Along a dark, nondescript strip in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn sat Baby’s All Right, a bar/restaurant with its name in bright neon green block-lettering to separate it from its neighbors. The feel inside is a combination of juke joint meets refurbished diner, complete with thick wooden tables, submarine portal windows, and swinging doors reminiscent of Happy Days (Google it kids). On this night I was here to see the rising stars of Haelos fresh in from the UK on their Full Circle Tour.
There she stood – still, in barely enough light to see a faint outline of her golden hair and the headstock of her acoustic guitar. Still, as the audience would soon become, and still as I begged my heart to be having understood that I was witnessing a sure-fire superstar waiting to happen.
Holly Macve, the folk talent from Yorkshire, England was in New York for the first of two sets she’d be playing that night with the one at Baby’s being her first ever in the United States. She performed a select five, including the emotive “We Don’t Know Where We’re Going,” “Corner of My Mind,” and a cover of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” that one would have to hear to believe.
As for Holly herself, her stature and demeanor are as modest as her social media following. With that being, find her online, see where she’ll be next, and see for yourself. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
All eyes were fixed on the green room door and anticipation grew with each roadie’s sound check. The lights came down and an ominous voice with a grim message about social justice came over the speakers. The voice was joined by music and soon after followed by Haelos as the 6 arrived to an overwhelming ovation.
The band established themselves as personable and friendly by engaging in brief dialogue with the intimate crowd. Their ability was evident immediately and demonstrated with dual percussionists, a trio of vocalists, members on bass and keyboard, and just about everyone entering their own sound groupings electronically. It was nothing less than a virtual clinic of musicianship.
The primary vocal is an entrancing female sound flanked by male harmonies, and the level of skill behind what the Haelos do is as impressive as it is clean. Attendees were treated to a post-performance bonus when each band mate hung out to chat and sign CDs.
To have been there is what I imagine the British Invasion (not that one, the good one) felt like once upon a time. If this is indeed that, count me in for the takeover.