How do I even begin to describe a band who mean as much to me as Have/Hold?! I’ll give it a shot hey 🙂
Melbourne unit Have/Hold are brothers Luke and Ryan Shields, recently added second guitarist Liam Davies and new bassist Reece Choucair. Their releases include a double single ‘Song For Bill Of The Trains / Dexamphetamine Blues’, ‘Calm Your Blood,’ the EP that made me fall head over heels for them and one of the best debut albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to in ‘King Salt.’ For me their sound has always been hard to pinpoint and describe to others but that’s one of the best things about them.
I came across Have/Hold as a result of wanting to check out all the support bands for Horsell Common’s reunion show in 2014, and boy am I glad I did. After almost walking out of the first show I went to before I knew what they looked like, to missing half a set when they played a show with Ceres at the beloved Rev, something about Have/Hold’s live shows kept me coming back for more. Over time, the effect that ‘Calm Your Blood’ had on me became more apparent and its intense beauty and sentiment is something that I still marvel at even after hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of spins haha. ‘Drunk Letter’ forever 👌🏼😍
I’ve always admired great lyrics and vocals and to be honest, they don’t always go hand-in-hand, but once in awhile I find that perfect balance and everything is right in my world. Luke Shields’ ability to write some of the most eloquent lyrics I’ve ever listened to reminds me that no matter how much I try, I will never be that talented in anything ever, while his vocals still basically smack me in the face every time I see Have/Hold live. There is a passion in Luke’s voice that will evoke a strong emotional response in anyone paying attention, and it was something that I similarily experienced when I first heard Trial Kennedy’s ‘War King’, Queen’s ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ and Regina Spektor’s ‘Samson.’
Have/Hold’s debut album ‘King Salt’ hit every expectation I had and then went beyond that. I remember Luke asking if I genuinely liked it or I liked it just because we had become mates and I couldn’t stop laughing at being asked that. A good handful of the songs had been played during their shows leading up to the album release, and I was so happy the ones I already loved had been included (Lithography, Resolutions, So Sang the Whale and The Old Country for those playing at home). The rest of the album however, proved to me once again why this band rank so high on my list. I’m not going to waffle on about it any more, I just urge you to give it a listen if you haven’t already done so.
I’m so grateful to this band, their partners, their friends and the Shields family for always welcoming me and for giving me a place where I feel so at home every time I see them. Thank you for everything Have/Hold 😊 I can’t wait for what’s to come 💖