Honeyblood At The Soup Kitchen
On the day of the referendum, Scotland's latest two-piece shows us why we’re so glad to be part of Great Britain still.
The Soup Kitchen’s dingy basement was blasted with a cleansing of fuzz-indie goodness to baptise the weekends beginnings. Cambridge’s own Royal Blood performed their best British impression of a band brought up on American Idiot era Greenday.
Second song ‘Bury me’ with angst strained vocal over heavy distorted guitars seeks a grunge revival tonight. The whole set is fuzz laden shriek filled basement fun, with tracks like ‘daydream’ going from grinding power-chords to quick calms creating a true sense of disarray. The set reaches a close with the song ‘Stiches’ the tale of how a rock, paper, scissors dare contest with Wolf Alice ended with an evening in A and E, truly channeling the rock and roll lifestyle.
Album and set opener ‘Fall forever’ announces Stina Tweeddale (vocals, guitar) and Shona McVicar (vocals, drums) entrance to the stage. With bedroom eyes throughout from Tweeddale, the track feels like the Glaswegian really has fallen in love with the crowd, contrasting with McVicar’s more aggressive drumming thus creating the love/hate relationship felt throughout their self-titled debut.
Thankfully the emotion towards Honeyblood is more clear cut, with ‘(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here’ carefully picked sultry bass line combined with delicate chords, showing that Royal Blood aren’t the only red cell enriched two piece showing a third member isn’t always necessary.
The first part of the set is moody, like a brooding girlfriend, hungover in a car after a bad night out, dangerous but strangely enthralling. Chirpy first single ‘Bud’ with bluesy tones and a beat that Meg White would be more then happy with blasts mixed signals away, with harmonies on the chorus rising into the bar above, you feel the two-piece will be needing a bigger venue very soon.
Other tracks manage to demonstrate their versatility, ‘Choker’ snarls like a blood red shoes punk hit, every syllable like spitting out venom. Whereas ‘All dragged up’ sounds like Bloc party from over the border. The lyrical content of the album seems to be aggressive impatience towards the, opposite sex, and none of them come more blatant then ‘Super Rat’ with the chorus of “slime ball sleeze” shouted back, word for word, probably causing a cathartic release to the mixed age crowd.
The set closes with latest track ‘Killer Bangs’ pop-punk “ooo’s” filling the venue, it’s a shame Tweeddale isn’t more lively on stage as this would be the time to really let herself go, instead McVicar’s drums take over the show as she blurs through the last track, with every eardrum slightly more worse for wear as they leave.
2014 may well be the start to a new two-piece take over in music. As this gig shows, cut the dead weight, and you can create something just as powerful through the sheer effort.Written by Jack Wood Images by Matthew Attridge