As the sun set on a dismally cold day in West Yorkshire, music fans descended on the neon splendour of Leeds’ Belgrave Music Hall to catch an evening of 70’s-nostalgia inspired indie pop and scuzzy shoegaze. Black Honey, originating from Brighton, are composed of members Izzy, Chris, Tommy and Tom and have exploded onto the indie scene carrying a Tarantino-esque sound on their back, providing a live experience worth shelling out money for.

First to take the stage were Brothers Water (not the small lake in the eastern region of the Lake District, but a highly accomplished ensemble hailing from Cumbria). “If you like our band and you want to be involved with what we are doing, then we welcome you with open arms and a kiss on the lips,” reads their website, and their sound was indeed as wild and dark as the steep valley they’re named after.

Next up were Dream Wife: a mosh pit-inciting girl-empowering edgy pop outfit from Brighton and Iceland who have written some corkers in their short time together – they’re named after the 1953 film of the same name (pre-liberation, but with a feminist garnish). If you throw Debbie Harry and Kathleen Hanna together, added a sprinkle of summer pop and then let the colours bleed together a little, you’d get Dream Wife. The Leeds crowd responded with force to the riff-tastic ‘Kids,’ and the line ‘I’m gonna tough you up, gonna cut you up, gonna fuck you up’ in ‘F.U.U.’ was spat out with such ferocity by lead singer Rakel that grown men in the audience visibly quivered at the sight of these kick-ass girls.

 

By the time Black Honey took to the stage, the audience were teetering with excitement to see the ensemble on the last night of their tour. Lead singer Izzy appeared to be mourning this ending, wearing a sombre black dress instead of her usual glittered-suede-tasseled-flared dress sense; clothes aside though, the focus was on her dreamy vocal which she can warble high and low, sensually and screechingly, and fully stretched to its limit. That indeed has not changed, and I’m sure never will.

The band kicked off with ‘Madonna,’ an anthemic summery tune which the Leeds crowd knew well; before long, the band had stormed through many of their hits including the heartwarming ‘Sleep Forever’ and ‘All My Pride.’ Izzy seduced the crowd with her self-assured and seductive gaze, commanding the room into a kitsch-Americana furore as the self-titled song ‘Black Honey’ ripples across the sold-out 200-capacity. It’s a big moment for the foursome; this tour has been monumental for them, and the joy and pride is written on all of their faces as they smash through crowd-pleaser ‘Spinning Wheel.’

 

Before the final song ‘Corinne,’ support band Dream Wife joined the band onstage, presenting guitarist Chris with champagne and cake, imploring the crowd to sing him ‘Happy Birthday.’ The tender friendship between the band members is palpable, and the last song is explosively joyful, with the crowd bouncing off the energy onstage.

With their name emblazoned in lights on stage, a sold-out tour under their belts yet a retained air of sincerity and gratitude, the Honey’s are only going in one direction – and that is up.

Originally posted on The Indiependent

Photo Credit: Antonia Marsh

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