On a chilly Thursday night in Glasgow, I was completely blown away. At Glasgow’s newest music venue, St Luke’s, Honeyblood and PINS seemed to completely fill the whole venue with energy, sound and stage presence.
I arrived at St Luke’s at roughly 7:30 PM, getting a picture of the mural outside. St Luke’s is a good spot for a venue, directly outside the famous Glasgow Barras market, and not too far from Parkhead and Celtic Park. It’s an old church that’s been repurposed, and really it’s a fantastic wee place. Small, but not too small, it has the personal touch that big venues like the Hydro lack. The massive organ behind the stage looks great as well. I found that Honeyblood weren’t on till 9:15, and admittedly, I was worried that I’d get bored in the 2-hour wait. I was proven wrong, as opening act Lucia Fontaine quietly took to the stage. Energetic and punky, Lucia Fontaine was exactly what was needed to open the night and frankly, I was enthralled.
After Lucia Fontaine had gone off and the crowd began to fill the hall, PINS came on. To be honest, prior to this gig, I was very unaware of PINS. I’d heard some songs on 6music and that was it. That was to change very quickly. PINS absolutely crashed into my awareness, with a storming, pulsating set. The highlight has to be the Siouxsie-meets-Bauhaus stomper of ‘Trouble’ which had the audience swaying, pulsating with the driving wall of guitar and bass. Other memorable songs were ‘Young Girls’ which was a magnesium flare of a song, burning bright with anger and energy, and ‘Young Girls’, particularly the line “What will we do when the dream comes true?”. I was completely hooked, to the extent where I simply had to buy a PINS t-shirt post-gig.
After PINS bowed out, Honeyblood came on. For the last gig of the tour, this was a triumphant homecoming. Opening with the crashing ‘Ready For The Magic’, Honeyblood just had it. That electricity and that euphoria, that coursed through the venue and spread through the crowd. Following ‘RFTM’ came the excellent ‘Love is a Disease’, after which drummer Cat Myers slipped off-stage for a beer. “She does this all the time” sighed guitarist/vocalist Stina Tweeddale, the tellthebelltaco other half of the duo. A bleach-blonde drummer came back on and performed ‘Choker’ with Tweeddale, a storming song from the debut album released in 2014. Then Cat Myers came back on. As it turned out, Lara Williams, the PINS drummer, had momentarily replaced Myers without most of the audience noticing due to the similarity in appearance! Such moments peppered the set, with Honeyblood not afraid of trying to connect with the audience in their hometown.
Unfortunately, in the middle of the set, such attempts did wear a little thin. The middle of the set could have done with something like ‘Walking at Midnight’ or ‘Fall Forever’ to invigorate it a little bit and make it a little less saturated with the less popular songs from ‘Babes Never Die’. But the gig flew again after ‘Sea Hearts’ was played, with Tweedale and Myers inciting the audience to get moving more. “I feel like you want to dance but you’re kinda unsure if this is a dance-y thing” smiled Myers from behind the drums. However, they had little trouble getting people moving for the title track from ‘Babes Never Die’, when they were filming for the music video.
Honeyblood never did an encore per se, as in they never faked going off only to come back on. For the final two songs, they played two favourites from the eponymous debut. ‘Super Rat’, with its chorus of “I will hate you forever” never sounded less sincere than when it was being echoed by the crowd and ‘All Dragged Up’ closed off the superb night with a bang.
Honeyblood and PINS, on that chilly Thursday night in December, produced a superb gig, easily one of the best I’ve ever been to. It also convinced me of the superiority of a small venue: cheaper tickets and a better atmosphere. I could see the performers, could almost look them in the eye in fact. This gig was absolutely wonderful. It’s so rare to see two, let alone three amazing artists on stage in one night, and I feel privileged to have been there.
Words by Gabriel Rutherford (@gabe_writes)