I may be entering the Deaf Institute alone tonight but I’m met by a strong sense of collective energy.  The venue has sold out for the Glaswegian duo Honeyblood and there is a fire kindling with excited anticipation for the night ahead.  I’m near the back but have a great view, as I always have at one of my best-loved venues, as Manchester’s own Pins perform their attitude laden set in support.  Reminiscent of Riot Grrrl bands of the past, they call all the girls to the front to dance along to their mix of punchy guitars, group vocals and keyboards.  I enjoy Pins but am keenly looking forward to the main event.

Honeyblood now comprise of original lead Stina Tweeddale on guitars and vocals and new member Cat Myers on drums, backing vocals and operating their electronic bassist, an instrument they call ‘Sebastian’.  For a much smaller ensemble than their support they pour even more energy into the room, urging people to dance and move with the drums dynamic pace.  For the most part the night is raw, sweaty and simple; great vibes and excellent tunes, but for the title track of sophmore album Babes Never Die a surprise is brought upon us.  They are shooting a music video!  Excited and a little scary (being a fairly shy person) It’s time to get lively.  The crowd really gets going for the video and although the filming only takes minutes, the dancing continues as if the camera is going to be rolling all night

The duo play so easily together, a big part of their allure, making some on the spot, playful, impromptu songs as the night progresses that they muse they should try to remember for the next album.  There’s a song about the merch salesperson and a second about the sadness of their tour coming to an end; which go down great.  They have that nostalgic, 90’s revival sound, with a strong clean delivery of catchy vocals over nicely warm and fuzzy guitars, but with fantastic personality that has the room entranced.  There’s riffs and hooks a-plenty and you can’t help but bounce around in enjoyment, matching the smiles of the duo on stage.

Most of the set comprises of the second album, which is definitely no bad thing. However, an encore of the anthemic and crowd pleasing ‘Super Rat’ and ‘Killer Bangs’ close the impressive set on a high.  Unusually the band decides not to leave the stage but continue straight into these more familiar tracks from their self titled album after a short drink break on stage and chat to the crowd.  I leave feeling amazing after one of my favourite shows of the year.  It has not been long since I discovered the band, but they have cemented their place on my go to playlists.

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