Richard Brabin is stung by the wit, romance and pithy rock of Honeyblood

* Honeyblood

* The Bullingdon, Oxford

Three is certainly a crowd for Honeyblood founder and songwriter Stina Tweeddale. Her ‘less is more’ approach transcending not just through her simplistic, pop rock melodies but also as regards band membership.

The Glaswegian two piece have been thoroughly minced through the super-hype mangle, and rightly so. Their most recent release Babes Never Die is a pleasantly modest and unassuming record with a penchant for pithy but not cliched songmanship.

The reason Honeyblood get away with such pragmatic and schematic methodology is partly due to Tweeddale’s honesty and geniality. The band refusing to take themselves too seriously and their somewhat self deprecating nature is a refreshing characteristic of their hour-long set. Her subject matter is unequivocally honest; dry Scottish wit combining with romantic pathos to create an underlying message of survival at any cost – a theme perhaps close to Tweeddale’s heart after losing co-founding member Shona McVicar.

There is defiance in both music and lyrics, indicative of a band who could quite easily have perished but are now very much in ascendancy. Her accessible songs land even at first listen but not in a tiresome way; Honeyblood walking the line between instant gratification and longer term appeal. There’s enough edge to keep the alternative crowd entertained but with unapologetic pop through short and snappy compositions.

Honeyblood certainly have the necessary ingredients to be a band who can achieve dizzying heights, though there are a few tracks which are less than memorable and sometimes a naivety as regards vocal lines which is somewhat cringeworthy. Honeyblood have enough in their arsenal of songs to regain momentum and renew energy when things begin to dwindle.

There’s something indefinably engaging about Honeyblood. Their affability, onstage banter and quick humour mixed with an energetic performance of belting, easily digestible rock & roll, makes the evening a delightful, frolicking affair and proof that simplicity and honesty can create something truly memorable.