Taking a break from recording her fourth album, Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale’s solo tour gives a chance for musician and audience to reconnect on a string of dates taking in the legendary Adelphi Club in Hull. Geoff Shaw was there for Resound Online.

A darkened residential street to the north of Hull city centre might not seem the obvious place to find a musical venue. But for the past 39 years, bands new and seasoned have stopped off at the Adelphi with some, such as as Oasis, Pulp and Green Day, going on to to arenas and stadiums. Indeed, tonight’s headliner will do likewise, with her band playing Hampden Park next year along with the Foo Fighters. But for now she has headed south from her native Scotland to take in the club venues of England on a solo tour.

Curlew live at The Adelphi, Hull | Pic: Geoff Shaw

First up on the well trodden low set stage is support from Curlew (aka Gill Higgins), a fellow Scot, whose arrival on stage goes initially unnoticed by many as she takes a seat and picks up a harmonium. Focus and attention is soon gained as her vocal launches into opener “We Are Of Water” and it is a nigh on silent packed audience that is hooked as she skilfully and beautifully blends layers of vocal and music through use of loop pedals. Switching between harmonium and keyboard, her set is a bewitching one, linked between with song intros kept in check by a steadily emptying sand glass set at the front of the stage. Highlights come in the form of “Sister” and “Westernly Wind”, the latter a witchy a Capella with looped harmonies galore, before the set ends to well earned applause.

Honeyblood likely need little introduction having been around for eleven years and three albums (and also previously visitors to the Adelphi in support of Courtney Barnett). In a more usual live form of a trio, it’s a rare chance for front person singer/guitarist and driving force Stina Tweeddale to go it alone, and also hone her voice to record final vocals for the nearly complete fourth album.

With a minimal setup of ivy adorned mic, a couple of guitars and keyboard, there is little place to hide. She launches straight into “(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here”, the first song of a fourteen song set that draws from throughout the Honeyblood back catalogue. Stripped back and without any distraction of bass and drums, the songs are given a chance to shine in their new form, lyrics more instant to the ear against the often minimal guitar or keys. As Tweeddale admits between songs, the way the songs get heard on these dates is much closer to how they form in her head before they get built up into much louder beasts in the studio. Favourites like “She’s A Nightmare”, “Babes Never Die” and “Sea Hearts” all get an outing; it quickly becomes an evening to savour.

Clearly enjoying herself, the opportunity to sneak in a new song or two is taken, with “Hooked” a particular stand out – a rare Honeyblood “love” song – whetting the appetite for that next album.

As set closer “Super Rat” sees the audience enthusiastically joining the chorus, the final notes drift into the Adelphi ether joining those that have gone before. With much of the tour sold out, this is a rare chance to experience a different side to Honeyblood and, if you can grab a remaining ticket, it’s one well worth catching.

Words and photos: Geoff Shaw
IG: @gsmusicphotos X/Twitter: @gshawisme