Review: Black Honey @ Stereo

Published

Credit: Creative Commons

Dylan Tuck
Culture Editor

As part of a series of varied events around Scotland this March put together by Sailor Jerry, Black Honey put on a sold-out headline show at Stereo

As part of a series of events in and around Glasgow and Scotland run by Sailor Jerry, Black Honey put on a dramatic headline show in Glasgow’s best basement venue – Stereo.

With the offer of a free rum and mixer on arrival, many punters were present to take the offer on board. Doors at 8 pm meant this was likely to be a late one, at least in terms of gigs, but not many seemed to care. Tonight’s main act are fast-rising to become one of the best underground indie-rock outfits in the UK, and at a luxurious price of £5 per ticket for a show in such a concentrated and small venue is nothing short of a steal – it’s no wonder so many people filter in for doors opening.

Things took a little while to get going mind you. The first and only band supporting, CRYSTAL, didn’t hit the stage until 9:30, not that many seemed to mind killing time with copious amounts of rum and ginger (me included). Yet, as soon as the Glaswegian four-piece stepped out, they took a hold of the night by the scruff of the neck. Their infectious driving grunge twinned with fierce attitude is a great combination, and the heads bobbing around the room seem to agree with that sentiment. Add to that some killer hooks, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous opening act, and a solid Glaswegian band to really, really keep your eyes on.

A short break for some more rum and a changeover of bands, before three quarters of Black Honey step up, shortly followed by the band’s charismatic singer Izzy B Phillips, rocking an excellently eccentric beehive hair-do. With a look as strong as that, the music has to be good to back it up, and thankfully, she and her bandmates are more than capable of delivering the goods. Playing a host of tracks taken from their eponymous debut album, the band translate the record’s silky hooks and bite of badass choruses effectively to a live setting, certainly without losing any production values or the tracks’ smooth sheen.

“Bad Friends”, “Midnight”, “Hello Today” and “Crowded City” are notable highlights, all topped by trademark, triumphant choruses and delicious melodies. While the crowd aren’t constantly moving (not enough rum yet, perhaps?), there’s a good atmosphere around the room, many choosing the old fingers pointed to the ceiling sing-along routine as opposed to full-on pit chaos.

Phillips fully owns the stage here, mind you. Her confident approach is capitalised by her rich, woozy vocals that never miss the mark, and serves as a captivating figure to watch as she prowls across the stage. Her get-up matches her soft, nonchalant delivery too, often giving it the old “too-cool-to-care” look, but it fully fits and only makes her all the more enthralling to see perform.

As the final echoes of her sickly-sweet voice rings out around the place, bodies begin to filter out, stomachs full of rum and ears packed with good tunes. That’s what I, and many others in attendance, would call a good night.