Honeyblood, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 24 Sept 2014

Following on from a support slot for Courtney Barnett back in May, a triumphant Honeyblood returned to the Portland to headline.
Opening the show were the Cambridge based four piece Beverley Kills, with their pure punk pop, fronted by singer Georgie Guns. Juliette on drums plays some of the fastest rolls I have ever heard, underpinning Kate on guitar and The Colonel Kills..(Elisa)(Good punk name!?) on bass. They play their original tunes, featuring many clever touches, chiming guitar notes building up to an onslaught in ‘Under Our Sleeves’, a bit of acapella vocals and the two contrasting sections of closing song ‘Sticks and Stones’. They are loud and brash, bringing a party vibe early on to the venue, clearly enjoying themselves and with a great rapport with the home crowd.

It was a homecoming gig for Bloody Knees, fresh from their performance at the Reading and Leeds Festival and raising their profile by supporting Honeyblood on all their national dates. Opening with ‘Luckless’ the sound needed sorting out but then was soon resolved and from second song ‘Bury Me’ onwards there was no stopping them. It is fast indie punk rock, presided over by the loud gravel voice of Bradley Griffiths, never giving up its intensity, even over the slower epic ‘Garbage Brain’. They are catchy tunes, you have to like the idea of a song called ‘Stitches’, based on ‘busting my head open when on tour with Wolf Alice’ and the short fast burst of energy that is ‘Ears, Eyes, Ohs and Yous’ has a cryptic title but great drum/guitar lines. It was a good performance, they will soon be headlining more often than supporting I think…

The venue had been quite full all evening, but a few extra squeezed in as Glaswegian duo Honeyblood took to the stage. Opening with the delicious ‘Fall Forever’ the minimal line-up of electric guitar and drums produced a big sound, as is heard on the current self-titled album. Singer Stina Tweeddale has a clear distinctive voice to deliver the songs of relationship making and breaking, at times very dark lyrically. Drummer Cat is new to the band, having only been a member for six days! She handled the pounding rhythms confidently, and also the complex wide open spaces of the challenging ‘Braid Burn Valley’. The normally reserved Cambridge audience generated a bit of crowd surfing for ‘Super Rat’ towards the end, then a persistent fan finally got their wish with a bonus encore of older song ‘Kissing On You’…and then they were gone, they had totally won us over.



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