Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)
From the first notes of opener “Fall Forever,” it is clear that Honeyblood are a live band. They write off kilter indie pop songs around guitar and drum parts that translates smoothly to live performances. with the only noticeable differences between from the recordings coming in minor tweaks in delivery by singer Stina Tweeddale.
One of the first great impressions the band make is with Tweeddale’s voice. Neither she nor drummer Shona McVicar play timidly, so it does take significant vocal muscle to be heard so clearly over the music. And the clarity of her voice holds whether she hits the prettier melodies that carry most of the tunes or those with a rawer edge.
The other immediate impression Honeyblood make is their energy. With only a debut album under their belts and a few other songs that didn’t make the cut, it was always going to be a relatively short set, but they bounce through it with a consistent delight. Drummer McVicar has a smile on her face that sometimes is contorted by the furious effort of her playing; one particular turn in the middle of “Super Rat” earns her enthusiastic cheers mid-song. When she’s not playing, she can be seen dancing slightly from the seat behind her kit.
They are also very charming, if very negative about their native Glasgow, as initially evidenced when they introduced the track, “(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here,” as being about their hometown. But this self deprecation comes without any real negativity. They probably represent themselves better through the banter that revolves around drinking beer. For a band with a punky edge, the room has a very friendly vibe.
The audience is also curiously obliging. When the band ask them to step forward, they do. When they ask them to do dance during a song, they do. When Tweeddale asks them to sing a bit of encore “Kissing on You,” which she plays solo, they do. And when the evening ends on the early side, Honeyblood’s request that people come talk to them after the show is also readily met.