Truly one of Brighton’s finest, Black Honey have gone from strength to strength since their inception. 2018 was, without a doubt, their greatest ever year too with the release of their immense debut record and a very special show at Brighton’s Concorde 2. This gig was a celebration of the group between both the band and their adoring fans and a huge statement of just how far they’ve come as a band. From outings of their early, desert-rock-inspired singles ‘Madonna’ and ‘Spinning Wheel’, to their innovative takes on disco and funk with album cuts ‘Midnight’ and ‘Crowded City’, the band have become an incredibly well-rounded machine and their Concorde 2 show was testament to this.
It has been one hell of a year. From the influx of thousands of artists during festival season to watching many of our most-loved Brighton bands bloom into genuine world beaters, 2018 has been an incredibly successful year for music locally. Our Brightonsfinest writers now look back over the past 12 months to remember their highlights on record and in the live sphere as well as the ones we missed.
“We never thought we’d get to play venues like this as an unsigned band” stated Izzy Phillips on Black Honey’s momentous, celebratory homecoming show at Concorde 2. It’s funny, really, because the moment we first discovered the band – which is well over four years ago now – we knew they were destined for great things. Their Concorde 2 show, too, was arguably the best they’ve ever been. Dramatic and cinematic, with a set-list covering early singles as well as fresh album cuts, it was, without a doubt, the most euphoric show of the year. If you were in any doubt that Black Honey were the real deal, then this show, which boasted incredible lighting and a Twin Peaks-style backdrop, would convince you in a heartbeat.
As a Brighton publication that started out around the same time as Black Honey, it’s been an absolute honour to watch them grow as a band, develop their sound, and rise to the ranks from low key Brighton band to national darlings. Their debut record is a celebration of every phase, influence and sound the band has ever experimented with, with lead singer Izzy B Phillips’ dynamic, seductive and sultry voice linking it all together into a sound that can only be described as Black Honey. Released without the backing of a label, this is a force of nature that is four years in the making – and has the potential to go down as an iconic record of our times.
Following the release of game-changer ‘Bad Friends’ Brighton’s Black Honey have released another disco-pop banger in the shape of ‘Midnight’, taken from their eagerly awaited debut album, out 21st September.
We all like our sugar hits. Like most everything, the truly best things come to those who wait. Unlike the instant gratification (and immediate comedown) that processed, and refined sugar gives you, honey is purer, infinitely more nutritious, and with proven long-term health benefits. Certainly, Brighton band Black Honey have been beavering away at the coalface of music making for a while now. I recall receiving an email from the band looking for some interest in a pre-Black Honey EP. That was back in 2012. For while, it looked like it just may not happen for them, a series of singles and EPs, whilst displaying plenty of talent, energy and dedication, weren't quite firing them into the big time. Yet.