Introducing Manuka Honeys
By Keith Beckett
We all met through playing in various different projects in Brighton, as there’s quite a healthy music scene down here. I’d say the main influences are changing all the time. At the moment I'm listening to a lot of Palehound and a band called Cold Foamers who are both great. There’s also a bit of a 90's alternative thing going on, in the same kind of vein as Pavement or something like that, and also a bit of an Emo thread running through it.
I wouldn't say there’s one story that epitomises our band really, although we’re all frustrated graduates trying to work full-time to pay the rent, while also spending all our free time doing the band thing. It’s hard work! So maybe some of the music and lyrics might reflect some of that tension and confusion somewhat.!
Manuka Honeys started out as a solo project, before we ended up writing a whole set-worth of songs kind of by accident and getting the band together after that. Dan used to be a really good ballet dancer, which I guess goes some way to explaining his incredibly spooky flexibility. The health benefits of Manuka Honeys aren't actually that great.
What's Manuka Honeys sound in one sentence? "Four sad young men"? Well, in that case I hope you're looking forward to reading this piece. But don't worry, with the Brighton outfit being somewhat of a super-band, featuring member of members of Sulky Boy, Abattoir Blues and Breathe Panel, you're in safe hands...
There's a certain sound to Manuka Honeys which plays on the mind. Take their earlier songs Below The Belt, which has an Oasis I Wanna Be A Spaceman feel, or Pushing Pillows, a Girls Just A Song sound-alike (the riff). It's a decent band playing decent songs. But something doesn't sit quite right; they simply do not truly reflect Manuka Honeys' sound.
But now that's all changed. When you listen to Let It Go and Baby, the latest Manuka Honeys releases, you realise actually how good this band is. The song is a slow Pavement-esque track littered with brief instrumentals, slowly intensifying mid-song jams and surprising guitar tones. Baby is like Indie Pop meets 60's Jazz...a strange combination you might think, but add a kind of punk DIY ethos and you wonder if you've just discovered THE next new found pop gem.