Edinburgh International Festival review: Honeyblood

As a part of My Light Shines On, the Edinburgh International Festival has commissioned some of Scotland’s leading artists to create extraordinary works that audiences can enjoy from their own homes.

Honeyblood on stage at Leith Theatre for this year's Edinburgh International Festival programme.

Honeyblood ***

There is eleven-and-a-half minutes of popular music performance in the new-not-normal International Festival and it all belongs to Honeyblood, aka Edinburgh-bred musician Stina Tweeddale.

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Filmed alone on the Leith Theatre stage with the empty auditorium behind her, Tweeddale has enough personal charisma to carry her through this uncluttered performance which throws her expressive voice and sonorous guitar playing into relaxed relief.

Both elements are in full effect on the country ache of Bud. This soulful entreaty from Honeyblood’s self-titled debut album follows through with a horticultural metaphor about watering a relationship which is withering on the vine.

There’s no room for dead romantic weight on the title track of follow-up album Babes Never Die, which, though slowed down and shorn of its indie rock momentum, still retains its steely defiance as a solo number.

Tweeddale then completes her three-track sampler with The Third Degree from most recent album, In Plain Sight, brushing off an ex with a playful Aretha Franklin reference: “I say a little prayer … cause you’re out of my life”.

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