We’re very lucky in the Stoke-on-Trent music scene, in that we hold some of the strongest bands and musicians known to any local scene ever. So lucky in fact, I think we often take for granted how readily available good music is to us. We don’t think about what life would be like without some of these bands when we step out of the door and head to a gig to see them.
Nixon Tate & The Honey Club are one of those bands. They’re the sort of band that draws people in; the kind that leaves everyone in a venue asking the same question: how has this band not made it yet?
After the release of their EP ‘Roses & Bones’ back in January 2017, which they drip fed us track by track over a period of 12 months, they fell silent. Although performing heavily at both local venues and local festivals, a new music release was very much lacking and it was something that was beginning to concern me. But the release of ‘Grubby Kids’, a track that had had a place in their live set for some time, soon blew those concerns out of the water.
Nixon Tate & The Honey Club were back and it seemed they were armed with new music (and lots of it). This was confirmed earlier this month when they released yet another track that further cemented them into the local music scene.
‘Porch Light’, released on Saturday 17th February, was promptly given the honour of being BBC Introducing Stoke’s track of the week; a title that it more than rightly deserves. It’s a simple track, in that it is no more and no less than anything we have heard from Tate and his Honey Club, yet it is exactly what we want and more importantly, what we need.
Beginning with the anticipation of Joe Richard’s revving guitar, ‘Porch Light’ uplifts you from the getgo. NT’s warm vocals breakthrough and soon, the rest of the band are slotting in around each other to create an effortless and almost perfect bed of chords, rhythms and beats. Every single track feels like a musical recipe and ‘Porch Light’ is no different: every lyric, strum, chord and rhythm added to the mix in equal measure, combined with 100ml of “ooomph” and 400g of pure euphoria.
For some time, I’ve struggled to put my finger on what it is exactly that makes this band stand out from the rest. What is it that these four men (now five after the recent welcoming of new drummer Peter Richards) have that other bands don’t? Yes, lyrically, they’re one of the most poetic of the bunch and you only have to listen to the briefest of seconds to feel that rising urge to dance, but it’s more than that. So much more.
Maybe it’s their experience of performing, writing and making music, or more likely the friendship that bleeds through into every note played, that makes Nixon Tate & The Honey Club a damn good band. Put simply, these guys have something good and they should keep hold of that for as long as they physically can.
‘Porch Light’ is like every Nixon Tate & The Honey Track rolled into one and it provides us with an idea of the direction that the band intend to take their music this year. 2018 is set to be an incredible year for local music and I predict that Nixon Tate & The Honey Club will be leading that charge from the front.
If you do one thing this year, let Nixon Tate & The Honey Club into your life and allow yourself fall in love with this band and everything that they have to offer. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.