The electro-soul duo have come a long way in a short time, and it’s hard not to watch HONNE perform and not fall in love, writes Tara Bharadia
26th October at Gorilla
For those of you who aren’t fluent in Japanese, HONNE means a person’s ‘true sound’ in terms of their deepest desire. What better name for a band with a niche in definite baby-making music?
The London-based duo have just finished their US shows and popped back to the UK for a few gigs before the final stretch of their tour in Asia. Fans who have seen HONNE before will be amazed by how far they have come. From small gigs in obscure venues to sell-out shows in staple cities, with full lighting, sets and band, the pair have definitely found their place on the stage.
James and Andy have come a long way since their first stellar EPs which came out back in 2014, and unsurprisingly some of these tracks made their way onto their debut album, released last July. They have found a way to mix soul and electro with some punchy guitar riffs to introduce classical love ballads into the 21st century.
Of all the gigs in their UK tour, Manchester was definitely the one to go to: the crowd knew every word, and you could tell the band were touched as they humbly stated how so far Manchester was ‘the best gig on the tour’. A serenade-style start to ‘The Night’, which was then quickly brought to life with bass, was certainly a highlight of the show but the quality of the riff in the closing number of ‘All in Value’ was up there too.
Older tracks off earlier EPs such as ‘Top To Toe’ and ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’ were played to an audience who couldn’t get enough of HONNE, and their music which warms the soul.
However, there is no doubt that ‘Woman’, released for International Women’s Day 2016, was the track of the night. The audience were encouraged to put arms around each other as the stage cleared, leaving just the duo in a clean and touching tribute to women everywhere.
Not only was their performance enchanting but it was taken further by their angelically-voiced female backing-singer, Naomi, who took over parts in ‘Someone That Loves You’ and ‘No Place Like Home’. It’s hard to watch a HONNE performance and not fall in love. This winter, they’ll be the cosy gloves to your frozen fingers and there’s no denying that, whatever the weather, HONNE will definitely keep you ‘Warm On A Cold Night’.