Fresh from recent single ‘Ready for the Magic’ being used on Sky Sports football highlights, Scottish due Honeyblood arrived at Sheffield venue Bungalows & Bears in the mood to party. A packed to the rafters venue was happy to oblige them. Before Stine Tweedale and Cat Myers stormed the stage, support band Eat Fast made an almighty racket that served as an odd precursor to the more melodic headline act. The band formerly known as ‘EAT’ channelled early Cribs at their best but a set plagued with sound issues did little to endear the band to the Sheffield crowd. One to watch for the future though perhaps.
Honeyblood also seemed to have sound issues when setting up and took to the stage 10 minutes late with the crowd growing impatient. All that tension was emphatically released within the first few frantic chords of ‘Ready for the Magic’ however and fellow new track ‘Love is a Disease’ confirmed what most of us already knew. It was to be a great night with a truly special band. Tweedale keeps on stage banter to a minimum but rare interactions with the crowd exude a warmth and genuineness that comes with a never ending touring schedule playing small venue like Bungalows & Bears. That being said, it is easy to imagine Honeyblood following in the footsteps of their identically suffixed male doppelgängers Royal Blood, and playing arenas in the not so distant future.
As good as the new songs were, the Sheffield punters were hungry for something they could sing along to and the Glaswegian band obliged with a storming rendition of ‘Choker’. ‘Why do I feel so bad?’ croons Tweedale, her smiling fans respectfully disagree. We feel amazing. From there, Honeyblood run through most of the upcoming second album Babes Never Die and if this set is anything to go by we could be looking at an album of the year contender. I grew to love the bands eponymous debut album eventually but it took me a while to get into it. I found the spiky, minimal sound a little impenetrable. There is no doubting the new songs are straight up pop songs though. Cat Myers exemplary drums make sure Honeyblood will always keep their indie street cred but this is pop music plain and simple. Fucking brilliant pop music at that.
‘Fall Forever’ and a pounding version of ‘All Dragged Up’ precede the set highlight of new single ‘Sea Hearts’ and title track ‘Babes Never Die’ before Tweedale and Myers treat us to one more. ‘Killer Bangs’ was always Honeyblood’s best song but it never felt like a show stopping set closer when I have seen them previously. The Honeyblood of 2016 is a different beast however and it is no surprise that the song is met with crowd surfing and a moshpit down at the front.
A fitting end to an exceptional night. If you get a chance to catch Honeyblood at one of the smaller venues on their current tour then take that opportunity with both hands. You wont get it again.