18 February 2018

The Honeyslides at The Half Moon (18 Feb 18)

The Honeyslides have officially become a tradition on my fourth time of seeing them at The Half Moon in Putney since April 16. Now, as with Kew Gardens, the blog posts have the date in the title to differentiate the similar entries.

Things went much the same as usual this time, a 85 bus from Kingston at 6:45pm got us to The Half Moon just before 7:30pm. The doors were due to open at 8pm and there were already three people in the queue. We grabbed a couple of pints of Ordinary and joined them.

The wait was uneventful and we passed some of the time attempting the pub quiz questions. The biggest excitement came when a heavily laden and slightly flustered bass player turned up at 8pm. He obviously did not need to be part of the sound check!

The doors opened more of less on time. As previously one of the two central tables was reserved and the group in front of us claimed the other so we took the one on the left of the stage, as we had done in September.

The Honeyslides started just after 8:30am with just Tom Billington on stage doing an acoustic set. As expected this was very much a greatest hits selection and the mood of the evening was very much Live Rust, which is still the best introduction to Neil Young's music. That meant that it was not too long before we had the full band on stage and the acoustic guitar was swapped for a black electric one.

I did not attempt a set list this time, nor did I take any notes, as I wanted to concentrate on the music and I was not expecting surprises. While there were no surprises there were some changes. The most obvious omission (to me) was Words which was balanced, I think, by a couple of new songs including Farmer John. Some of the absolute classics seemed to be longer and even more energetic before, particularly Cinnamon Girl. There were some sequence changes too with Like A Hurricane and Cortez The Killer both coming almost at the end just as I was starting to worry that we might not hear them.

As before there was a pretty hard curfew at 11pm and if you do the maths that was almost two and a half hours of uninterrupted Neil Young music played with a lot of skill and even more passion. That's why seeing The Honeyslides at The Half Moon has become a tradition.

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