On Sunday 17 November, South African four-piece HONEYMOAN took to the stage at Manchester’s iconic Castle Hotel in the Northern Quarter.
The alternative indie pop quartet were dressed in matching outfit sets of crazy patterns, which looks like a recurring trademark for their live shows. Taking place in Manchester’s beautiful hidden gem The Castle Hotel, a dingy but delightful venue tucked away on Oldham Street, HONEYMOAN were full of energy and high spirits.
The set began with their catchy single, ‘Low Blow’ from HONEYMOAN’s debut EP Body which was released in June of this year. They began on a high and only got better throughout the show. After the song followed a quick moment of a silence, when singer Alison Rachel admitted, “We lost our setlist somewhere along the way,” with a laugh.
In the tiny back room of The Castle, with an audience of no more than around 30, HONEYMOAN played with all the energy of a sold-out arena tour. With slick pauses in their funky music underneath Rachel’s ethereal singing, this intimate show was jam-packed with good vibes and smiling faces. Despite being small in size, the crowd gave back all the same big energy that HONEYMOAN were collectively putting out.
The Cape Town band played their entire discography for Manchester, from their earliest releases ‘</3’ and ‘We’ to their newly released single, ‘Still Here,’ which dropped just days ago on 14 November 2019. Again, not the biggest but quality over quantity, right? And this band really do have some top quality tunes out.
While there wasn’t much chit chat between tracks (Alison Rachel was the only band member you heard speak), HONEYMOAN’s stage presence was enough to make you feel welcome. She told the crowd that they were loving Manchester, too, but who wouldn’t?
‘Sweating Gold’ was also a highlight of the set, an upbeat, bouncy bop that’s slightly heavier than some of HONEYMOAN’s other songs on Body. Following that is ‘</3’ with the heavy bass flowing on smoothly. ‘Gym Song’ and ‘Follow Me’ are intelligent looks at contemporary lifestyles that revolve around appearance and phone screens. It’s an added bonus that HONEYMOAN pair those smart lyrics with infectious beats and melodies. Even while swaying along, Rachel’s message isn’t lost as she dances around the stage.
While consistent but not definitely not lacking variety, HONEYMOAN’s sound seems to be part of a recent revival of guitar bands, and a welcome one at that. They sound as good live as they do on Spotify, if not better. Try and catch them while you can.