Live Review: Black Honey – Liverpool

Black Honey

black honey copyright gaz jones14th October 2015, Studio 2, Liverpool

Words: Elena Katrina

Photos: Gaz Jones

It would be fair to say that from the first time I heard just the beginning of Black Honey’s debut single, Madonna, earlier this year I was I knew I was going to be a fan. I am a fan. We all have a huge blog crush and this gig was the only gig in my diary where I had to go, I HAD to go. I’ve seen Black Honey play twice so far this year and each time they took it up a notch, including when Izzy managed to get the whole of the Calling Out stage tent at Kendal Calling on their bums in a very muddy floor, mine included so I was excited.

Things only got better when I heard our good friend’s Scarlet were joining them as support and they proved their worthiness of such an accolade. They played the best set I’ve seen them play all year, and it’s been more than a few sets. It was exciting to see and hear them sound so tight and so good and their last song of the night was single, Anyway, and my god it’s such a tune. I mean, honestly it has killer radio hit all over it. It’s shoegazy it has a chorus that any band of the 90s and indeed since, would have killed for.

I wasn’t expecting to be seeing first band White Cliff though. A band we wrote about not so long ago with their track Young Lovers, again which they saved for last. A band who have a singer who sings falsetto as easy as he probably finds it to take a breath or walk down the stairs. This vocal just spills from him, it’s so effortless and impressive. The band formed at Liverpool’s LIPA, so it’s no surprise they’re so polished and tight. There was a hint of emo at times but for the majority of the set it felt like they were channelling some of the best of Britpop especially with the guitar work. I’ll admit I was feeling quite excited about what else they have to bring to the table.

black honey copyright gaz jonesBlack Honey though. Where to begin. It’s their dirty rock n roll, it’s Izzy’s almost psychotic blank stare as she stands, guitar flung around her back and mutters and sings. It’s all got an edge of something quite unsettling. Then there’s the tambourine throwing, from bassist to guitarist and back again later – one miss meant a few chuckles but the next catch gave way to a mighty cheer from the crowd.  And Jerry, their flamingo mascot, sits perched on his amp overseeing the whole affair. Obviously.

Their stage presence is mesmerising, their music equally so but all in easy digestible chunks. There was no introduction when they set foot on stage, the venue was full of people talking loudly and then out of no where you could have heard a pin drop as Izzy let the opening words of Spinning Wheel crawl across the PA, her vocal close and haunting. At other times they could easily take a riff and run with it, they have the capacity and skill to over-egg it all and go off into some overly long spun out guitar thrashings but didn’t. They do have guitar thrashings, don’t worry your pretty little head about that. What self respecting, vintage loving, flare-wearing garage rock band wouldn’t? I was pleased not to have to get down on the floor again. I mean I would have if it had been demanded of me – you do not mess with Miss Izzy on stage. Off stage she’s a different beast, a wonderfully friendly and deadpan flurry of intelligence and cool, but my my my her Black Honey persona is fierce. Her boys, as she calls them, don’t fight for the lime light and they don’t need to. I spot several little looks between members, showing that they’re enjoying it and have a great connection on stage.  Plus let’s not forget the tambourine!  Why have two when you can share one and have fun!

I can’t wait to see this band climb the ranks of venues across the UK, to get those amazing support slots and then to take over the whole damn place, the Ritz’s the Academy’s, those will all fall under the spell of Black Honey in months and years to come and I hope I’ll still get to stand at the front and think “bloody yes, yes yes yes!”



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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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