This weekend, Manchester Academy 2 welcomed Brighton four piece Black Honey to the stage for the final legs of their self-titled album tour. Supported by Russo and Pins, the night brought a semblance of girl power that is much needed in the male dominated rock genre. The venue, the crowd, screamed ‘girl power’ in an incredibly refreshing way before anyone even took the stage.
The Californian, female fronted Russo opened the night, bringing a decidedly American feel to a night with an otherwise typically British environment. Loosening up immensely as the set went on, the band welcomed us early birds into a night of grunge fuelled hedonism, drawing the crowd into a night that meant to go on in the same vein.
We were drawn further into the night by the weird, wonderful and impeccably dressed PINS. Their 80s style synth-esque twists on the rock genre were both refreshing and enthralling, bringing a new dimension to what is quickly in this climate becoming an overdone concept. Captivating in the extreme, the Manchester born girl band did their hometown proud.
A buzz was more than obvious in the crowd as the opening bars for the low and grungy I Only Hurt the Ones I Love reverberated into the room. High off the back of the acclaim for their self titled debut album, Black Honey were triumphant in their return to Manchester this tour.
The show was like being invited into a seedy back room cabaret, with the neons literally winking at the crowd as they glinted off the glittered back drop, Phillps’ sequinned dress and the glittered up faces of pretty much every girl in the audience. The set moved seamlessly from the low and slow tunes that so acutely embody Black Honey, to the more upbeat that have sprung them to the popularity they doubtlessly deserve. Izzy B. Phillips embodied all that female front women in 2018 are out to be. Sultry in the most empowering way, she created a relationship with every person in the crowd as she strutted around in the most magnificent boots you’d ever see. Highlights of the evening included the transcendent Bad Friends, entering the crowd into a deep, beer and quality tune fuelled stupor, and the iconic Midnight. They captured the essence of what it means to be a success in this genre today, creating strong, female led rock without the cliché.
Bridging genre gaps with ease, Black Honey have curated a unique combination of rock, indie and disco in their sound, and put on an excellent show for it.
Photography by Zack Hough