HONNE (meaning ‘real intention’ in Japanese) are a London duo that makes good music. Really good music. Self-defined by electronic soul, yet taking influences from a plethora of other genres, it is hard to put a finger on exactly what kind of sound they make. I had the pleasure of watching them perform live at the Rescue Rooms last Monday a few months after the release of their first full-length album, ‘Warm on a Cold Night.’
Liv Dawson, the support act, began with the mellowness which continued throughout the night. Her relaxing sound, luscious vocals and deep lyrical talent mesmerised the audience. ‘Tapestry’ was a particular stand out track, with the insightful and poetic lyrics sang beautifully. Despite being ill, the up and coming talent braved through and gave a solid performance, setting the atmosphere for the headline act.
With the lights dimmed and a stage full of smoke, HONNE entered. They nonchalantly walked on stage playing ‘Treat You Right’ to a crowd filled with excitement. The atmospheric synth pads, driving drums, and mellow vocals set the tone for an evening of warm, feel good music. The duo look right at home on stage, embracing every moment with the joy of performing their songs to a captivated audience. ‘Coastal Love’ had dance infused drums colliding with relaxing vocals, ‘Someone that Loves You’ was upbeat and had a crowd singing along to its anthemic pop chorus, and ‘3am’ was nostalgic, a vibe emanated from an 80s esque synth line and an ambient gospel piano.
They were also creative and dynamic in their set. ‘The Night’ was beautifully stripped back to just piano and vocals as HONNE’s adoring fans sang along; all until the acoustic moment was interjected by the edgy drums and full synths. As HONNE left the stage with fans calling for an encore, they came back in their Halloween fancy dress performing one of their biggest hits, ‘Warm on a Cold Night’, which was a highlight of the night.
Watching HONNE was a mellow, yet uplifting experience. Their iconic synths, snappy drums and lazy vocals set the tone that allowed their fans to let go of their worries for a night and have a good time. The warmth that HONNE gives is a comfort, an atmosphere which is amplified live.
HONNE are worth the watch.