Support for the night comes from Johnny Lloyd – the ex-lead singer of the late indie-rock band Tribes. I was a huge fan of Tribes back in the day and now-solo Lloyd carries a similar vibe. His newly released track ‘Hello Death‘ is a great song and is to feature on his new EP set for release in May, produced by Jamie T no less, as well as mixing and production from Hugo White of The Maccabees, the big names are all over this guy – and for good reason too.
During his set I also find myself stood next to Black Honey‘s leading lady Izzy Baxter. It’s not often I spend the support act next to the lead singer of the main band. The band themselves are somewhat enigmatic and, despite best efforts to remain an underground band, the venue tonight is sold out and full of teens wearing band merch and t-shirts. If it’s still Black Honey‘s aim to individually not become famous, they’re doing a cracking job, as she slips to the bar and away again unnoticed. But the mystery is not the full allure of the band, and their garage-indie-rock tracks are really substantial and – I have a feeling – will sound even better live.
Still in awe of Lloyd’s set, the crowd breaks into woops and cheers of elation as a bright pink flamingo gets carried on stage. The fun is about to begin. The female fronted indie-rock four piece take to the stage and say their hello’s. ‘Spinning Wheel‘ opens as captivatingly as a dreamy lulluby, and quickly breaks with a screech into a frenzy of guitar and rocky-surf chords. Baxter is everything you want from a lead – very talented, very confident and badass as hell, with ‘GIRLS ONLY’ scrawled on the front of her guitar showing she’s doing it for the ladies. Her atmospheric/gloomy vocals are almost Lana-Del-Rey-esque against the rock melody, but she carries herself with less of a woe-be-me vibe and more of a middle finger vibe, screaming into the mic and head banging throughout the set.
Similar to the Lana Del Rey comparison, the band too have an air of performance about them. It’s very reminiscent of another time. The track ‘Teenager‘ brings a almost festival vibe, and by this time an inflatable flamingo has appeared in the crowd and is doing somersaults above people’s heads. The song itself is sultry and summery, and in true festival style, a guy decides it’s a spot-on time to start taking his clothes off and throwing them in separate directions into the crowd. Usually, this would be weird, but here streaking seems permissible – sensible even.
‘Bloodlust‘ brings on some softcore moshing, whilst ‘Corrine‘ slows things down a bit and gets the whole crowd swaying their arms in the air. Suddenly the raw terradactyl vocals are back to liven up the venue one last time for set closer ‘You Said It All’. The half naked guy from earlier makes his way on stage for a solo stage invasion and looks like he’s still having a whale of a time. “If you’re gonna get naked, there’s no better song to do it to!” Baxter says when the songs over. A fair claim.
Then the sweet cacophony ends – the group leave the stage and leave behind a presence that is encaptulatingly stylish & slick yet still echoes rock’n’roll. Now the veil has been lifted on this secret band and they’ve laid the elusive tactics to rest, I feel the future is bright for these guys. They may not enjoy the digital age/commercial side of music today, but regardless they have a growing fanbase, great charisma and (although they are in no rush to release it) I can’t wait to see what their debut album brings. Black Honey are amazing.