Black Honey at Heaven, London

There’s a certain charm to a venue as versatile as Heaven, which is an LGBT nightclub that doubles as a concert hall. Its stage has hosted some of the most revered artists of all time, and on Wednesday, October 13, it was Black Honey‘s turn to grab a piece of the action for their sold out headline show.

This particular tour has been highly anticipated following the release of the band’s sophomore album, Written & Directed. Its success has had fans desperate to see it played out live, but a lack of certainty due to COVID-19 meant it has not been safe to play full capacity shows. However, with things starting to get “back to normal,” the room was packed from wall to wall with eager onlookers.

The Brighton four-piece took to the stage as Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ rang out from the speakers. Despite only having one female member, the group is all about empowering such a minority, which is apparent throughout both their material and stage presence. This spectacular entrance led quickly into a passionate performance of ‘I Like The Way You Die,’ taken from their recent album, followed by the classic ‘All My Pride,’ which went down a treat with the audience. 

Black Honey’s lead vocalist Izzy B. Phillips captivated from the get-go, a vision in a red dress; she already had fans spellbound as the band launched into a performance of 2020 single ‘Beaches.’ Guitarist Chris Ostler also rocked this color theme, meaning that the band shone not only performance-wise, but aesthetically too. 

The high-energy set powered on with a mix of tracks from both the new album and 2018’s Black Honey, keeping the crowd stimulated throughout. This band knows how to sparkle, stun, and make their audience dance, laugh, sing, and resonate. 

It was a particularly touching moment when midway through the set, Phillips demanded “women and non-binary people to the front!” which saw some of the men at the front of the crowd reluctantly moving backward to make way for their marginalised peers. Of course, live shows are not always where women and non-binary folk feel the safest, but bands like Black Honey are paving the way to make the experience risk-free for those people.

Rather than take part in the usual ritual of leaving the stage for a minute then returning for an encore, the four-piece instead played their entire set in one go. They paired the 2016 single release ‘Hello Today’ with ‘Disinfect’ and ‘Run For Cover’ from Written & Directed to bring the show to a close, allowing the audience to go into a frenzy once more before the lights went up. 

Black Honey have been a band for seven years now, meaning that their live shows are a masterful production, polished, and the reason why fans keep coming back for more. Their smooth brand of surf rock, Brighton style, will no doubt continue to evolve and impress for years to come.


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