Rock duo Royal Blood ascended into the 3Arena Sunday night for their biggest headline show in Dublin to date. The band who have built a devoted fanbase with their hard-pummeling rock have been known to put on some insane live shows and the 3Areana was no different. I’ll admit having seen the lads perform at smaller venues before and experienced the raw intense show they put on I was afraid that a larger venue would lose that intimate mania…. I was wrong.
Brighton four-piece Black Honey kicked off the night for their Dublin debut blasting straight into ‘All My Pride’. Front-woman Izzy Baxter (who popped outside before the show to give queuing fans posters and encourage them to stay warm) exuded sass and swagger with every hip pop and powerful point at the crowd. It’s difficult to connect with the crowd with a lengthy runway between you and the audience but she ventures as far out as her guitar lead would let her and wallops out as much charisma and oomph as possible. It’s an enchanting display as Baxter commands the stage with a daring poise that can only be admired. Their tracks, undoubtedly catchy with spaghetti western guitar wails it’s fiercely thrilling live. The hazy fiery ‘Madonna’ with it’s blazing guitar lines follows using the shrilling distortion and hysteria causing intro of ‘Somebody Better’ as its chaser. They belt out solid tunes that blend hazy dreamy melodies with shattering drums and scorching guitars. Baxter’s sultry vocals radiate over the dizzying instrumentation as she struts about exuding a fierce confidence. “Sláinte” she says while lifting her drink to the crowd, “did I get that right? … what’s the craic?..what is the craic though?” she questions before the steamy new single ‘Dig’. ‘Hello Today’ sparks a clap along among the crowd and you have to hear ‘Spinning Wheel’ live that’s all i’m going to say, it was dynamite. Black Honey are an exciting band for sure who amply coped with the large crowd and put on an exciting show. With a debut album due next year, I can’t wait to see what they do at a headline show here in Ireland.
At The Drive In followed and wow words can hardly describe the experience. Cedric Bixler-Zaval leapt rolled, kicked and wailed his way through the set. It was hard core brain assaulting mania and the crowd loved it. With his signature mic drop and kick trick as he strutted down the runway oozing swagger and attitude it was a swanky spectacle for sure. With tracks accelerated to neck breaking speeds they had the crowd pumped and ready to rock. “yeah that’s right tell your momma tell your nan” he shouts before the frantic ‘No Wolf Like The Present’. The crowd erupt into a blur of moshing heads and flailing limbs. “Can you feel it in your veins?, can you feel it in your teeth?, let me see your teeth” he bellows while the crowd scream back and you could for sure feel the sound pounding through your body bashing your senses. It was a mighty frenetic set that was unforgettable. Cedric Bixler-Zaval is tireless he doesn’t stop moving from climbing onto the speakers and karate kicking to springing into the air frantically. He gets the audience riled up and pumped. The mass of spiraling interweaving guitars pulverising drums and screaming vocals grip the crowd into submission, At The Drive In are a force to be reckoned with.
Royal Blood take to the stage as the crowd explode with screams and whoops. ‘Lights Out’ sets the fans alight. The duo have an impressive red laser light display which encased the band for the first track and with artistic screen images they were ready to make an impression. Every lyric, riff and drum roll was bellowed out by the crowd as frontman Mike Kerr takes every opportunity to strut down the stage to the crowd. There’s a lot going on from stage hands swiftly placing mic stands as Kerr moves about the stage to rapid guitar changes. Favourites from their self-titled debut album sparked massive cheers and huge sing alongs. Their fans adore them and make filling an arena like this easy for the pair. Kerr has grown into his frontman role and is taking it in his stride as he slickly blasts out those lusty beefy riffs. “I don’t believe this is happening to us tonight this place is huge” he admits before the explosive ‘Come On Over’. It’s a tireless set of moshing singing and hair everywhere. Ben Thatcher’s pulverising drumming is so powerful and mighty it sends the crowd into a frenzy of headbanging. With dashing backing singers introduced for ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’ these guys exude a new suaveness. They’ve learned a lot and for a two-piece filled the arena with their larger than life swagger. Track after track is announced to mammoth screams and whiplash causing headbanging. They pulled out all the stops from a dramatic clap along, shredding solos to a stick on fire hitting a gong. Royal Blood made sure they put on a show to remember. There was crowd surfing, pushing, fighting for the drum sticks Thatcher threw out followed by the “Olé, Olé, Olé” chant. The duo had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Though these guys have developed a rock and roll persona they haven’t left their humbleness behind “we feel very uncomfortable right now. Worst front man of all time. I’m a man and I’m at the front and that’s it.” Kerr admits before the knock out ‘Hole In Your Heart’ which sees Kerr relocate to the front of the stage to play keys. Kerr recalls their first time in Dublin where they got “so f**king drunk… I feel like we fit in here, I feel like we all drink the same”.
The crowd scream and stomp for the encore until Royal Blood triumphantly return with ‘Ten Tone Skeleton’ and the fierce ‘Out Of The Black’ which causes total anarchy among the crowd. Thatcher approaches the crowd stepping up on the barrier they fight over him and reach forward to grab any and every part of him so much so he says “whoa whoa hang on guys”. They leave the stage like heroes as the crowd bellow, scream and clap.
Royal Blood blew the roof off the 3 Arena. They steamrolled in and blasted out a cracking show losing little to none of the manic intensity of their more intimate shows.
Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From Black Honey
Black Honey have released their new single ‘Dig’. Mixing dreamy hazy vibes with sharp dazzling stings and dark dangerous tones it’s the multi-dimensional banger we expect from the four piece. Sultry vocals brood over delusion inducing spaghetti Western- esque guitars and a sticky slap beat. With a wispy vaporous soundscape and breezy crisp instrumentation, it’s the cinematic spine-chiller we hoped for and more. Smooth and croony the track sways and glides in with an eerie undertone and haunting backing vocals smothered in a daydream daze. The track becomes a little heavier as it progresses with gritty guitar lines and punchy drums creating a chilling sharp sense of danger. It’s a mysterious steamy creation from Black Honey. These guys are unstoppable.
Watch the video for ‘Dig’ below
Black Honey have released their new single ‘Somebody Better’ to their eagerly awaiting fans with the little treat of a b-side track ‘Cadillac’ as well to ease those withdrawal symptoms a little. ‘Somebody Better’ shrills with a thrilling sky scraping guitar that displays the edgy and kick-ass hysteria that only Black Honey does so well. Queue their signature ear worm syrupy melody and you are hooked. Sweet backing vocals lull while Izzy sings honest lyrics against a cinematic backdrop, its hazy day dreamy bliss. The shattering punch of the drums reverbs through your core while the strong nimble bass gives us a flexible groove. Shredding ear-piercing guitar solo adds a blood-tingling rawness that is electrifying.
‘Cadillac’ brings us a smooth dreamy laid back euphoria to loose yourself in. Izzy’s velvety soothing sultry vocals radiate against a scorching desert like guitar while soft drums tranquillise your mind in a blurry haze. Its the mind numbing healthy dose of Black Honey that leaves you entranced. With darkened undertones and haunting backing vocals its humid sedating ecstasy.
These guys know what they are doing, its tight with each instrument adding a dynamic breathtaking facet to this sparkling diamond. Black Honey are one of the most exciting bands out there, they just keep getting better.
Stream both ‘Somebody Better’ and ‘Cadillac’ below
Black honey have just released their new single ‘Hello Today’. Izzy Baxter, (vocals, guitar) Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass) and Tom Dewhurst (drums) continue their efforts for world domination with this staggering indie pop ear worm. They shake things up shifting from their previous brooding melancholic vibes smothered in intoxicating psychedelia to a peppy “screw you” middle finger attitude. Izzy exudes swagger and sass as she expresses her feelings exquisitely with aptly placed French phrases. This empowering track with its hyper sugar coated pop exterior and subtle bitter sting of the lyrics is a ball of bouncy fun with a slapping ricochet effect. It is glazed with a fuzzed guitar sound that still maintains the sunny hazy vibes we are used to from Black Honey. With rich percussion and a flexible groovy rhythm the four piece bring something new and fresh to the table. The slick guitar adds a razor sharp edge and rawness to the track which otherwise appears sleek, polished and refined.
Another fantastic track from Black Honey these guys just keep getting better and better.
Stream ‘Hello Today’ below
Black Honey have just dropped their EP ‘Headspin’ and it is everything we expected and more. Izzy Baxter, (vocals, guitar) Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass) and Tom Dewhurst (drums)have created a solid polished collection of songs while still maintaining that raw appeal.
‘All My Pride’ kicks the EP off with slick, blazing guitar as Izzy performs her vocals with such intensity and vulnerability that sucks you in and makes you listen to every word of her story. It is full of vigorous energy and a great lead single for the EP. We loved this song so much we made it our Worth A Listen track earlier this month.
‘Headspin’ follows next with a slower tone. It begins with light accompaniment as the vocals are the main focus. The hazy west coast vibe paired with Izzy’s almost seductive soft vocals which gives a melancholy atmosphere to the track. The backing vocals add a haunting quality to the track with a subtle drum beat like the secret ingredient to a sweet dish . The song builds towards the end instrumentally with psychedelic ‘wah wah’ guitar and a stronger beat. This song takes you on a journey with every note, It has a very Lana Del Rey feel with an almost cinematic trip to lose yourself in.
‘On Your Side’ brings us back to a sunny bright side of Black Honey. This track begins with a light drum beat to start. It then kicks into a swinging feel with a rock element. Its a catchy up beat vibrant song. Although its a bouncy track it still holds that melancholy, nostalgic tone which is conveyed through the vocals that gives the track a mysterious quality. The sweet matching harmonies gives the track an uplifting feel to the main vocals and adds a subtle contrast.This song makes you want to sit back in the sun and reminisce as you hear the lustrous, bright guitar solo.
‘Mocking Song’ Is the final track on the EP it slows down the tone again and brings back that west coast style.It has a sombre and almost angry tone on vocals with light guitar and waltz accompaniment for the verses. Again its a picturesque track as you can almost imagine Izzy standing swaying with a drink in her hand and tears down her face. Its a raw emotion filled track that shows a vulnerability which we haven’t seen before from Black Honey. The psychedelic guitar for the instrumental break is really effective and makes you fall into despair with Izzy.
This is a strong EP that shows us the variety in Black Honeys style and it shows us where they want to take their music. Its a multi dimensional EP from an extremely talented band. These guys will be sticking around and if this is only their EP imagine what an album would be like!
Stream ‘Headspin’ below
Our Worth A Listen track this week comes from Black Honey.
Their latest track “All My Pride” is from their forthcoming Headspin EP. Brighton band, Izzy Baxter, (vocals, guitar) Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass), Tom Dewhurst (drums), deliver an infectious rock pop sound with attitude in this track.
‘All My Pride’ is a vicious post – breakup song with slick, blazing guitar. Izzy performs her vocals with such intensity and vulnerability that sucks you in and makes you listen to every word of her story. This is a very well written song. It is what I would imagine Lana Del Rey would sound like if she was in a rock band. They have the same ability to draw the listener in with nonchalant melodies only with fierce guitar. This band will definitely do well with this song as it ticks all the boxes.
Stream ‘All My Pride’ below