MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…Holding Absence

Photo Credit: Fraser Taylor

They may be the new kids on the block but it’s not taken long for Holding Absence to turn heads across the country. Not only have they signed to Sharptone off the back of their two singles Dream Of Me and Permanent, but the band have tour dates booked that span the next couple of months seeing them share stages with Blood Youth and We Are The Ocean, as well as making their debut at Download Festival. We caught up with frontman Lucas Woodland to hear their stories from the road, from awkward traffic jams to travelling in pyjamas.

Favourite thing about touring:

A pretty typical answer – but it’s gotta be the shows! We love gigging, and when we’re away from the road we miss it hugely, so touring is all about the music for us.

Least favourite thing about touring:

We don’t mind the drives to be honest – it’s always nice to listen to some music, read a book and just have our own space for a couple hours a day… It’s probably the early mornings that are the hardest, as sometimes it can be a real pain to wake up crazy early to leave wherever you’re staying, and hard not be a little cranky for the rest of the day. We’re good boys, though! Not many other complaints from us.

Five essentials for the road:

1. It’s definitely a good idea to bring some time-consuming leisure items. For me it’s my Nintendo DS and a couple of comics; but whether it’s a few books or whatever, you spend so many hours in the van doing nothing that you need to make sure you’ve got something to stimulate your mind on those long journeys.

2. Towels. Man, I always forget about a towel.

3. A wash-bag. It’s super hard to not feel groggy every morning waking up in a van. I find washing my hair and brushing my teeth in a Tesco’s car park always keeps me fresh.

4. Hummous. That stuff tastes good with everything, and you’ll wanna be snacking between locations because McDonalds at every service station costs serious $$$ in the long-run.

5. Gear! It sounds stupid, but there’s nothing worse than arriving in Newcastle and realising your drumstool is back in Plymouth. Make sure you have a member who’s used to packing your van meticulously every night and someone who can idiot-check the venue a good few times before departure.

Your favourite way to pass the time:

Like I said, we all have our own little pastimes in the van – but nothing beats a good ‘beep’ of the horn. If you get ‘beeped’ at by a van for no reason in 2017, there’s a 1 in 5 chance it’s us.

“The Most”

Memorable moment:

We’ve had our fair share of memorable shows over the past few months. I feel like one of the most memorable was when we returned to Birmingham’s Subside venue. The first time we played was a tough show. There were 3 people there for us (it was my 5th show with the band) and at the back were a bunch of Metal elitists essentially heckling us… We still feel like we smashed it, but it was a hard one. Literally 2 months later we returned to a packed room and sold a load of merch. It was a really memorable sign of progression for us as a band and a real pat on the back.

Hilarious moment:

Haha…probably the time we crashed the van, and then seconds later, the insurance policy flew out the window on the motorway/ Poor Ash had to pull over on the hard shoulder and leg it across the M1 to pick them up. We were loving it though – the sun was shining and we were all in our PJ’s. Best day.

Embarrassing moment:

One time we were playing a show in Coventry and during one of the silent bits Ash [drums] shouted “Come on en!”. Absolute buzz-killer. Bin.

Outrageous moment:

Ok, so we were stuck in traffic on the way to Birmingham, having a dance and waving at other cars, as you do – when this bloke called ‘Yanto’, driving a 15-plate Lexus (definite drug dealer) started going crazy at us… We weren’t sure if he was joking, so we started giving him a big wave which left him fuming. It was absolute grid-lock traffic, so he actually got out of his car, having a go… It was super awkward as his lane had cleared up but he was just parked there flinging abuse at us. Finally after about 5 minutes he drove off and then 10 minutes later we saw him again… I kid you not, he started throwing padlocks at our van, it was actually pretty scary. We never saw Yanto again after that. The notorious Yanto.

Drunken moment:

Well, James is straight-edge, I don’t drink on tours because of my voice, Gio & Ash share the driving and I guess Fez feels awkward being the only drunk one… So generally speaking we aren’t ever that drunk. Pretty boring, but we do love a party when we get the chance! Hopefully Download Festival will be an interesting one, so come back to us in a couple months.

Rewarding moment:

Every show is a reward in this band right now, it sounds lame but we’ve progressed so quickly over the past 6 months and things are just going from strength to strength so we’re super grateful of every gig we play… We’re playing a sold out Tuffnel Park Dome in a few weeks’ time, so I can imagine that’ll be that little bit extra special for us.


Catch Holding Absence on tour at one of the following dates:


Thu 9th – CHELTENHAM – Frog & Fiddle
Fri 17th – NORWICH – Waterfront Studio
Sat 18th – PETERBOROUGH – Met Lounge
Sun 19th – OXFORD – The Cellar
Mon 20th – HULL – O’Rileys
Tue 21st – NEWCASTLE – Think Tank Underground
Wed 22nd – GLASGOW – Cathouse*
Thu 23rd – MANCHESTER – Sound Control*
Fri 24th – LONDON – The Dome*


Wed 5th – BIRMINGHAM – The Flapper
Thu 6th – BEDFORD – Esquires
Fri 7th – NOTTINGHAM – Red Room
Sun 9th – LEEDS – The Key Club^
Mon 10th – LONDON – Boston Music Rooms^
Wed 12th – CAMBRIDGE – Portland Arms
Thu 13th – CARDIFF – Clwb Ifor Bach
Fri 14th – LEICESTER – The Cookie
Sat 15th – CHESTER – Live Rooms

*w/ We Are The Ocean 
^w/ Blood Youth and Loathe

The band will also appear at Camden Rocks Festival, Download Festival and Amplified Festival.

A 30-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.