Honeyblood are a Glasgow based duo consisting of Stina Tweeddale (vocals/guitar) and Cat Myers (drums) who have recently been touring their 2016 LP Babes Never Die. For tonight’s Hidden Door performance though Tweeddale is flying solo. As she later explains this is due to Myers playing drums for Mogwai in Paris tonight.
It may be the nerves of performing on her own that contributes to what is a slightly awkward start to this set. Then again, it does not help that she comes on stage immediately after a dance performance that was done in front of stage and is not given any sort of introduction, meaning not all of the crowd have turned around by the time she launches into opener Bud. As this song is a slower, folksier number, it is also possibly not the best set opener to grab the crowd’s attention.
After this somewhat difficult opening, things pick up a bit with Tweedale’s rendition of Super Rat and (I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here, both of which are grungier numbers and get the energy of the audience up a bit more. These seem to settle the singer’s nerves too as it is after these numbers she starts to engage in a bit of on-stage banter with the audience and even off-handily jokes about how she is “Lonerblood” tonight.
In terms of the energy of the set though the big turning point occurs with the song No Big Deal which comes with a catchy chant-along chorus of “Uh, uhu, hu, hu” and goes down really well with the audience. It should also be pointed out that while performance-wise Tweeddale seems stilted at times and somewhat dwarfed by the Leith Theatre stage, musically she is excellent throughout, both in terms of her beautiful vocal performance and her on-point guitar playing.
She also manages to go out on a high as both Babes Never Die and Kissing On You (according to Tweeddale one of the band’s most requested but little played numbers) are anthemic guitar-driven indie songs which go down a storm.
In the end, you do feel that some of the songs are robbed of their power due to the lack of drums, but despite that, and the earlier problems, Tweeddale manages to deliver a solid forty minute set which showcases her excellent musical talents.