Electro-soul duo take Leeds on a heady spin of steamy intimacy – 8/10
Opening on a high, Honne take the stage with drum-heavy number ‘Treat You Right’ and follows that with upbeat album favourite ‘Coastal Love’. They then descend into their proper realm of emotional depth, soulfully crooning the likes of ‘Til The Evening’ and ‘Top To Toe’ to a slow-swaying audience, while accompanied by a heavy bass line and Naomi Scarlett’s ethereal back up vocals. As the music gets sultrier and the atmosphere begins dripping with honeyed seduction, lead singer Andy, ever the charmer, peels his jumper off and suggests to the crowd, “let’s turn up the heat in here – let’s everyone take our tops off”, to which the audience roars and cheers. No tops come off unfortunately, but Honne clearly were having an effect on the audience as everyone began to get grooving.
“Futuristic soul destined to reinvent baby-making music”, as The Telegraph put it, Honne’s hypnotising love songs – particularly slow R&B jams ‘No Place Like Home’ and ‘3am’ – indeed have the air charged with sensual energy throughout their performance. Backup singer Naomi Scarlett adds significantly to the vibe of the night, being quite the audience favourite in duet ‘Someone That Loves You’ and ‘No Place Like Home’, where her magically soft, lush vocals enters to audience cheers and raised arms.
Going a step beyond serenading the audience with soothing love songs, Honne extend a virtual hug of camaraderie and love in their own charming way. They go from coaxing the audience to function as a sort of chorale for their performance of ‘Gone Are The Days’, to getting the entire venue to put their arms around each other, to even tenderly patting a hot and sweaty fan on the face with a towel after a particularly groovy performance of ‘One At A Time Please’. Ever down to earth; Honne, with their soft, raw sound and their bona fide love for their fans, strike as a very endearing duo indeed.
It is only upon getting cajoled back onto the stage soon after their obligatory first exit that Honne perform their biggest tracks. Re-entering with ‘Warm On A Cold Night’, Honne have the crowd cheering in happy recognition to the song’s spoken intro. They follow this with a song “dedicated to all the ladies in the crowd tonight” – ‘Woman’. The song showcases Andy’s amazing vocals, has the crowd waving their phone lights, and is the most emotive, heartfelt performance of the night. Closing with all-time favourite ‘All In The Value’, Honne have the audience singing along and swaying with warm appreciation. Serving as the perfect adieu, the song douses the crowd in a chilled groovy goodness unique to Honne, and a warmth that would take them out onto the streets of Leeds and see them safely home.
(picture credits: Carolina Faruolo)
Published in HeadFirst4Music Magazine October 27, 2016.