Review: Holy Loaf/Public Practice/Heavy Rapids at Sneaky Pete’s

Sneaky Pete’s during Independent Venue Week (IVW) always serves up a potent mix of bands that blast out the defining message of the week: small venues make great bands, so lose them at your peril.

This year was no exception with Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq kicking off IVW from Sneakys on Monday and the venue packed throughout the week.

On Saturday night, it was the turn of local band Holy Loaf, NYC’s punk-funk outfit Public Practice, and one of Glasgow’s hottest up-and-coming bands, Heavy Rapids.

Three-piece Holy Loaf from Edinburgh had the early slot and took the growing crowd into interstellar overdrive with Buried Alive, the heavy bass sound reverberating off the walls before morphing into the instrumental Need Bank.

The songs were hard driving and compact, with Horoscope bringing out a more melodic twist. The set ended with My Mind Is A Garden and the audience were nicely warmed up for the next band, Public Practice.

This Brooklyn based four-piece could have come from the heady days of CBGB’s with their cool urban punk-funk already creating a stir and attracting a following beyond NYC.

Lead singer Sam York prowled the stage with confidence and swagger straight from opening song Into the Ring. It’s a message of intent from a band who bring together the more obvious influences of Talking Heads with disco style grooves and jangly punk to create their own distinctive sound.

Fate/Glory followed and the crowd were hooked. This is music to move to and the band continued to whip up the audience into a dance frenzy. The closing song, Foundation, is a belter, a tight funk vibe with a talk-sung vocal which brought a huge roar of approval.

This is a band to look out for – start by listening to their excellent four track debut EP, Distance Is A Mirror.

The night was not over yet as Heavy Rapids took to the stage. Formed in 2017, this Glasgow four-piece have gained a big reputation and following in a short space of time, earning them a place at this year’s Live at Leeds.

From the opener, Guns Suck, the band blazed through a high-octane set and there was no let up as Sneakys was treated to a dose of blitzkrieg bop that threatened to tear the place down.

A blistering rendition of their first single, Going Down, took the crowd to a new high. They screamed for more and the band responded with Money For Power, followed by Paisley Pattern. It was wave after wave of guitar riffs with the crowd loving it.

Hugger Mugger brought a wild and sweaty night to a rousing close. Heavy Rapids are a band going places.

And yeah, small venues definitely make great bands. 

Words: Alan Hotchkiss

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