Black Honey // Live Review

black honey

Sebright Arms – 20th October

After supporting Superfood on tour and appearing at Great Escape earlier this year, Brighton band Black Honey have been busy earning their stripes as one of the most exciting acts around. So it’s perhaps to no one’s surprise that tonight’s show in East London’s infamous haunt for hosting breakthrough artists, the Sebright Arms, is completely sold out.

As soon as Black Honey appear onstage, it’s hard not to become completely transfixed by lead singer Izzy B Phillips’ doey eyes and elaborate stage gestures. There’s no doubt that Phillips is a modern day star that has her own unique sensibilities, yet clearly takes inspiration from the greats – which in this case is certainly no bad or predictable thing.

Opening with ‘Spinning Wheel’ the band super charge the reverb to fill the tiny box room, which is already dripping with sweat and practically bursting the air-con to breaking point. The dizzy psychedelic rock is a refreshing sound that gives an added spike to the twisted 50s-style guitar bursts.

Black Honey have us eating out the palm of their hands throughout the set, with Phillips gesturing mid-set: “We’re so happy to be here, come find us at the merch stage after and we’ll get drunk.” It’s not the first time that she comments about their excitement for drinking and, at times, you’re not sure whether she’s playing up to the intoxication or actually genuinely wasted. Either way that adds a captivating charm that means you just can’t stop watching and waiting for more.

‘Sleep Forever’ is a sombre track, that allows us to share a more vulnerable side and moment with the band, evoking wistful riffs and a vocal closer in sound to a Lana-Del Rey lullaby than tonight’s earlier rock’n’roll mayhem.

But by far the highlight of the night is hit track ‘Corrine’, which seems to conjure up enough noise for the crowd to spin together a mosh-pit and send a few guys flying into clumsy crowd-surfs. The infectious chorus and easy-to-jump-along-to riffs give everyone a chance to participate, by the end of the set there’s a stage invasion of around 20-30 people all grabbling around the squashed band, who seamlessly crash and and thrash their instruments quite literally into a hazy yet magnificent crescendo.

Turmoil and chaos was officially the name of the game at the Sebright Arms tonight and the only thing we’re left thinking is, when the hell can we see Black Honey again? Whenever it is, we can hardly wait.

@amyloumaxwell