Hollowstar - Live at the Robin 2 in Bilston, UK, 7th November 2018

How many times have you been to a gig to see the main act and ended up seeing a support band that blows you away? Having set out to see Dan Reed Network on his opening night of his new tour at The Robin 2 in Bilston, I can honestly say that this is exactly what happened on that cold and rainy night. I had discovered a brilliant, relatively new band called Hollowstar, who were given the honour of getting the party started.

This four piece band from Cambridgeshire have already created themselves a pretty good following in the three years they have been together. There were already a number of hardcore fans in the queue to get in and from the conversations going on it was clear that some of them were following this lively quartet around the UK on this supporting tour. At one point the band came through the doorsand spent some quality time talking to their fans and discussing how they felt before the gig

Once inside, the expectant audience started to build and waited patiently for Hollowstar to get the night started. The lights dimmed as the PA started to crank up the volume and before you new it the band were straight into the opening song Money. Huge cheers erupted as they moved swiftly onto the first track off their debut EP Lay Down. This classic hard rock band with clear bluesy undertones, were up and running. The huge rocky vocals of Joe Bonson with his pumping bass are complimented perfectly by big punchy riffs from the two guitarists Phil Haines and Tom Collet. All this was against a backdrop of thumping drums and crashing cymbals from their drummer Jack Bonson. 

The opening riff on New Age Lullaby makes for an altogether more gritty sound and the crowd loved every minute. The sound changes again with delicate precision guitars playing in a more mellow way as they move onto Feel The Burn. This track when played live makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck before it slams into some beautifully heavy guitar riffs in the chorus. 

The band were clearly enjoying their night of glory and were on fire as they moved onto their two singles for this year in Let You Down and All I Got You. As they exited the stage at the end of this glorious 30 minutes there was only one thing for it…..off to the merch stand and buy the EP.

At the end of the night I meet up with the band and spent some time talking to Phil and Tom, the two guitarists. 

Phil explained "All I want to do is be in a band that makes the type of music that I would want to play in my car. It has been hard work to get to this point, but we have build a solid base of fans and this is growing all the time". 

Well you can add one more to the list after watching them perform tonight.  He is living the dream and does not miss the hard graft of working on building sites, "being a bricklayer used to play havoc with my fingers" he laughed. 

When asked about the future Phil said "In 2019 we are going to be making our first full album and it will be that CD I have always wished to have. God help the stereo in my car!".

These guys are full of enthusiasm, play some brilliant sounds and have big ambitions to reach the top. Somehow I think 2019 is going to be a massive year for Hollowstar and that first headline tour will be just around the corner. 

Words and photos: Martin Woodbridge