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Holy Ghost & Friendly Fires – On Board/Hold On review

Artist: Holy Ghost & Friendly Fires
Title: On Board/Hold On
Label: XL
Genre: Rock/Indie
Format: 12″, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

Two bands with a similar cross over between indie and dance fans, the plan to release a joint covers love-in apparently came from a casual meeting between the bands last July. Finally it drops this week, St Albans boys Friendly Fires going first up with their version of Holy Ghost’s Hold On. A DFA classic, this put Holy Ghost on the map (courtesy of some slyly sampled drums from Livin’ It Up by Bell and James). Friendly Fires however give it a totally different feel, with a stuttering beat and stabbing bass taking centre stage along with the Fires’ trademark penchant for layer upon layer of percussion. With the vocal delivered in an off-kilter manner, it’s only the tremeloed synth line that survives from the original, making it a pretty radical cover, but one that works at the same time.

Holy Ghost slow down the tempo on Friendly Fires’ debut single On Board and give it some serious disco action – adding arpeggiated keyboards and a deep bassline as well as some fierce snares. The mantra-like vocals of the original are perfect for a more dance-orientated tune, and Holy Ghost stay faithful to them, making good use of the catchy “don’t stop” chorus. An excellent idea all round, and two great covers to enjoy.

Review: Oliver Keens