Usually when walking into the Sound Academy, I am met with a stampede of bodies moving around, covering every inch of the floor, but I found it much different for a Supernova show. The venue had fenced off the rear and we were concentrated in front of the main stage, with a long fenced-in section for the patrons aged nineteen and older who wished to imbibe.
Looking to the professionally lit stage, I watched an adolescent shaking off his nerves and steadying his voice with every passing moment. It reminded me of what these shows are all about; giving the starting young bands an opportunity to perform in front of friends and family on the biggest sound system in Ontario, bringing together groups of every genre and fans from all walks of life.
As Holy Mind Funk prepared to get onstage, they laughed with nervous smiles before donning their instruments. Singer and bassist Chris Seymour slid on my borrowed Flatliners-imitation Wayfarer shades and started on point with my personal favourite, the high energy “Baby Boomer.” The crowd instantaneously started nodding their heads and shuffling along with the music.
With a name like Holy Mind Funk, you expect a pure funk band; yet I feel that these guys are Rock and Roll at its finest. Watching guitar player Adam Wood power his way through his solo licks, and having pedal monster Matt Killbourne rock his board with such confidence, you could definitely see the funk influence in their loud Rock and Roll sound.
Dancing and snapping away, I began seeing the typical cliques that form for these shows start to disappear as the crowd shifted their feet and moved closer to the stage. Chris, grinning and thanking the crowd for their warm response, quickly led into the tune “Desert Sessions,” a song that could be compared to the Arctic Monkeys. The performance left the crowd in awe.
After a quick introduction to the band members, they moved into “Spanish Egyptian.” Drummer Corey Hess led the way with his strong backbone beat. I listened to the guitar wail as Seymour’s voice filled the hall; the song ended quickly after an intense solo that left us wanting more.
The band had its start early on with Hess and Killbourne coming together to jam at the respective ages of 19 & 14. Seymour and Wood join the band last May; they have come along quite a journey in a short amount of time.
The band, advised by a stage hand that it would be their last song, decided to close with “Mama Funk,” a tune coming from a teenage Killbourne. A long-time favourite of the band, there were plenty of fans singing and bouncing along in the crowd. Most of the band was all smiles working their way to the end of their set, while Killbourne’s mouth mimicked the sounds of his guitar and wah pedal. After the last chord resonated through the room, the crowd gave a more than warm response as Seymour thanked the crowd and told everyone to come have a beer.
Holy Mind Funk has three songs available on their Bandcamp page; they plan to get into the studio soon to stack up their arsenal of material. You can follow them via their Facebook page or even on Instagram @holymindfunk to keep posted on any new shows or new material to be released.
Written & Photographed by Sarah Semple