Honey Lung – Deaf Institute, Manchester – 03/10/17

“We’re Honey Lung and we’re gonna play you some songs” grins vocalist/guitarist Jamie Batten, before breaking into the grunge-heavy, riff-laden ‘End of Time’. If you close your eyes, it’s like The Smashing Pumpkins are right in front of you.

No strangers to the stage, London’s baggy tee-adorned Honey Lung are undoubtedly ones to watch. They’ve had a sickeningly sweet year, pushed by the likes of BBC Introducing to allow them hit the stages of Reading & Leeds – and now, they’re embarking on a sold-out tour supporting America’s Citizen. A year of rehearsing and a few line-up changes have paid off; this quartet are as refined as you could get, extremely tight with their instruments and stupidly talented with their musicianship.

There’s screams of recognition as the first chords of latest single ‘Stuttering Mind’ are plucked, the crowd raising fists and pints as the track’s nostalgic melody plays out. Debut single ‘Something’ follows suit, its whirring guitar solo surprisingly heavy given Honey Lung’s dream-pop image – and right up every Citizen fans’ street.

The quartet’s shoegaze charm is irresistible; their 90’s influences are evident and, considering the rapturous applause, much-appreciated. The My Bloody Valentine-style guitar tone on ‘Oh So Real’ is more than appropriate, allowing the four to catapualt around the stage showing little sign of nerves. Sometimes they’re Weezer; others, more Pavement – and it’s a culmination of all these influences that make this band truly fab.

“We’ve been Honey Lung and you guys have been fucking great!” yells Batten, hyping the crowd up for one last sing-a-long. As ‘Sophomore’ gives Honey Lung a catalytic send-off, Batten falling to the floor with his guitar, it’s hard to believe that a band who sound this refined have only been around a mere few months. It’s rare you get a support band receiving such a wild reception, so get acquainted with Honey Lung now – because they’re gonna be huge.

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