The Cardiff five-piece comprised of Lucas Woodland on vocals, James Joseph playing bass, Ashley Green overseeing drums with guitarists Chris Smitheram and Scott Carey. Established in 2016, Holding Absence, have played consistently since throughout the UK and beyond.

With their strikingly emotive, eponymously titled, debut album still very fresh in our minds Holding Absence set off on their latest UK headline tour. Flick Of The Finger’s Katie Clare and Samantha Guess gleefully head to Manchester’s Rebellion to experience up close the Cymry cerddorion latest poignant work.

Opening tonight, also based in Wales, The Nightmares who’s debut (eponymously titled) EP releases on April 12th, take to the fog-filled stage, with confidence. Their balanced reverb indie synth-led sound is well delivered and stylishly arranged. While more dramatic rather than dynamic it does ignite movement throughout the increasing crowd.

There are so many curious and appealing aspects to The Nightmare’s you genuinely want to absorb what they are sharing. Those moments you can catch vocalist and guitarist Adam Parslow’s voice you are rewarded, however, it is so low in the mix (live) this happens too rarely. Definitely an impressive performance, however their words, were perceptibly missing.

Luke Rainsford is an amazing artist replete with his own brand of emotionally acoustic pop rock. His notable introspective lyrics, powerful hooks and musical skill make Rainsford a watertight warm up. The audience is immediately appreciative and singling along.

Not know for hiding their darkly atmospheric guitar melodies, tonight, Holding Absence distinctive sound resonates throughout the venue perfectly. Intensity pours in from Ashley Green’s lashed drums, James Joseph definite bass and Lucas Woodland’s vocally delivering a range of sonic delicacies layered with impassioned complexity as they open with Perish, Your Love Has Ruined My Life and Monochrome.

It is a relatively short set for a headlining band, however, you are not hard done-by with older tracks Permanent, Dream Of Me and Saint Cecilia taking up the middle set and spurning the stage divers and crowd surfers to do their thing.

Holding Absence display fine artistry in constructing a set that swells and crashes in varying intensity. Much like their album, they provide an absorbing and therapeutic release. Particularly with Marigold, Woodland holding the audience transfixed with a performance that resulted in more than a few tears stained cheeks in the crowd.

Holding Absence are not the easiest to categorize, I’m vexed to carve in concrete what any band or artist ‘do’ anyhow, however, Holding Absence moulds their own genre is such a way that it reaches way beyond interesting. With a core of melodic hardcore and rock – which is well formed with momentous power and energy. Holding Absence also conveys a strong reverb-laden indie rock and the drama and melancholy of post-punk.  Together they are creative, polished yet honest and I can wait to see where they take all this next.


Stay up to date with Holding Absence via Facebook and Twitter from where they tweet as @Holding Absence.

All Images by Samantha Guess. Please note: Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you wish to use/purchase or licence any images please contact Samantha Guess.