak, reflecting their money troubles back home. Up until just a couple of months ago, three of the band’s four members still worked part-time in a Stockholm warehouse. Furthermore, some songs talk of “desolation” and “a lack of hope” as well as open criticism of their native Sweden’s culture.
The band did not leave this desolation and misfortune back home. Arriving at the Bodega over an hour late, singer-bassist Andreas Lagerstrom explained that their van had been involved in a head-on motorway collision. After the show, he said that they would love to stay for Electric Banana, but they urgently needed to find someone to fix their van.
Leeds-based five-piece, Eagulls, opened the night with their brand of raucous, yet melodic punk. They played songs mainly from their self-titled EP, in addition to early single ‘Council Flat Blues’. Lead singer, George Mitchell, flung himself passionately around the stage, recounting tales of social deprivation, not dissimilar to those we would hear later from Holograms. Eagulls were energetic and highly enjoyable to listen to and could have a bright future.
Holograms entered the stage and begin playing songs from their debut album. Single ‘Chasing My Mind’ is an upbeat and catchy example of Holograms’ post-punk. ‘ABC City’ is a synth-heavy pop song, driven, as many of their songs are, by a series of pulsating basslines. ‘Hidden Structures’ has a synth line incredibly similar to ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, displaying very firmly where their influences lie. The set’s stand-out song ‘Astray’ finishes with a synth solo of two repeated notes, very much in the same vein as Buzzcocks’ ‘Boredom’.
Holograms are a band who wear their influences very much on their sleeve. They channel the best of British post-punk and combine it with the current Scandinavian punk scene. Let’s hope that they are able to return soon, hopefully minus any car crashes.
Alex is listening to The Wedding Present – ‘Dalliance’