Live review: Honeyblood (Old Hairdressers, Glasgow)

honeyblood

This article originally appeared in The Herald newspaper (Scotland).

July 14

(Five stars)

As debut album launches go, noise-pop duo Honeyblood’s homecoming gig will take some beating. “This is the room where it all started two years ago,” mused vocalist / guitarist Stina Tweeddale, flanked by glittering hearts and stars. “The difference is, there are people here this time,” added drummer Shona McVicar, laughing, and she wasn’t wrong. The venue was packed-out, radiating a collective steam, and that’s not to mention the queue of disappointed fans that snaked down the stairs.

The riotous grrrls’ comments served as a timely reminder that Honeyblood have established themselves as alt-rock queen bees in a relatively short period of time. Much of their brilliant, eponymous debut comprises their embryonic (yet prodigiously fully-fledged) songs – as did their uproarious live set – from gorgeous indie-chorale No Spare Key (“the first song I ever wrote,” said Tweeddale), to swaggering axe-pop wig-outs like Biro and Super Rat. Their garage-punk ruckus and minimalist line-up evokes the charged dynamic of the White Stripes (Choker), but they’re equally adept at widescreen alt-Americana (Bud, I’d Rather Be Anywhere But Here). They’re fast and loose; raw and intense. What a glorious, infernal racket they make.

Tweeddale is an electrifying guitarist and rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, McVicar is the fiercest, most charismatic drummer I’ve ever seen, and the smiles and sparks that fly between them are a joy to watch. Much of their calling card is populated by fallen romeos and love rats, but this thrilling gig reminded us that Honeyblood have bigger concerns at heart. “This song’s about Shona”, Tweeddale drawled, as they fired into Killer Bangs. “I need this with you. I made this with you,” she hollered. Try and stop them.

*

Related articles: Honeyblood album review, Time Out, July 2014

King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution Nights preview feat Honeyblood (The Herald, Dec 2012)

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