Honeyblood // The Wardrobe, Leeds // 17.11.16
Honeyblood’s performance at The Wardrobe, Leeds, quickly follows the release of their second and arguably superior album Babes Never Die. The intimate, laid back atmosphere of The Wardrobe could not have been better suited to the duo, and was the ideal setting for the audience to familiarise themselves with the new album.
I entered the night with many hopes and few reservations towards what Stina Tweeddale and Cat Meyers were going to deliver for us. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
It’s safe to say that new drummer and vocalist Meyers made a big impact on the latest album, and this came across through her presence on stage. She immediately created a good rapport with the crowd (as did Tweeddale) and the pair cracked jokes throughout the set. They played Babes Never Die in its entirety, easing the audience in gently with the bitter-sweet number ‘Hey, Stellar’. It didn’t take long, however, before everybody was feeling the electric energy of the duo. They quickly upped the intensity with ‘Ready for the Magic’ and ‘Sea Hearts’, a sparkling grungy number, and the crowd responded in full force. Despite the recent release of the album, every song received a fervent response from the crowd, who joined in whole-heartedly with the chanting of the choruses of ‘Love is a Disease’ and ‘Sister Wolf’. ‘Babes Never Die’ follows in a rush of adrenaline; Tweeddale, whose commitment to the sentiment is immortalised in a tattoo on her torso, shouted every single word in accord with the meaning behind them. The duo held nothing back with the 60’s inspired ‘Justine, Misery Queen’ before softening for ‘Cruel’ and ‘Walking at Midnight’, two of my personal highlights of the night.
To finish, Honeyblood foregoed the usual walk-off-just-to-walk-back-on-again and went straight in with a couple of highlights from their self-titled debut album – the first and only glimpse of it we got that night. As anticipated, ‘Super Rat’ made an appearance, the deceptively saccharine sounding verses descending into the chorus with the words “SCUMBAG! SLEAZE! SLIMEBALL! GREASE!” reverberating in deafening echo around the room.
‘Killer Bangs’ was an absolute highpoint of the night; Tweeddale and Meyers were magically unified throughout the night, but melded together seamlessly for this unruly number – definitely a case of last, but not least. All expectations the night was entered with would have been met with these final two performances alone; however, Honeyblood have indisputably come back stronger than ever with Babes Never Die, and there’s no doubt there’s a lot they still have to offer.