Photo credit - The Paper Penguins
Live - The Sebright Arms, London – 24/11/2014
It’s fair to say that 2014 has been a pretty blistering year for London duo Honne, who emerged over the summer with Warm On A Cold Night, one of the standout debuts of the year. Fast forward a few months, a handful of soundcloud uploads and a whole bucket load of online excitement and suddenly their sold out first ever gig at The Sebright Arms is the place to be seen on a Monday night.
Having a three page long guest list and a basement venue rammed with industry reps and blaggers alike did result in a fair bit of chin stroking and cautious glances by the audience but to be fair to Honne, backed by a six piece band slicker than the post-2010 Gulf of Mexico, they took it in their relaxed, and admirably well bearded stride.
A softly-spoken marketing campaign, mass blog hysteria and a renowned east end venue packed with the capital's cool kids may have tended to suggest a band trotting out the next evolution of Somalian inflused-grime-punk, or whatever the next hot shit is going to be. Instead we got a polished, daytime radio 1 ready soulful R&B pop massage with funk, hooks, 3.5 minute songs with all the right bits in all the right places and a band which wouldn’t sound out of place supporting either Jessie Ware or Beyonce. They’ve got some serious tunes and they tore through them with a proficiency which vindicated the turn-out and suggested they're going to be on several of the excited attendee's new years tip lists.
Perhaps their much-hyped rise to new music prominence hinted at a slightly more original take on popular music but nonetheless, one of the best new acts to emerge from the UK in 2014 can write damn good songs and play them very well. You can’t ask for too much more from your first year to be fair.