Freakout Honey by Peter Rea

Freakout Honey by Peter Rea


Manchester’s Psych scene continues to thrive with a string of quality international bands constantly streaming through the city, and heavy support comes from local talent. Interstellar Overdrive are one of the main promoters that we have to thank for this, and tonight they bring us Freakout Honey, a band who stray into the dreamier, surf side of psych rock. After a number of head-turning performances in Manchester’s superb selection of smaller venues, tonight, they celebrate the release of their new single.

Bad Molly are first onstage; their style is bluesy with a strong male vocalist, and they combine to create something similar to Led Zeppelin. Next up – the first tune from Cabbage, they tell us, while throwing cabbage leaves at us, is called ‘Cabbage’. You know when you see them walk on stage that they’re going to be trouble. Their first tune impresses the most, but surf doom is eventually replaced by a more tongue-in-cheek indie sound at the end of their set. The second singer, who has ‘Fickle’ written on the back of his shirt, gives the band more of a Libertines edge as he sings a “poem” that he wrote about a dinner lady.

With the buzzing, drunken crowd suitably warmed up, Freakout Honey set about masterfully showcasing their growing arsenal of infectious melodies and beautiful vocals. Four guitarists support the tambourine-welding singer, who is dressed all in black, with long tassels cascading from her arms. ‘So Far’ eases us into it and the excellent ‘Trap Me’ is an early highlight, with a pounding beat and sparkling drone casting all under its spell.

They remind me somewhat of La Luz, who I recently saw at The Eagle Inn. Personal favourite ‘Disneyize’ is a slow and woozy tune that cultivates a natural high, and is engagingly recreated. A simple beat and 3 note bassline blend with a shimmering guitar riff, perfectly married to Sofia Sourianou’s reverb-soaked voice. ‘Marinate’ steals the show for me, amongst a quality set of tunes that maintains a high standard. It’s no wonder they’ve been added to next years Cosmosis line-up, along with the The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The band offer a prize for the best dancer during ‘The Witch Surf’ – a mix tape that they are featured on. Another slow tune doubles in tempo halfway through and things start to get a little random as they jam. The bassist gets a crazed look in her eyes – she abandons her instrument and steals a tambourine. While daringly climbing on the front of the stage, she violently hits any reachable surface along to the beat, and then drops into the audience for some trippy dancing. I think she won the tape.

Freakout Honey are yet another local band that have given me no choice but to closely follow and enjoy their ascension. Hopefully, soon, there will be an album that I can stick on repeat, and I very much hope to catch them at Cosmosis in March. Definitely ones to watch in 2016.

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Peter Rea

I like to go see fresh new music at Manchester's superb selection of smaller venues, and then share my enthusiasm.