Review: Black Honey at Picture House Social, Sheffield

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Head-banging, fist-pumping, group-jumping madness.

On Monday ‘Black Honey’, the British four-piece indie rock band from Brighton, hit the stage at one of Sheffield’s trendiest independent venues Picture House Social, hosted by Bear Tree Records.

Instantly as the band’s soundcheck comes to a close, the crowd surges forwards, altering the chilled, laid back atmosphere to a more excitable one. The thirst in the crowd to hear the new album live for the first time is clear. In the underground ballroom where the gig is taking place, the room is atmospherically lit by two single cool toned spotlights from either side of the stage. With cobwebs hanging from the decoratively plastered ceilings, the theatrical nature of such a venue almost makes it feel like the set of a dark music video, and the theatrics don’t stop there.

Lead singer Izzy B. Phillips takes to the stage sporting a full vintage Mcdonald’s uniform, paired unsurprisingly with her iconic platinum blonde bob, David Bowie in Life on Mars-esque vibrant blue eyeshadow, and bright red lipstick. The only comparison I can make is that she looks straight out of a Scott Pilgrim graphic novel. Dominating the stage with complete control and an undeniable sensuality, she grips her mic like a iconic 60s pop star, belting out her famously hypnotic lyrics to a crowd relaying them straight back to her.

The band’s impressive manipulation of the crowd’s emotion is evident when they begin playing “Baby”, filling the ballroom with their ghostly, heartbreaking lyrics changing the tone from upbeat and electric to soft and melancholy. This quickly shifts with it being followed up by “Midnight”, a poppy, electronic, psychedelic piece, instantly reigniting the bouncy and hyped-up vibe.

The show is a part of their debut album European tour, which ends in Paris on 9 November. Their self-titled album hits the shelves on 21 September, and its success is indisputable with it souring to number 22 in the UK album midweek charts, beating ‘iridescence’ by Brockhampton and ‘Beerbongs and Bentleys’ by Post Malone.

“Thank you so fucking much you don’t know how much this means,” Izzy says to the crowd, the gratitude evident in all the band member’s faces. The album follows their insanely popular debut EP, which was released in late 2014, and the excitement for the new release has been present ever since.

The show concludes with the band signing all of the records and vinyls the fans had bought, a truly fantastic gig conducted by an even more fantastic band, can’t wait to see where the next year takes them. 

Buy their debut album ‘Black Honey’ at: https://blackhoney.backstreetmerch.com

And stream it on Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2oVmQT6s29pVIKpqJkyxBS

Words by Megan Drew

Featured image courtesy of Black Honey/ Lauren Maccabee

Khushi and Hannah are your entertainment editors

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