HOLY MOLY & THE CRACKERS – TAKE A BITE

Earlier this year, I saw Holy Moly & The Crackers live. “What kind of music was it?” my roommate at the hostel I was staying in asked me. “Sort of…folk rock?” is the guess that I hazard. “There was an accordian. And a violin. I danced a lot.”

It was the sort of gig that made me want to immediately book tickets for the next one. Singer Conrad Bird is a firecracker of a human, co-lead singer and violinist Ruth Patterson’s voice is miles away from the whimsical songstresses with faraway voices that you might normally associate with folk music – she was very much there to be heard. As you might be able to tell, it was the sort of gig that has since made me evangelical in my praise for the Newcastle based group.

And so, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Take A Bite’ ever since that night of big singalongs and flailing limbs – desperate to have a little slice of that same live feeling but from the comfort of my pyjamas.

‘Take A Bite’ does not disappoint.

Some albums ease you in. Starting off slow, maybe an instrumental track to kick things off. Holy Moly & The Crackers do not do that. They begin proceedings with ‘All I Got Is You’, the kind of song that makes you feel like you’re at that sweet spot at a party where all the people who didn’t know each other at the start of the night have started to crack jokes with one another and you’re contemplating nipping to the corner shop for extra supplies. It is a song made for dancing. It’s the song that you should use if you want to introduce somebody new to this band.

Things don’t slow down from there. ‘Upside Down’ is tougher than the opening track but no less enjoyable (by the end of it, I’m sure your friend will be a committed convert). The tone changes in’ I’d Give It All’ (I like to think of it as a chance for listeners to rehydrate while appreciating the vocal prowess of Patterson – proving that her voice is just as suited to sumptuous solo as it is folk swagger).

This is an album filled to bursting with joie de vivre. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy what it has to offer – but, if you listen to ‘Take A Bite’ the way that I did, then by the time you get to the calming This Little Light, you should be just about ready to sit down and rest your dancing feet. And once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to book yourself tickets to a live show and well prepared to have a very good time indeed.

Holy Moly & The Crackers – Take A Bite: Out Now (Pink Lane Records)

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Sara Royle

Former newspaper journalist who has started dabbling in radio. Just returned to Manchester after a stint away in the wilds of Cumbria and hoping to use this reviewing lark as a way to find some of the best music that this lovely city has to offer and meet some creative folks along the way. Find me on Twitter @callmesara