HOLY MOLY AND THE CRACKERS – Take A Bite (Pink Lane Records)

Take A BiteHoly Moly & The Crackers release Take A Bite on April 5th. Sometimes it brings a smile to your face to see a band grow and develop – for me, this is one of those bands. “All roads lead to the stage. It boils down into one manic, riotous party. That’s where we connect with the audience and with each other and that’s what we’re all about,” says the band’s Conrad Bird. I saw them a couple of times a few years ago playing local halls when a friend put them on as part of Nottinghamshire’s Village Ventures events. In a live performance, Holy Moly don’t half give an exuberant concert.

They are now a six piece band – fiddle, guitar/electric guitar, trumpet, accordion, bass and drums with an energetic sound – “foot-stomping folk pop” is their description. Take A Bite is Holy Moly and the Crackers’ third album and it moves them on from their folk/blues/indie origins to more mainstream music.

There’s a diversity of songs on the album from the massively up tempo ’Sister’ or ‘All I Got Is You’ – which you can hear in the video below – to the slower beauty of ‘I’d Give It All’. Holy Moly and the Crackers began in Newcastle in 2011 as “little more than a laugh” but over the years have kept their energy and become more than a bunch of mates playing together, their playing honed in the old-fashioned way by years of touring and it gives the album much of the dynamism and strength of their live performances.

They describe Take A Bite in words reminiscent of a graduation or the end of an apprenticeship: “We’ve arrived at a place here, with this album, where we can start the journey that we want to be on”. Certainly this album raises the bar. They are on tour from April 4th – 21st, mainly in the North and Scotland, and in places with a great musical history – the Welly, the Musician, the Greystones et al.

It’s a couple of years since I’ve seen the band but if you like the liveliness of ‘All I Got Is You’ you can see there’s more than a fair chance you’ll have a good night if you can get to see them live.

Mike Wistow

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Artist’s website: https://www.holymolyandthecrackers.com

‘All I Got Is You’ – official video: