Emily Jones || January 8th
Arriving at King Street Studios for the second episode of The Honey Box felt like returning home. The warm glow of the studio space, the friendly faces and the backstage snacks (that were actually only supposed to be for the musicians and staff...), along with Peter Herbert (PH Production Services Ltd) dressed in a festive jumper, made King Street Studios even more welcoming than before.
Episode 1 of The Honey Box had been an instant hit, with both live audience members and live stream fans at home, left feeling excited and entertained. With the daunting pressure of the first episode now removed and the festivities flowing throughout, it seemed that the HB crew were feeling good.
Containing an excellent lineup of local musicians and fine craft beers provided by BottleCraft, episode 2 began with a bang. Presenters Benedict McManus and Leah Hamer seemed at ease, welcoming viewers and audience members with their festive cheer and hilarious comedic timing. Their rapport and friendship is present both off and on camera, making their presenting appear fluid and effortless and their relationship natural.
Once the acts had been introduced and the audience had been warmed up, it was time for the music to flow. The only female on the bill was singer/songwriter and guitarist Narn. The country musician sang a selection of her own compositions, taken from her current album 'Wasn't Born To Lose', whilst soaking up every moment of her time under the spotlight. Her songs were catchy, with ear warm choruses that you'd find you'd still be humming in the days after hearing them.
Next up was Lost Russle, an electronic artist with a mellow, easy listening selection of originals, that provided a break in musical proceedings. With a synth perched on top of two upturned mugs and the addition of a cat-based modified electric guitar, Lost Russle (or Beck, as his friends call him) seemed to lose himself in his music. Everyone's eyes were glued to his hands, watching in awe as his music grew before our very eyes. Much like Macious from the first episode, Lost Russle was an excellent addition to the line up, providing a quality engaging performance to be proud of.
Heading up the afternoon, were old favourites Nixon Tate & The Honey Club. With frontman Nixon Tate as cool and collected as ever, it seemed that not even the daunting aspect of a live stream could phase these gentlemen. As they stepped up to the mic to perform a selection of the singles they released in 2016, NTHC managed to woo the audience (and most probably the viewers at home) with their rehearsed melodies and quality musicianship. With songs such as 'Heady Redwood Days', 'Dancehall Blues', 'Honey Trap' and the yet to be released heartbreaker 'Joyce', the four piece proved without faltering, why they are one of the strongest and most likeable bands on the local scene.
After only two instalments, one thing is blindingly obvious; The Honey Box is the ultimate platform for local musicians and most definitely one that everyone should be excited about. With great amounts of professionalism, endless planning and preparation and two presenters who seem to be gaining confidence as the month's pass, I think 2017 will be a great year for all involved with the Honey Box and an even greater year for the artists who perform.