Scottish duo Honeyblood seem to like a long build-up: it’s been more than two years since they released their promising self-titled debut album, and this tour comes more than a month before their follow-up, the comic strip-titled ‘Babes Never Die’, sees the light of a record shop.
True to suspenseful form, singer, lead guitarist and occasional force of vitriol Stina Tweeddale takes to the stage some time before the band launch into that new album in its entirety, perhaps in order to check the coherence of Sebastian, a kind of semi-human boombox from which Tweeddale later summons beats and sound effects, like a magician in mid-90s grunge guise pulling rabbits from a hat.
Once they get going, Tweeddale and drummer Cat Myers – dressed in a shimmering, mermaidish dress – show why their professed caution about playing new tunes was more of a preamble to a calculated gamble. Killer hooks and crunchy riffs are the staple of a line-up of short seethers, offsetting Tweeddale’s frequently petulant, purr-to-shrill vocals and Myers’ dexterity, from jazz tics to crashing fury.
Ready for the Magic, their catchy new single with a video featuring feral children, crashes as loudly as the old favourites they end with, although there’s a hint of enhanced sheen to the majority of the set, which would hardly be a huge stretch given that their lo-fi debut tended to sound like a recording made through tin cans, having apparently been created in a bathroom. LP number two successfully road-tested, they leave to a bouncing dancefloor and a thunder of cheers.
Patterns, Thursday 29th September 2016