Tag Archives: Honeyblood

Honeyblood – Honeyblood [FatCat]

The eponymous debut by Glasgow’s very own Honeyblood is a record that deserves all the attention it will undoubtedly get.

The duo, a staple of the Glasgow scene and spotted playing festivals from North to South on these isles, have struck strong and true with their self-titled debut album.

The excellent production of the album by the noted Peter Katis, brings out all the shimmers and groove in a band that makes neat work of low end in the absence of a bassist, which is perhaps most clear on ‘(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here’ where Stina Tweeddale’s sleek and luscious guitar lines give and go with Shona McVicar’s consistent and inventive drumming, this formula is most effective in the duo’s more melodic and sweeter numbers, ‘Bud’ being a perfect example of what Honeyblood excel at.

Tweeddale’s forlorn, bittersweet lyrics compliment her defiant and soulful vocals; all accented by a drum beat that’s so immediate it’s hard not to double tap your feet upon hearing it.

It’s this accomplished songwriting and playing to strengths that make this record such an easy and enjoyable listen, when the band speed up, they soar and are also able to display their musicianship in changing pace and being inventive, like towards the end of the infectious single ‘Killer Bangs’ and again on the album highlight ‘All Dragged Up’.

Perhaps from all the strongest cuts on the album, the crashing opener of ‘Fall Forever’ really is the band at full throttle, comparisons of Tweeddale to Jenny Lewis here are founded (as they are on a few cuts from the record), but here Honeyblood display all the hallmarks of a band that loves its Dinosaur Jr, that’s spent its days enamoured with early My Bloody Valentine, while on the jangling and punchy ‘Super Rat’ there’s some channelling of Malkmus and co, and not just musically but also in delivery.

The lyrics at times can seem naïve, too direct and lacking in a little invention, but it’s actually something that compliments the band rather than hinders it, the smirk and tone behind the lyrics serve to endear us to the band, get us on their side against the past lovers that stand trial here on numerous occasions.

Towards the end of Honeyblood, there is evidence of the band’s formula reaching its limit on the by-the-numbers ‘Joey’ and ‘Fortune Cookie’ but ‘No Spare Key’ is a must listen.

Perhaps one of the best things about this album is the fact they left their best effort on the record for last, ‘Braidburn Valley’ is the darkly romantic torch song you’d long for but not think to ask of from a band like Honeyblood, echoing Morrissey in his solo years, Tweeddale’s accent cracks through so sweetly now the instrumentation is stripped down and slow;  “this one looks just like a rose,” indeed.

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Words: Matthew Thomas

Radio 1 Big Weekend at Glasgow Green, 24/5/14

Feels like the eyes of the world have been beckoned on Glasgow this year, with the Commonwealth games coming up over summer and more imminently the big BBC Radio One Weekender featuring a plethora of the largest musical artists from both the United Kingdom and other far stretches of the world.

For those a little older, you may remember a time when Glasgow Green played host to Gig in the Green; the historic fields in the East End of the city would be transformed into a decadence of culture, colour and loud music every summer.

While those days disappeared almost a decade ago, it certainly brings back an airy assault of nostalgia as I approach the west entrance of the arena excited for the start of the weekend’s diligent shenanigans.

Upon entering the gates I quickly familiarize myself with the various stages and assemble towards the BBC Introducing tent via a sound blast of Bastille who for what it’s worth sound bang on the money this fine sunny Saturday afternoon as they close with rousing anthem ‘Pompeii’.

Saint Raymond have amassed quite a large crowd by the time I finally arrive at the BBC Introducing tent, so much so, that for the first part of the set I had to settle gleefully for a place just inside the far rim of the tent.

There is a charm and composure to the young Nottingham lad, a certain joust of unshakable confidence, perhaps attained from how quickly his career has taken off the past year, but with hip shaking pop grooves such as the delightful ‘Young Blood’ and mesmerizingly epic closer ‘Fall At Your Feet’, it will not be too long before he encapsulates past the shadows of supporting characterless musicians such as Ed Sheeran.

There is something to be quite humoured about watching Bombay Bicycle Club perform on a stage titled “In New Music We Trust” having released four albums and toured for more than double that number in years.

Bringing with them the full jazz and horn section, the band roll out all the classics with extra oomph, dedicating closer ‘Carry Me’ to those affected by The Art School fire, there is something incredibly sombre yet intense about the London quartet as they bulldoze through a exquisite rendition of ‘Shuffle’ – a definite contender for band of the day.

A quick top up of refreshment later and we are heading back towards the introducing tent to catch rising Polish songwriter Kari, currently at superstar level in her home country; that success is beginning to transcend to the rest of Europe having crossed paths with the rest of her band in Leeds.

With an original and authentic approach on creating cinematic electronic soundscapes, the band make use of their incredibly short set, leaving a lasting impression on choice cuts such as the beautifully harmonic ‘The One’ and the sauntering ‘Whispering Trees’.

First proper trip to the main stage today is to witness multi talented producer/musician Pharrell Williams, having grown up listening to the N.E.R.D classics, much smiles are brought upon this face as he launches into an emphatic flawless take on ‘Lapdance’, the rest of his set is pretty fun as well, reaching into a back catalogue far larger than anyone would dare give him credit for, was it just me who forgot he was involved with Daft Punk hit ‘Get Lucky’!?

Twin Atlantic are just kicking off their set as I enter the In New Music We Trust stage, it’s incredible witnessing just how much of a behemoth these boys have evolved into live, especially on a festival stage, deciding today to introduce new material at a cautious rate, despite the excitement etched on their faces about the incoming release of second album The Great Divide.

Having not been sold originally on the studio version of latest single ‘Heart and Soul’, thankfully live it comes across far more vigorously and aggressive, before closing with a spine chilling and earth shattering take on 2011 hit ‘Free’.

Thought I would have a nosey at Ed Sheeran, poor lad looks like he is having a sulk about Daz washing powder not taking the stains off his jeans, he does sing that mad song about being in the A Team or something, though, so it is not all bad, cheer up Mr. T loves you.

Glasgow hazy lo-fi indie punk duo Honeyblood are located absolutely ripping it up in the BBC Introducing stage, Jesus, with harmonious call backs to the likes of Blondie and more recently Best Coast, some of the melodies these girls are producing in 2014 are quite frankly fantastic.

‘Bud’ especially, rings out a sentimental nostalgic tone, made all the more homely by the fact that the girls are actually Glaswegian themselves, expect big things from this pair in the very near future with SXSW, The Great Escape and now an appearance at the BBC One Radio Weekender under their belts.

Only way to climax the night really is by checking out Coldplay one of those bands it’s astoundingly cool to dislike, having always been tagged as a bit of a “dad” band and tarnished with a reputation for producing dull as dishwater music, it might come to a surprise to some that tonight they completely kick the ball out the green so to speak with a set fitting of closing a day full of both terrific vibes and atmosphere.

As they chime out some of the timeless classics such as ‘Yellow’ and ‘Viva La Vida’ it’s hard to leave Glasgow Green with anything but a massive smile etched upon ones face.

Words: Chris Kelman

Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’ [FatCat]

Whipsmart girl-girl duo Honeyblood have been around for a couple of years now and though they’re a charming and surprisingly fierce live act, up until now songs like ‘Biro’ have lacked the spark to take them to the next level.

All this is about to change with ‘Killer Bangs’, a rollicking romp that recalls the best of Bikini Kill with a melodic flutter worthy of Best Coast.

Stina Tweeddale sings: “buckle down, it’s time to start your career now,” with such verve that it makes you want to throw down that pen, flee your desk and plug in your guitar, while Shona McVicar’s drums recall the simple but urgent patterns of early PJ Harvey or The Breeders.

Since Shirley Manson put Garbage on the back burner Scotland has needed a new rock ‘n’ roll queen and with ‘Killer Bangs’ Honeyblood suggest they might just be the strongest contenders yet.

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Words: Max Sefton