Thursday, 20 October 2016


Black Honey- one of the biggest bands that you've probably never heard of. The four piece from Brighton have been killing recently with songs such as 'Madonna' and new hit 'Hello Today'. In the few weeks alone they've earned their place on BBC Radio 1's playlist, been publicly praised by Zane Lowe and completely sold out their UK tour. It's hard to believe that they haven't even been signed yet. 

I was very excited when I was offered tickets for their sold out Leeds show at Belgrave Music Hall. A new band and new venue- I was in my element. London/ Icelandic trio Dream Wife were supporting Honey, and MY GAWD they were incredible. Music, style, stage presence- everything was spot on, oozing edgy pop and girl power. I predict big things for these girls- so check them out ASAP. 

Black Honey graced the stage around 9.45pm- a crowd already full of energy, with mosh pits having started during Dream Wife. There is obviously some massive Honey fans here, which really picks up the energy of the place (that I feel may have been lacking from the band). There's non denying that Black Honey have amazing musicality, there's no argument for that considering the success they've had over the past year. Lead singer Izzy Phillips has an incredible voice, described as a 'Lana Del Ray Indie' blend.  Their music oozes so much sass, yet they don't shy away from a simple melody. They're going places, fast.

 Now, I have huge respect for bands that try and be different, however I felt that she was trying to be so quirky and unique it came across as a little desperate. However a least there was a little personality there; seeing photos and interviews of Black Honey in the past I was expecting them to be so cool and charismatic- giving a proper show. Unfortunately I just didn't feel this. Now I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they're bound to be tired, as it was their last night of the sold out tour. However I just didn't connect with them and enjoy their show as much as I had anticipated, and I wasn't the only one to feel this way after speaking to people afterwards. Sorry Honey, maybe next time. 

What made it all the better, we were lucky enough to be graced with a parking ticket outside the Belgrave as we arrived back to the car. Thanks Leeds x

Sunday, 2 October 2016


I had never really listened to Sunflower Bean when my dad text me one day saying he had bought us tickets to see them- little did I know he had bought us tickets to the Newcastle show, as well as Leeds and Manchester; I was a little apprehensive at the time about going to all three (and I was still recovering from jet-lag), yet after seeing them perform for the first time, I knew I had to go and see more.

What I learnt about the Brooklyn trio over the three shows is that they thrive off a energetic crowd, each member brings a complete sense of individuality to the show, and they're all very humble and appreciative of the support from their fans. I was lucky enough to meet the band on all three nights, as they took time out after the show to come down and meet everyone as we lingered by the merch stand. While I was beginning to feel a little bit 'stalker-ish', they were all very friendly and spoke to us about the upcoming shows and took interest in where we were from.

NEWCASTLE // THINK TANK? // 06/09/16

The crowd were already pretty pumped when Sunflower Bean arrive on stage; there's a strong ratio of a younger crowd, yet there's a strong presence of older folk here; that's the great thing about Sunflower, their music appeals to such a wide range of people. Nevertheless it is evident that every person in the crowd is full of energy, with a mosh pit and a lot of crowd pushing from the get go. Sunflower thrive off this kind of show, and it's not long before they're interacting with the crowd and Julia (vox/bass) confidently jumps into the pit during her solo. If I do say so myself, Newcastle did set the bar and it would have been hard to overtake such an enthusiastic crowd- that were even complimented by the band.


Let's be honest here- Leeds disappointed me a little. This is not a critique of Sunflower at all, but rather I expected much more from the crowd, especially as we were in the student centre of the Leeds. To put it lightly, Sunflower played fantastically as usually, however it wasn't a show, and unfortunately it just didn't give me (or the band) the enthusiasm that we had experienced in Newcastle. It is true what they say, a band will feed off the energy that the crowd gives them- which Sunflower just was not getting; which is evident as there was sadly no encore. On a more positive note, it proved a very interesting choice of venue and Sunflower smashed it with their phenomenal music abilities.


Just when I thought I had experienced all the weird and wonderful music venues of the North, I visited The Deaf Institute; I loved the historic feel and intimacy of the building, which made it the perfect place for my last show with Sunflower Bean. When I spoke to Sunflower after their Leeds show, they had told me that they were very psyched up for their date in Manchester, and boy did Manchester deliver. I can't say it matched the same level as Newcastle, but they did a pretty good job. Nevertheless, Sunflower thrived off the crowd's energy, and Julia even made her way into the pit, which simply made the crowd explode. Big props to the guy who was obviously a die hard Sunflower fan (although Nick and Julia were far from impressed when they were, I'm assuming by accident, hit by your shoe).

Overall, Sunflower Bean were incredible- I love their album but they're a type of band that just bring something completely new when they're playing a live show: so much charisma, energy and even a more enhanced sound in comparison to their album. While still a pretty new band to emerge in the UK, it is obvious they have found their sound perfectly, rightfully earning their place on radio playlists such as BBC Radio 1, smashing it with tracks such as 'Wall Watcher' and 'Easier Said', just to name a few. I believe what makes Sunflower unique, especially in their performance, is that you can see the distinct individually of each band member, while still blending perfectly together. It has been obvious from following Sunflower Bean on tour that they greatly appreciate their equally appreciate audiences, that they will be coming back bigger and better, and I can't wait to see what's in store for their future. So don't worry if you missed Sunflower on tour this year, they did promise me that they'll be returning to the UK on tour in 2017. See you then.
© rocktails

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