The Roundhouse – 28th October
“Put your arms around the person you love”. Underneath an old-school, 80s-funk light show of glittering disco balls and hopeless romantics, London-based duo HONNE bring their polished collection of smooth electronic-soul to Camden’s Roundhouse, selling out the venue at their biggest headline show yet.
It may be that pop acts often feel inclined to maintain an elaborate stage presence or high-tech aesthetics at their live shows, but as the letters of HONNE glow subtly behind the duo and reflections of a quartet of disco balls whirl around the beautiful North London venue, the music really does prove to do all the work. What strikes about HONNE is their ability to perform pop songs so well-crafted and intricately layered that there is absolutely no requirement for anything else. Despite playing to their largest crowd to-date, a stunning intimacy remains at the gig’s core.
Everything about the show is charmingly minimalistic, from the lo-fi stylistics of the duo’s sound to their casual dress; it’s simultaneously hard and easy to believe this all started out as a dorm room jam. Vocally Clutterbuck replicates the record with not so much as a tremble out of place, crooning from track-to-track with that captivating James Blake-esque tone of fringed edges. It’s effortless. Best pal James Hatcher stands behind a keyboard producing that infectious electronic-pop, as the crowd lap up funky synth progressions, snare-heavy introductions and groovy disco choruses.
It’s often difficult imaging how electronic-based musicians can bring their music alive in their gigs, but with the help of their house choir, Clutterbuck’s velvet vocals and such textured and melodic production, it’s most definitely a live show. Although, James’ venturing out from behind his keyboard to boast an impressive guitar solo in track ‘All In The Value’, does prove a highlight. ‘No Place Like Home’ sees a collaboration with rising pop-soul singer JONES who Clutterbuck seems to take great pleasure in introducing; a nice touch, but unfortunately her vocals fails to be heard over the production.
HONNE’s performance progresses even stronger with each track, undoubtedly climaxing with an encore of title track ‘Warm On A Cold Night’. The crowd erupt to the opening minor synth chords which soon widen into woozy funk-laced soul.
A shimmering show of infectiously smooth electro-pop, HONNE truly dazzle their home crowd. I’m not sure which side of the stage grins are bigger.
Listen: HONNE – Warm on a Cold Night