Stina Tweeddale and band bewitch the Glasgow crowd with an intoxicating brew of beloved back catalogue tracks and box-fresh songs from her latest album.
It’s appropriate that Honeyblood are returning to the stage now; latest album In Plain Sight was recorded during Halloween season this time last year. Spooky imagery interwoven with reflections on the curses of daily life, combined with an immense sound, earned it a ten out of ten review. In Plain Sight was also Tweeddale’s first truly solo outing and transferring these songs to the stage, with the addition of band members and less production, was always going to be an interesting proposition.
The live lineup is now Tweeddale plus former Charli XCX drummer Debbie Knox-Hewsom and ex-PINS bassist Anna Donnigan, who were both stuck on a delayed train and nearly didn’t make the show. From the rallying riot grrrl cries of the set opener and latest single ‘Bubble Gun’, it’s clear that her new bandmates are essential to realise Tweeddale’s vision for the record on stage. She is quick to note that many of the songs we’ll hear tonight have never been played live before. ‘The Tarantella’, from the new album, swirls around the room like the frenzied dance with which it shares its name. ‘Touch’ is less electronic live, but the track still throbs menacingly and packs a huge punch. ‘A Kiss From The Devil’ marches into glam rock territory, while ‘Gibberish’ is a spicy punk potion.
That said, the Honeyblood back catalogue is also beguiling tonight with the slow-burning beauty of ‘Biro’ and the dreamily soaring vocals of ‘Walking At Midnight’ reverberating around the QMU. The pounding beat of the deliciously dark ‘Choker’ drives through my chest like a stake through the heart. This set is a reminder that the eponymous first album and its follow-up Babes Never Die are both classics in their own right.
Fighting through a guitar hex, Tweeddale seems to revel in her ballsy anthems tonight. ‘Super Rat’ is a true “screw you” singalong that gets the crowd joyously spitting the words back at her and ‘Babes Never Die’ is carried along by audience participation when those technical gremlins reappear.
The night is rounded off with a wonderfully frenetic rendition of the raucous ‘Ready For The Magic’ and a simply stunning encore of ‘No Spare Key’. There may have been a few ghosts in their machines tonight, but the band’s spellbinding performance ensured that the audience supported them throughout. This Glasgow crowd was ready for the magic and that’s exactly what Honeyblood gave them.
Photos: © Rhiannon Law