Simon Holmes (guitarist)

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Simon Holmes
Birth name Simon Carter Holmes
Born (1963-03-28)28 March 1963
Mordialloc, Victoria, Australia
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 13 July 2017(2017-07-13) (aged 54)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • producer
Instruments
Years active 1982–2017
Labels
Associated acts

Simon Carter Holmes (28 March 1963 – 13 July 2017) was the singer and lead guitarist for the Australian indie rock bands, the Hummingbirds (1986–93) and Her Name in Lights (2003–05).

Biography[edit]

Simon Holmes was born in March 1963 at Mordialloc Hospital to Neville and Eve Holmes. He grew up with an elder sister, Kerith, and a younger brother, Rowan. The family lived in Bentleigh, before shifting to Turramurra in 1967, before going overseas for three years, in upstate New York, where Holmes started school at Myers Corner. The family then moved to Geneva, Switzerland. He spent part of his childhood in Canberra, attending the AME School: an alternative education institution and then Hawker College. Holmes moved to Sydney in the early 1980s. He started studying anthropology and archaeology at the University of Sydney, but left after two years.

In 1981 Holmes, on guitar and vocals, replaced founding member Greg Suptut in Sydney-based punk rockers, the Exserts, until May 1983.[1][2] His musical influences include punk rock, psychedelia and new wave. During the mid-1980s Holmes was a member of Bug Eyed Monsters, alongside John Boyce on bass guitar and Mark Temple on drums.[2] In 1986 the trio formed the Hummingbirds, as a pop group.[3][4][5] Holmes described their name, "I don't particularly like but it stuck. We were in a hurry when we recorded our first single and it was innocuous enough for all of us. But it's an appropriate name — it's light and inoffensive and relatively memorable."[6] Soon after they were joined by Alannah Russack on guitar.[2]

Early in 1987 Robyn St Clare replaced Boyce on bass guitar and vocals.[2][3] The Hummingbird's debut single, "Alimony" (July 1987), was written by Holmes.[7] As of August 1989 Holmes was working in a record store (which was also his group's label), Phantom Records, while St Clare worked in a book shop and a coffee shop.[6][8] Holmes and St Clare became domestic partners and, in 1991, they had a child.[9]

The group's debut album, loveBUZZ (October 1989) via rooArt, peaked at No. 31 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[10] The Canberra Times' Kathryn Whitfield observed "he likes his music loud enough to rattle his bones and vibrate his internal organs, and judging by the somewhat speedy success of the band's debut album, loveBUZZ, there are a lot of other folk who enjoy the same experience."[8] Most of its 14 tracks were written by Holmes, although its lead single, "Blush" (August 1989), was co-written with St Clare.[11] It became their highest charting single when it reached No. 19.[10] The group issued a second album, Va Va Voom (April 1991), and disbanded in December 1993.[2][3]

During 1992, while still with the Hummingbirds he issued a single, "Strung Out", under the name, Revhead.[2] In the 1990s Holmes helped run an alternative culture bookshop and record store-label, Half A Cow, in Glebe and he also worked as a music retailer. As a record producer he worked on Custard's second album, Wahooti Fandango (July 1994), the Fauves' second album, The Young Need Discipline (November 1994, co-produced with Wayne Connolly) and Things of Stone and Wood's fourth album, Whirligig (September 1996, co-produced with Things of Stone and Wood, James Black).[2]

By October 2004 he was a member of Her Name in Lights, which issued their debut album, Into the Light Again, on Laughing Outlaw Records.[12][13] Holmes provided bass guitar, lead guitar, and pump organ; and also produced the album.[12][13]

Holmes died in Sydney in July 2017, at the age of 54.[14] Cause of death was not publicly announced.

References[edit]

General
  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 4 January 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[15] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition. As from September 2010 the [on-line] version shows an 'Internal Service Error' and was no longer available.
Specific
  1. ^ McFarlane, 'The Exserts' entry. Archived from the original on 25 July 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Simon Holmgren related entries at Australian Rock Database:
    • Simon Holmes : Holmgren, Magnus. "Simon Holmes". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
    • The Hummingbirds (1986–93): Holmgren, Magnus. "The Hummingbirds". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
    • Revhead (1992): Holmgren, Magnus. "Revhead". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
    • Custard (1994): Holmgren, Magnus; McCormack, David. "Custard". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
    • The Fauves (1994): Holmgren, Magnus. "The Fauves". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c McFarlane 'The Hummingbirds' entry. Archived from the original on 1 September 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Hummingbirds > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  5. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) "Holmes, Simon" entry.
  6. ^ a b Field, Gillian (31 August 1989). "Music Good Times: Canberrans Humming Along". The Canberra Times. 63 (19, 685). p. 28. Retrieved 13 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "'Alimony' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 13 October 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  8. ^ a b Whitfield, Kathryn (23 November 1989). "Showtime Good Times: Sticking Their Beaks Out". The Canberra Times. 64 (19, 769). p. 3. Retrieved 13 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Stafford, Andrew (21 July 2017). "Music: The Hummingbirds were a vital part of Australian music history. Simon Holmes will not be forgotten". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography The Hummingbirds". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  11. ^ "'Blush' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 13 October 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  12. ^ a b "Artists :: Her Name in Lights". Australian Music Online. November 2004. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  13. ^ a b Gyles, Soph. "Her Name in Lights: Into the Light Again". Oz Music Project (Jasper Lee). Archived from the original on 7 August 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Beloved '90s Band The Hummingbirds Guitarist Simon Holmes Passes Away". Themusic.com.au. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  15. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2010.

External links[edit]

  • "Remembrances of Simon Holmes": recollections by friends and colleagues of his significance in their musical development and of his generosity and wisdom.