A few weeks ago, I saw on Honeyblood’s Facebook page that they were playing a beer festival in Shoreditch. A place called Red Market, on Old Street. I was intrigued. My favourite band right now, performing in Hipsterville. And a great beer – Goose Island, from Chicago. Their IPA is one of the best. My favourite band and a top beer – sounded like a good combination!
Honeyblood were second on the bill. White Lies were the headliners. They got onto my radar in 2009, with the song (and album) “To Lose My Life”. Great song – it was Joy Division with a New Romantic pop inflection. All very 80s – a little contrived, but good, singalong stuff. I bought the album, but never really got into anything else.
Kath and I got there at about 5.30, and third band on the bill, Superfood, were about to start. I didn’t know them, but had a listen to Spotify and watched a couple of videos in the morning to get a sense of where they were coming from. I liked their sound. A modern, pop-indie, in a similar vein to bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club, with just a hint of reggae in the beats too. That reggae beat came out strongly in the live performance – and the guitars rocked at the right moments. They were good. A band to follow up.
I was there for Honeyblood – and really they can do no wrong. They played the same rock’n’roll set as they did at Latitude, with one addition, “Sister Wolf”. Every song a winner. I was surprised they didn’t play their new single “Swell Love”, but I guess they thought it wasn’t going to be greeted that enthusiastically by a combination of Shoreditch hipsters and White Lies fans. That was a good call. They were brilliant, as always, but the reaction was not as lively as I’ve seen before. Because of the crowd. Over 18, too cool to mosh, and there to see White Lies. But hopefully, it all helps to build the reputation. A long haul if you aren’t playing shiny pop and get lucky.
White Lies went down a storm. We realised at that point what the crowd were there for. We found a high up spot to watch from for a while. “To Lose My Life” was the second song. And it was great. The rest sounded like variants. The crowd loved it and showed it, and I was thinking, why didn’t you do this for Honeyblood? They are so much better! But not for this crowd.
They were good, and likeable – in fact a bit more light-hearted than I would have expected from the musical content. Every song became a singalong experience. Which is great, but we didn’t really feel part of it, and decided, about half way through, to go for a pizza.
A really good evening. Superfood were a band I’d like to get to know better. White Lies were entertaining for a bit. And Honeyblood – well, I love their music so much, and this show just cemented that.