w/XXX Audio, Two Gallants
Sat Jan 8, The Vera Project, 7:30 pm, $7 w/club card/ $8 without.
Act 1: Red velvet curtains parting, acoustic guitars plucked, strings swelling, cymbals crashing, and then… flutes, coaxing fairies from the folk forest surrounding the Dickensian-dressed, Renaissance- rousing cast of this musical crew. Act 2: A swift turn toward what the local band calls "Pagan glam-rock," where frontman Conor Kiley trans- forms from his clean-cut, amber-haired façade to his inner Bowie, all verbal theatrics and falsettos haunted by the hint of a British accent while the modern age of electric instrumentation sparks around him. Welcome to the realm of Holy Ghost Revival, where all the world's a stage, and they simply write the score.
With their operatic approach to rock 'n' roll, HGR hold court in a kingdom all their own. Pulling from Alice Cooper, Blue Öyster Cult, and earthy folk as much as they liberally sprinkle on the Ziggy Stardust, the band craft grandiose material without succumbing to pretension. And yet they've managed to remain mainly behind the curtain in local music; HGR are the group other musicians praise, but they've yet to attract their own mass audience. All of that could change, though, with the spring 2005 release of their new, as yet untitled record, out on Johnny Cat Records (three songs from that record are available for download at www.holyghostrevival.com)--an album that could easily steal the show in Seattle. In the meantime, their musical drama deserves to bask in the spotlight.