HONNE kept me Warm on a Cold Night

Valentina Gomes dos Santos reviews HONNE’s concert in London

I am a proud concert freak. Approximately 14 years ago, when I was six years old, my mother took me to my first concert, and I haven’t stopped since. By now, I have attended more or less 50 concerts , with a high number of those being completely alone. I think there is something extremely important on doing things by yourself and being able to enjoy your own company. Plus, going  alone is great because you don’t have to put up with other people and what they may want to do: go or leave early, stay further away from the crowd or too close to the stage. You can do your thing.

Last Saturday, on a cold November evening, I had another very good excuse to run away from Colchester. HONNE was performing at the O2 Academy Brixton. If you don’t know who HONNE is, you are definitely missing out. The duo from East London started their career in 2014, and by 2016 they were releasing the first full-length album Warm on a Cold Night. More recently, in August 2018, the group released their second album Love Me/Love Me Not, which was then to be followed by their European tour. HONNE is known by its inherent Japanese influence. The name of the duo itself regards to the Japanese dichotomy honne and tatemae, which is basically translated to the contrast between someone’s true feelings and their behaviour displayed in public. Their albums, as well as their music videos, also follow Japanese aesthetics. Such important Asian influence was observed within the concert crowd: a good 50% of the five thousand people attending were either Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian or Singaporean. And the setlist of 18 songs from both albums was enthusiastically sung back to back by everyone.

Photo taken by: Valentina Gomes dos Santos

I come from Brazil, a country known by its amazing concert crowds and extremely avid and passionate spectators, which means I am not used to the European restrained style of appreciation. I am used to people crying, screaming and losing their minds, but HONNE’s crowd definitely didn’t disappoint on the excitement part. Concerning the songs, I am not ashamed to say I cried at least four times during the 1 hour and 40 minutes of concert. HONNE’s repertoire is basically composed of love songs, and for a broken hearted girl like me, they all crushed my soul. Someone That Loves You, Warm on a Cold Night and Woman got my singleton self in tears. While Me and You, 306 and Good Together made me dance and enjoy that cold Saturday evening that suddenly turned really warm.

In my humble opinion, going to concerts is a great way to have fun, but going to concerts by yourself is a great way to get in touch with your own intrinsic source of happiness and independence. Although this was HONNE’s last concert of the tour, and I cannot realistically recommend going to another one; I highly recommend getting to know their songs and watching their music videos and acoustic versions: this East London duo is truly magical.

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