The words “Black Honey” light up the back of the stage, but the spotlight is (literally) on front-woman Izzy B Phillips. With a blonde back-combed ‘do reminiscent of a 60’s movie star, she ignites the audience with glowering stares and provocative smirks. By the time the band break into third song ‘Madonna’, with it’s ‘Creep’-style chugs of guitar distortion, people are already clambering on each others’ shoulders reaching towards the singer.
‘Somebody Better’ sparks a mass sing-a-long, as galloping drums shake Omeara’s cavernous walls. Its searing guitar climax then leads into the whirring grunge of ‘Bloodlust’, before the explosive Dick Dale-style surf of ‘Spinning Wheel’ caps off a fiery trio of fan favourites. It’s the new songs performed tonight, though, that create some of the show’s most interesting dynamics. From atmospheric acoustic numbers to synth-inspired pop gems, it seems a number of previously-unseen sides to Black Honey are now ready to flourish. None of these new tracks are better than ‘Midnight’, a bouncing electro-pop piece built on the kind of pulsing synths better associated with bands like Gossip.
As the set draws to a close, rumours fly of a special guest making an appearance - but any such plans are thrown straight out of the window during the cathartic set-closer ‘Corrine’. Inevitably, it seems, the stage is set-upon by an audience that have struggled to restrain themselves throughout the show. Instruments cut out one-by-one and Izzy appears to disappear entirely amidst the chaos - but the band pull back and plug in for an anthemic final chorus. It’s a climax that’s befitting of the band. There can be no doubts about it - Black Honey are armed, and they mean business.
Black Honey play Bestival (2nd - 5th August) and Electric Fields (30th August - 1st September) where DIY is an official media partner. Tickets are on sale now. Visit diymag.com/presents for more information.