Live Review: Citizen & Honey Lung - Bush Hall, London 05/10/2017
Citizen recently released their latest album ‘As You Please’, with an official release date of October 6th. However, they released it a day early on Bandcamp with $1 from every sale going towards benefiting victims of Hurricane Maria. This coincidentally, was also the same day we caught them in London for their recent UK tour, which meant people had chance to listen to the new release a few hours before they were set to hit the stage at Bush Hall.
Kicking off the evening however, was London based 4-piece punk band Honey Lung. It can often be worrying when a band only brings along one support act, as they have a big space to fill to warm the crowd up. In some respects, it can be easier to get the crowd going with more support acts. This being said, Honey Lung managed to pull it off exceptionally well and brought so much energy to the stage. They actually seemed like a perfect pairing to the likes of Citizen and their spot on this tour was more than well deserved. The only downside is that the band themselves, haven’t got many releases under their belt yet so were only able to produce a half an hour set, but they packed a lot into such a short set and really made it worth the crowd’s time. The band played their latest release ‘Stuttering Mind’ which delivers slightly more indie vibes than what Citizen deliver, which is always great at a gig so the night doesn’t get too repetitive and similar in sounds. The room was also pretty busy which is a rare sight for a support band, especially one as small as Honey Lung who are still building up their following, which I’m sure they’ll do in no time after this tour.
As Citizen hit the stage, we were greeted by the happiness of the whole band. Citizen are a band that seem to really appreciate their fans who have got them where they are today, and seem to love their time on stage performing. The whole venue lit up with cheers as they kicked off their set. The set actually included more dated classics rather than their new releases, which was slightly disappointing but fun all the while. Playing hits like ‘The Summer’, ‘Cement’ and ‘Yellow Love’, it seems as though the band tactically chose what they knew the crowd would be familiar with. One thing people love to do at gigs is sing back the lyrics with all they’ve got, so it’s understandable that they didn’t play many new songs. The new songs they did play were previously released singles, such as ‘In The Middle of it All’, ‘Jet’ and ‘Fever Days’, whilst only playing ‘I Forgive No One’ as a track no one would have been familiar with by this point.
The night was filled with many stage divers too, being a no-barrier gig. This didn’t seem to cause many problems, other than one girl supposedly not being caught which Citizen responded to a tweet about the next day. However, there are people that attend gigs that just don’t want to constantly catch people when they have paid money to be there and enjoy the night and it did feel as though there were perhaps too many people at one point, for the crowd to keep up with. With this in mind, I feel the crowd were all pretty supportive. I even had one girl making sure I was okay with my camera when shooting near the pit of people pushing each other about, and offering help to me, and as a whole the audience seemed to look out for each other mostly.
The venue seemed very fitting for both bands that performed and left just enough space for the merch tables at the back of the room, however the sound did seem a little off and it was sometimes difficult to understand what different band members were saying or to understand the lyrics, but luckily with most of the setlist being well known, the crowd sung back anyway and strengthened the understanding of the lyrics. Possibly the most well known song of the night was ‘Sleep’ or ‘The Summer’ which both had the crowd going crazy, but I would’ve liked to have seen songs such as ‘Medicine’ and ‘World’ performed, which I see being some big hits from their new release.
Review and Photography by Hayley Fearnley