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Review: Black Honey, PINS and Russo serve up a real Tuesday night treat at Norwich Arts Centre

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 October 2018

Black Honey headlining Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve Hunt

Black Honey headlining Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve Hunt

Steve Hunt

It’s Tuesday night in Norwich - but that didn’t stop three hotly-tipped bands coming to the city for what turned out to be a cracking night of new music.

Black Honey headlining Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve HuntBlack Honey headlining Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve Hunt

There’s a collective of music lovers and promoters called PONY UP who are dedicated to bringing some of the hottest talents to the city.

And on Tuesday night they do us proud as Norwich Arts Centre hosted three female fronted bands all of whom are very much on the cusp of breaking through to the big time.

First up are LA-Based four-piece Russo whose energetic punk-pop blast away the cobwebs and manage to get some early evening moshing out of the sizeable crowd who have gathered to check them out.

Main support act PINS are already receiving a lot of hype, helped by a recent collaboration with Iggy Pop, which brought with it a lot of radio airplay. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they had been chosen as the main headliners of the evening.

PINS supporting Black Honey at Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve HuntPINS supporting Black Honey at Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve Hunt

Their sound is much darker than the other two bands on the bill and as such I’m not sure everyone entirely gets them. They have two or three tracks which stand out as fresh and original - but perhaps do not yet have the back catalogue behind them to warrant the noise they’ve been getting.

I’ll bet their intensity and attitude will see them through for a while and if they can strengthen their songs a bit they’ll be back headlining the venue in no time at all.

As Black Honey prepare to take to the stage the crowd noticeably swells. On the back of a brilliant self-titled debut album it appears a lot of people want to give them a listen.

And they don’t disappoint, with an hour of punchy, spiky and catchy rock songs, some of them tinged with a little bit of dance, which has much of the crowd jumping and a surprising number singing along word for word.

Russo supporting Black Honey at Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve HuntRusso supporting Black Honey at Norwich Arts Centre on 16th October 2018. Photo: Steve Hunt

Lead singer Izzy B is an excellent frontwoman. She has stage presence, decent patter and, more importantly, a voice that could shatter windows. Echoes of Shirley Manson from Garbage and No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani in both her and the band’s sound.

The hour-long set flies by and that’s testament to the impressive number of enjoyable songs they already have under their belts, highlights of which are I Only Hurt The Ones I Love, Hello Today and Midnight.

Watch out for Black Honey because I for one reckon they’ll be back sooner or later, bigger and even better than before.

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