Village Underground – 27th March
“We are all in this shit together.” Indeed we are. A crowd of m-kat addled first year students sink to the floor under the enchanting directive of front woman Izzy Baxter and altogether they look feebly confused, excited and, most of all, under command. The band’s presence and confidence is admirable and Baxter knows how to dominate the stage, but can you get away with being ‘ones to watch’ through confident struts and forgettable slogans straight out of a Green Day glossary?
Chris Ostler’s guitar does more to create the show than steal it at any time, executing the most notable elements of surf rock and Americana throughout. It’s during the likes of new track ‘Somebody Better’ when his sound peaks, clear and effective enough to make a skilled producer blush. Nevertheless, the spotlight is constantly on Baxter. With the personality and performance to present such a standing, there’s not much needed to be said about why attention isn’t equally dispensed.
For most of the night there’s a crushing sense of security that almost lifts when cathartic belter ‘Spinning Wheel’ starts. This is as close as the show comes to sounding like a live Pulp Fiction original soundtrack performance. Black Honey brings the excitement and engagement of an IV drip mixed with pop melodies, swift guitar hooks and nostalgia for a culture which existed before our own. It’s easy to lose yourself in it and, with new songs like ‘Cadillac’ coming out, it’s clear they are not in short supply of imagination to push themselves beyond the expectations of today’s music.