Steady Holiday


The support at Castle Hotel tonight is the terrific Malena Zavala, playing without the usual full band at her back. The solo performance works wonderfully as her delicate voice drifts over a delicate touch to the guitar. It has a sweet 80’s prom feel to the sound, a serene start to the night.

Dre Babinski, performing as Steady Holiday, is not alone on stage. She has brought along Derek Howa. Dressed in jazzy sequins, he adds a panache to the evening as well as taking on a menagerie of synths and drum pads. Steady Holiday has a mesmerising and hypnotic sound. A calming, hushed voice floats over wispy chords that lift you up into a daydream, while the reverb surrounds and encases you in an almost 60’s vibe. The music is otherworldly. It’s surreally cinematic and could comfortably overlay a Lynchian film, or at times even film noir.

There are only a handful of us in the modest space of the Castle Hotel, but those in attendance are lucky, the set is superb. Tracks such as ‘Terror’ have the dual ability to draw you in, captivating while at the same time being a little unsettling. Soft vocals over eerie and haunting synths. The delivery is perfect and they easily recreate the full feel of each track’s album counterpart.

Although Steady Holiday deserve a large crowd for the brilliant music being produced, the small gathering allows for a more connected, informal relationship to those on stage. The music is vivid and the gaps between the sparse crowd allow you to freely bask in the delectable range of sounds delivered. The vivid and atmospheric melodies aren’t the only thing to emanate from the stage and there is a definite grove to sway to. Babinski shows her performing prowess in multiple ways, the violin, guitar and her tender singing capabilities coolly luminate the darkened room. The complex arrangements are easily and effortlessly handled between the two.

Peaking the evening with ‘Mothers’, the set is alluring but short lived. For an artist that now has 2 albums, with the imaginative concept album Nobody’s Watching having been released this month, the short set time is a little confusing and disappointing. I hope to see Steady Holiday travel back to Manchester from their Los Angeles home ground again in the future, so that a larger crowd can delight in a spell binding performance.

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