The Verse’s Lennon Craig reviews Honeyblood at their show at Patterns Brighton on September 29th.
From the moment that the raucous Ready for The Magic is released on the crowd as a rip-roaring debut track, it’s clear that Honeyblood mean business tonight. Pleasantries remain few and far between during the early part of their set, as Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers set upon their audience with a menacing vigour.
That’s not to say their sweet and sour sound is getting the reception that their effort should earn, though. Perhaps it’s because it’s a Thursday evening, three weeks into the month long Fresher’s festivities that envelope Brighton at this time of year. Perhaps it’s the band’s willingness to play near the entirety of a record that’s not due out until November 4th. It might even be the worryingly high ratio of press to punters in attendance. Whatever it is, the crowd seem loath to serve up anything more than a tired head-nod by way of response.
They soldier on regardless, seguing anthemic lo-fi favourites from their self-titled debut like All Dragged Up with meatier cuts of garage rock from the forthcoming Babes Never Die, such as most recent offering Sea Hearts. Deprecatingly appreciating that much of their set tonight is something of an unknown quantity, the band wholeheartedly pile into songs that veer from sweetly romantic to hardhitting garage rock, gaining some reverence from their public as they proceed through the evening.
It’s not until the venomous mass singalong of Super Rat and the supercharged rendition of Killer Bangs that emerge after the band briefly leave the stage that the full potential of this duo can be glimpsed. The Seattle grunge scene’s feminine side is wedded to the rich Scottish tradition of observational shoegaze in a way that sounds familiar yet fresh, and is greeted to a rapturous reception as the audience finally awakens from its slumber.
Better late than never, yes, but too late still, as the band are soon saying their goodbyes. It may have been fleeting, but from the awesome power present when audience and performer walk in stride tonight, there are bigger and brighter days still to come for this band. It’s just difficult to dance to an unknown tune.