There was something going on between the bands and the photographers at The Liquid Room on Saturday night.  Glaswegian openers LUCIA chose to capitalise on the attention, trying on a few aggressive poses during their first bit of ’90s-era garage rock.  All in all, they showed off new EP Best Boy at its finest, with closer Saturday Is Dead providing a particularly danceable high-hat beat.

Estrons took things up a notch musically and photographically, playing as well to the rock star imagery before getting down to the business at hand.  After having driven up from Cardiff on the day, the energy they brought to their set was impressive, and the audience’s response seemed to indicate that the nine-hour ride home would be well worth it.  Will be keeping my eye out for a promising debut album.

Then Honeyblood arrived, and everything shifted: the mood, the atmosphere – even the stage layout, as Cat Myers’ drumkit was brought up to the front alongside guitarist Stina Tweeddale’s microphone.  The photographers came out, and they were studiously ignored – for, from the first notes of Justine, Misery Queen, it was clear that Honeyblood only had eyes for its fans.

This is an essential band to see live, and I mean it.  The sheer force behind these two more than equals anything your average quartet can bring to the table, and the palpable love between the band and their fans gives off a warmth that you can see in eager lip-synching being met by more than equal enthusiasm from the stage.  If you’d walked in halfway through, it would be impossible to tell who was enjoying it more.

Especially as you’d have shown up just in time to catch the Broken Drumstick Competition.  Having snapped the stick early on, Myers held onto it before announcing it would be given away to the most extreme dancer she could spot.  As the band broke into a blistering Babes Never Die, the security team were on edge, stepping in to put a halt to three audience members who had climbed onto their friends’ shoulders.

But Myers wasn’t dissuaded – and, in the middle of closing number Killer Bangs, there came a long pause as she hopped off the stage, walked through the crowd to find her chosen winner, held the stick aloft over his head and gave him a big bear hug before bounding back behind her drums (Tweeddale: ‘make sure you’re plugged in’) and picking up right where they left off.  Pure magic.

For more on Honeyblood and their tour click here.