Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
After pronouncing themselves live to the UK with a huge early morning Download crowd Dirty Honey travel to Glasgow and take to the stage for their first headline show in front of a packed out venue.
Sometimes we look back and realise we have seen some very special shows, sometimes it is a band at the pinacle of their career and sometimes it is a new band in a small venue that goes on to be huge.
Tonight is the latter but as I watched this show I was completely aware that this gig was very special in a way I have only witnessed a handful of times. Seeing Iron Maiden for the first time in 1980, my first time
watching The Black Crowes, The Georgia Satellites ripping up the setlist and basically jamming for three hours and Thunder opening Monsters of Rock and Greta Van Fleet in an old Church.
In over 40 years of gig going I have seen so many bands, so many shows in so many venues, cities and countries but those mentioned above shine like a lighthouse in the darkest of night and tonight has just been added to those accolades.
I was shocked at how packed the venue was tonight. Glasgow can be hit and miss with smaller bands, Download is still in full swing and there has been/still is a lot of gigs this month but when talent calls Glasgow answers and the atmosphere is electric.
Back in 2019 the bands Debut made my end of year top 10 and it has been a constant companion since so yes, I was exited for tonight.
As the boys take to the stage you could be forgiven for thinking they stole all their clothes from backstage at Woodstock but it adds to the coolness, the vibe, the mystique but its not fashion we are here for its the music and the set is kicked off with the stunning “California Dreaming” and in an instant I am gone.
This band has it all, the clothes obviously but the energy is off the scale and each member is bouncing like kangaroos on pcp.
The guys are in the photo pit, up onto the risers, hanging into the crowd and hitting each note with perfection.
It is onto the funk fest of “Break You” from the new EP and Justin Smolian on the bass is thumping down the grooves leaving Marc LaBelle to stun us with those pipes.
Another new one in “Heartbreaker” but you would not think it as the crowd are losing their shit and screaming the chorus back at the boys and they genuinely seemed shocked and stunned by the reaction. I have seen bands say in interviews how it can be very nervous doing a first show outside your own country and to have a reaction like that must be a serious boost to your ego.
Marc did come a bit unstuck as he was going to go into what I suspect is usually discussed as he mentioned NFL and then thought do these mad Scots even know about that before giving us the option on a choice of cover between Prince and AC/DC….c’mon boys, this is scotland there is only one choice when our kin is on offer.
After some issues with the mic, we are back on track with “Tied up”, followed up with “Down the Road” and the slower more Black Crowes vibe and Marc’s vocals just soar and I have Goosebumps running the length of my spine.
I have to mention guitarist John Notto as his work on this track as well as all of his solos is stunning…this is one serious talent…even in his pimp suit.
The upbeat “Gypsy” kicks in next and the place is getting sweaty, the audience are getting even rowdier and the band are showing no sign of letting up the pace.
The bluesy, southern “Another Last Time” is next and this is obviously a fan favourite as the energy picks up incredibly and the sing along at the end is not something I have heard from a bands first visit to Glasgow and this tells you a story.
Now the only negative thing you will hear from me regarding this show or this band…the solos. Anyone that knows me knows that no matter who the band is a solo is not going to swing my dancing pants in the right direction but having three consecutive solos will stop me in my tracks.
Now I know this is my perspective and I know plenty of people who love their solos but having them all together seemed to suck the life out of the crowd. There was a drop off in energy and a lot of the impetus was lost…but not for long as we bounce into the encore.
The killer one two punch came in the form of “When I’m Gone” and “Rolling 7s” and I could honestly die here and I could not complain at the way I went out.
This was a band on fire and on the brink of greatness. I can promise you I will never see them in a venue this size again so you need to get tickets booked now. If they are not playing their own headline shows near you catch them on tour with Guns ‘n’ Roses and Rival Sons…the quality of tonight’s show made my mind up and I will be travelling to Belfast next month with my new T-shirt and dirty Fucking Honey cap.
Another way you can guage a band is the merch stand and the que at the end of this show was the biggest I have seen outside a festival in a long time.
It is simple, Dirty Honey are going to be massive…mark my words!