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  • Chris Farlie

The Honey Ants, Rebecca Vaughan O2 Academy

Taking to the stage in a black dress with a guitar and a trusty pint Rebecca Vaughans cheery stage patter was in direct contrast to a lot of the material that she would subsequently play but that is not to say it was not entertaining once you were tuned in to her somewhat unique phrasing where certain words would be sung decidedly louder than the rest as well her occasionally jazz like delivery. Take for example the opener "Getting High", where the word floor sounded like flour, it was a somewhat dreamy song which half way through doubled in volume on the line "Then we wake up". There was a fearsome chorus on "Shangri La Lies" that ended with some ferocious strumming, and the new as yet untitled song had a chorus something like "It's another day for you and me to wade through the sh*t". Leaving us with "It's OK I'm dead!" her set was rather well received if slightly unconventional in its nature.

Prior to this show, little was known to #TeamW21 of The Honey Ants, their recorded output to date totals just six songs over four years however that is all soon to change. On arrival seeing Chris "CJ" Hillman's pedal steel on stage was a good sign that the assembled crowd could be in for something special. The Honey Ants consist of Rebecca Hamer on vocals, with John Grimsey also on vocals as well as playing guitar and they opened up their set with "Give Me Arms" a traditional gentle sounding country song with beautiful harmonies supplemented by the pedal steel. The first of the new songs "Seal My Broken Heart" was an uptempo rocker that saw Chris move to electric guitar, it was an absolute delight, that immediately grabbed the listeners attention. Similarly "Old 99" written in Nashville was another song you instantly wanted to hear again. For "Lies" it was a return to the slow harmonies that opened the set, with Rebecca amazingly expressive as she sung really living the song. John opened the singing on "Each Time", an extremely atmospheric piece of music that built to a real climax.

The "footstomper" element of the night was provided with "The Devil Pays Well" which got the assembled crowd joining in with assorted stomping and clapping. Closing the set with another song written in Nashville, "London Lullaby", a slow burner of a tune, The Honey Ants left the stage to a raptuous round of applause.

They are shortly off to Nashville for more writing and to appear at AmericanaFest, and are sure to cause a stir on their return if tonights performance was anything to go by.

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