27th May | Rough Trade
Photos: Michael Brumby
The new look Honeyblood visited Rough Trade on 27th May as part of their No Drama tour, following the release of long-awaited third album, In Plain Sight.
In its previous incarnation, Honeyblood consisted of Glasgow duo, Stina Tweeddale, on lead vocals and guitar, and drummer, Cat Myers. After Cat’s departure, it was revealed that Honeyblood would continue as a solo venture for Stina. The pair had a great energy in their gigs, and I was slightly apprehensive about the change. However, despite playing a very short set, clocking in at half an hour, Stina was on top form and, along with her new touring band, played a very enjoyable show.
Although Cat was missed, the songs still packed a punch when performed by the new line-up, which features Debbie Knox-Hewson on drums and Anna Donigan, formerly of PINS fame, on bass. I was surprised that there wasn’t a larger turnout for the show, especially considering how big crowds have been for previous Honeyblood gigs I’ve been to, but those of us that were there enjoyed it immensely.
To start things off, the trio launched into a performance of ‘Sea Hearts’ from second LP, Babes Never Die, which had the audience dancing straight off the bat. The band played a good mix of songs from the first two records, including 2014’s ‘Super Rat’, which has a chorus that is impossible not to sing along to, and new tracks, ‘She’s A Nightmare’, ‘The Third Degree’ and ‘Gibberish’. The set ended with a personal favourite track of mine ‘Ready For The Magic’, which always goes down an absolute storm live, and we had the opportunity to meet the band afterwards, as they signed copies of the new album.
After listening to In Plain Sight in full for the first time after this gig, I found it to be a curiously uninspiring record in comparison to Honeyblood’s two older albums, with only the aforementioned ‘She’s A Nightmare’ truly making an impression on me. But Stina and the band will be returning to Bristol in October to play the album in full, so perhaps hearing its songs played live will make them much more memorable.
While this gig didn’t quite recapture the spark that Stina and Cat had at their shows, it was great to see Stina play again and her new band mates are excellent. Despite my misgivings about the new record, Honeyblood are still a band I would absolutely recommend catching live.
See Honeyblood play ‘She’s A Nightmare’ live at WFUV here: