Full-on rock & roll from Dirty Honey in Manchester

Live Review

Dirty Honey. Photo by Terry Marland.

By Terry Marland, Rock At Night Manchester

Live Review: Dirty Honey’s Cant Find the Brakes Tour w/the Heavy North – Manchester Academy 2 – Thursday, 8th February 2024 

The Heavy North

Andrew Horrocks and Jack Birch of the Heavy North. Photo by Terry Marland.

Tonight’s support comes from hotly tipped Liverpool Blues Rock band, The Heavy North,

who have been building up a solid reputation as across the UK and have recently broken new ground in Europe. Formed in 2018, their first two albums Electric Soul Machine and last year’s Delta Shakedown have been praised by the music press with tracks being played extensively on national radio. Tonight their razor sharp set is skillfully tailored to maximise their 35-minute stage time and showcase some of their best tracks to date including ”Where Are You Now?”, “Round Again” and the set closer, “Satisfy You”.  Their blues rock vibe entwined with soulful vocals is a powerful mix that is warmly received by the crowd.

The band, who were only announced as support the previous day, has won a lot of new fans tonight and there were some shouts of “more” at the end of their set.

Check out their first two albums on streaming platforms.

More details including band videos here: https://www.theheavynorth.com/


Marc LaBelle of Dirty Honey. Photo by Terry Marland.

Dirty Honey has been featured on the Rock at Night radar going back to 2019.  Since then we have covered them extensively on both sides of the Atlantic and they never fail to deliver a set of high-voltage rock & roll.  Inspired by the cream of classic rock bands, they perform with a confident swagger, towering  vocals and spiralling guitars that salute the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, The Stones and AC/DC……. all delivered in an unmistakeable Dirty Honey style.

Frontman Marc Labelle has one of the most distinctive voices in modern-day rock and can hit and hold the high notes with more conviction than many of his contemporaries, while virtuoso guitarist John Notto is more than a master of his craft.  Justin Smolian exudes class on his vintage bass guitar and alongside stellar drummer Jaydon Bean they make up a formidable rhythm section.

Justin Smolian of Dirty Honey. Photo by Terry Marland.

Dirty Honey tour endlessly and have supported some of the world’s premiere rock bands building up an ever-growing and loyal fanbase.  This is the second night of their UK and European ’” Can’t Find The Brakes” tour and the packed Thursday night crowd is ready to start the weekend early.

Proceedings kick off with a blistering version of the aforementioned “Can’t Find the Brakes’ with LaBelle resplendent in an unbuttoned cowboy jacket, dark glasses, and trademark hat strutting the stage pointing the mic stand towards the audience.  Crowd favourites “California Dreaming” and “Heartbreaker” follow on and have the audience clapping and joining in on the choruses.

Following a raucous “Tied Up”, Smolian and Notto take on acoustic duties, first for a sublime “Coming Home (Ballad of the Shires)” and then a countrified cover of “Honky Tonk Woman” that takes the already passionate crowd participation to another level.

John Notto of Dirty Honey. Photo by Terry Marland.

The main set concludes with a further two crowd favourites “Another Last Time” and “Miss Me When I’m Gone” before they return for an encore that concludes with “Rolling 7s”  sending the crowd home more than satisfied having witnessed an hour and a half of full-on Rock & Roll.

More details including UK and Europe Tour Dates here https://www.dirtyhoney.com/tour-dates




Terry Marland

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