The Honey Pot formed as a five piece band in 2012. Playing a blend of Sixties psyche that has its boots in the past but its head in the future, they draw on that unique English inheritance of the surreal and the strange, but are not afraid to indulge in an American West-Coast style adventure when the mood takes them. Purveying a warm brew of hazy recollections and black penny grooves they are thoroughly groovy.
Although thoroughly unique, The Honey Pot would probably admit the following influences, The Yardbirds, The Doors, The Small Faces, Jefferson Airplane, Donovan, The Kinks, The Flaming Groovies, Spirit, The Hollies, The Jeff Beck Group, Love, Kevin Ayers, The Rolling Stones….
The band released its début album, ‘To The Edge Of The World’ in 2013 and gigged regularly around their native West Country. On one of their many excursions into the deepest, darkest corners of Dartmoor, they misplaced singer Iain Crawford, who was later found in Copenhagen.
Unable to persuade him to return they soldiered on and contributed a track to the charity album 'Home For Christmas'. Featuring their bassist on vocals, it marked another turning point in the band’s career as he too decided to fly the nest. In early 2015 the band recruited a new bassist and keyboard player. They played a storming set at the Games For May all-dayer at the Half Moon, Putney, and finished work on a new single and album called Inside The Whale that will be released in early 2016.
THE HONEY POT - INSIDE THE WHALE
The year is barely a moth old and the Mega Dodo label with both a new single and album by Devon’s the Honey Pot gives notice that any other band/artist who is trying to take that long strange 60's psychedelic trip might just as well give up now. It’s unlikely that any other album or single that is planned for release in 2016 will capture the sound and sprit of those times as well this double shot from Icarus Peel and his merry band of pranksters…sorry, fellow musicians.
‘Lisa Dreams’ is available as a download and as the first 7” vinyl single in the new Mega Dodo Singles Club Limited Edition. Neither side of this single is included in the Honey Pot's new album ‘Inside the Whale’ album which would be reason enough to buy it even if it wasn’t the most delicious slice of 60's-inspired pop to appear on a 7” slab of vinyl since, well let’s say 1968. Icarus Peel is no stranger to whimsical English pop music, his solo albums and those he has made with the Honey Pot single him out as a modern-day Syd Barrett, albeit one who is still in full control of his destiny.
That there has always been that Englishness about Peel’s music is confirmed here; ‘Lisa Dreams’, sung by Crystal Jacqueline, is pop heaven, making a good argument for his most catchy composition to date (and he’s written more than a few), and, with a soaring, heaven-sent guitar break, it’s one of those songs that is simply irresistible. Lyrics about swimming in warm ice cream abound, the harmonies are stunning and if this song doesn’t lift you high on a dreary winter's day then there’s probably little hope left for you anyway. It’s one of the most brilliant 60s inspired singles ever, simple as that.
The B side shows that the Honey Pot are aware that there was more than one type of psychedelia though. ’Into the Deep’ is a group composition, (Peel, Jacqueline, Wayne Fraquet, John Wyatt and Simon Fear) and, even though the A side was fairly lengthy given it’s inspiration (over 3 minutes) the five minutes afforded to the B-side gives the band the time and space to expand their sound and take in some influences from across the pond. The moody, slightly experimental track has a rumbling bass-line, some fantastic guitar licks and brings to mind the Doors. Icarus takes the lead vocals but Jacqueline’s vocal interjections are more important to the overall sound. The song certainly takes the Honey Pot into darker territory than we are used to hearing from them but then Icarus Peel, despite wearing his influences proudly on his sleeve, is obviously not afraid to push boundaries or to combine the two very different strains of psychedelic music together. It’s a stunning single and as a taster for the album couldn’t be bettered.
Which takes us to ‘Inside the Whale’. Released on 26th February the album will be available in a number of formats. A limited edition 180 gram vinyl version (the first 150 signed and numbered by the band), a CD version which includes two bonus tracks (‘Poppy Surfing’ and ‘Three Sisters’) and a limited to 150 copies 3 CD set combining the album, the 'Lisa Dreams' single with extra tracks and a ‘Live in London’ CD, plus interviews with both Peel and Jacqueline. All will be available from www.mega-dodo.co.uk from the end of February.
The darker B-Side ‘Into the Deep’ is more of a taster for at least the opening cuts on ‘Inside the Whale'. While Honey Pot fans will be in no doubt that Peel and Jacqueline can successfully use the English strain of psychedelia as a springboard for what Peel is hearing in his fertile mind, for this latest collection the band have tuned into the West Coast of America for more than a little inspiration. Jefferson Airplane, not just because of the female vocals, and the Doors spring immediately to mind. There is also a feeling that maybe lesser known bands who played the area like the Neighb’rhood Childr’n have come out of retirement and are inhabiting the same studios as the Moody Blues.
This change of mood might well be down in some part to the presence of Simon Fear whose distinctive bass style drives many of these new songs, while keyboardist John Wyatt lends yet another flavour by way of his harpsichord introduction to ‘Walking On Eggshells’. While Peel’s 60's pop sensibilities are never buried too far under the surface, these additions do take the Honey Pot into new directions while not totally deserting the sound that made them so addictive in the first place. Songs like ‘Almost Exactly Beautiful’ combine the quirky Honey Pot sound with a more experimental bent. Even when Peel is back to writing about English gardens as in ‘Butterfly Ride’ there’s so much more covered here than there was on previous albums. It’s no surprise that there’s a dreamy element to many of the songs, but there’s also this feeling that all is not right. An unsettling darkness is hanging over a large part of this album. While ‘Into the Deep’ would have slotted nicely onto ‘Inside the Whale’ it’s understandable why ‘Lisa Dreams’ was issued as a stand-alone single.
‘Inside the Whale’ isn’t just the Honey Pot pushing their music to the next level. They’ve successfully combined the different elements between English and American psychedelia and in doing so have created their own unique take on the genre. There are remnants enough of what fans would expect to keep them happy from a new Honey Pot album and sufficient experimentation to keep them interested. While many fans will never want Icarus Peel to leave his kitchen and serve those cups of tea till the end of time, there comes a point when a little musical diversion is needed and with ‘Inside the Whale’ it appears that Peel and his bandmates have timed it just right.
While it’s a safe bet that the Honey Pot will return to their more English stylings sometime in the future, for now this is the perfect psychedelic album and one that has set the benchmark extremely high for others that planned an album in this genre this year. Maybe next time we’ll get a dozen variations on ‘Lisa Dreams’ but for the coming darker, colder months ‘Inside the Whale’ is just perfect.
THE HONEY POT - INSIDE THE WHALE
Known far and wide for their groovy songwriting, the delicious vocals of Crystal Jacqueline and the scorching, far-out guitar playing of Icarus Peel, the Honey Pot zoom into 2016 with a new single "Lisa Dreams" and a new album "Inside The Whale."
The A side of the single is one of Icarus' most catchy songs to date, matching sonic effects with guitar chops and stabbing piano chords - highly pop-tastic, with all the retro references you could desire. The B side 'Into The Deep' is a slow, moody track written by the whole band and bursting with '60s goodness, not least some really terrific guitar licks and solos from Icarus. This is the debut release of the Mega Dodo Singles Club, so get in there fast from 22 January onwards...
The album opens with 'The Outskirts Of Your Mind,' a jaunty, uptempo little number with plenty of guitar riffs and licks, underpinned by solid drums and bass (the latter from new member Simon Fear), and overlaid with Crystal Jacqueline's super vocals, with plenty of West Coast style harmony vocals also. It exudes the confidence of a band who know exactly what they're doing and are having enormous fun doing it. Flutes and keyboards, then a floating guitar, open the title track, with the accent high on organ drones and a continuing flute accompaniment, which really ups the '60s quotient - lovely cut, this. 'Starfish Smiles' is slower and more abstract, with lots of keyboard washes and deeply reverberated guitar parts, while 'Almost Exactly Beautiful' is more of a stomper, with tom-heavy drums and a solid bass groove; again the organ lifts this quirky track. 'Psychedelic Circles' opens with a bit of studio chatter before a modulated vocal that reminded me of some of Anton Barbeau's work, all underpinned by acoustic guitars and the rest of the band. This cut is like an underground chant - don't dismiss those crucial bands! 'Pink And Orange' continues the lyrical theme of colours with more rainbow child references, then it's into the harpsichord and wah-guitars of 'Walking On Eggshells,' which is kind of a tripped-out folk song with suitably thought-provoking lyrics. 'Butterfly Ride' references English gardens - terrific vocals all round here from men and lady - with very nice soft/loud instrumentation, again with great Hammond organ swirls. 'A Curate's Egg' is another softer, acoustic-led track, with fabulous harmony vocals from all concerned, and some swooping slide guitar: a particularly fine track to end with, I think, and quite possibly the highlight of the whole work.
This album will delight the many fans of The Honey Pot, while any others who like retro flavoured work will admire and enjoy the care and attention put into it.
(Steve Palmer) Terrascope
THE HONEY POT - INSIDE THE WHALE
Try to establish knowledge and styles kept in the same basic culture, merging similar or complementary elements increases the possibility to assimilate an own style. Combining acid rock, space rock, psych-blues, devising innovative notations thickened in delightful fluidity, is the main characteristic of Icarus Peel and Crystal Jacqueline that is the focal point of The Honey Pot.
After a series of solo albums, in this couple (also partners in life)
takes shape the writing of mixtures wavering between sixties and visionary meetings of West Coast sounds and British-vibes. The group was founded in 2012 with the precious debut "To The Edge Of The World" and subsequently with the "Honey" EP (Fruits de Mer), also released on CD by Mega Dodo, entitled "Electronic Memory", full of covers at highly emotional effect, to the point of a feeling tolive an eternal present-past, finding themselves conceptually out
'Inside The Whale' is an ornament obtained with different samples of the same material or by different materials, beautified according to a certain brain chemical mediator. When this kind of "sonic decoration" spreads the mind, you feel away from the physical world. In the vocal harmonies of Crystal are colored small weird splits, the tone of voice reminds the crescendo of Sandy Denny in Battle Of Evermore. At times in the opening 'Outskirts Of You' the notion of reality in the only dimension that we believe exists, offers elements that for others don't exist. The ignition of the thrusters to stabilize the orbit occurs in the continuous confrontation organ-guitars, as well in the pop-edelic evolving of 'Inside The Whale', 'Starfish Smile', 'Almost Exactly Beatiful', the latter sung by keyboardist John Wyatt, where the psych-timeline could belong to the Doors as to the Damned's Black Album, to Jacco Gardner or to the chanting of Syd Barrett.
The psychedelic blues of 'Pink And Orange' lands on a kaleidoscopic floor, it's water to cool the flowers and Iggy the Eskimo listening Janis Joplin. 'Psychedelic Circles' goes beyond the mysteries of rooms with related inner dimension of the space when Donovan, just back from India, extends the 'namaste' greeting at Icarus. The intensity returns to fit the thrills that distill honey, 'Walking On Egg', 'Butterfly Ride', 'Heal's Egg' seize the deep green spotted by animals in motion, bucolic impressionism in the pleasing Devonshire. The quiet and shady source lay down with pop hypnotisms and a crystal acoustic resurfaces as the fascinating Jeff Beck unplugged.
Additionally to this wonderful album, the sumptuous offshoot Mega Dodo single of 'Lisa Dreams' and 'Into the Deep'. Two acid-candy jewels soaked of fluorescent pastels.
Tick tock here's the flying Honeypot.
Sandro Priarone: Plerokium
The Honey Pot
Another gem heading the way of the coolest record emporiums the length and breadth of the nation is a newly peeled twin set from the Honey Pot. Ahead of a February scheduled full length ‘inside the whale’ arriving via mega dodo – who you’ll be fed up of hearing about in the coming few days as we’ve been stockpiling nuggets aplenty – ‘lisa dreams’ has been sent out on scouting duties for optimum listening wooziness. A gorgeously affectionate slice of playfully purred sun parading 60’s lilt pop that arrives bathing your ear space in a woozy kaleidoscopic magicalia of lysergic bouquets and flowery twinkles all the time demurred and dinked in the kind of pristinely turned vintage craft that has you double checking to make sure its authorship isn’t the much missed Eleanor Rigby. That said there’s magic making aplenty over on the flip for ‘into the deep’ sounds as though its floated through some hidden mystical portal upon a peace pipe smoke cloud, a magic bus happening that finds the Honey Pot-ters getting down, loose and spiritual as though a lost 60’s flower power dream coat gathering of the Doors, the Band and Jefferson Airplane types had all converged amid a humungous smoked out hash huddle to concoct a high as a kite hippy dream gospel, absolutely out there and trippy with it. ‘Lisa Dream’s incidentally also marks the launch of an uber limited Mega Dodo Singles Club due for launch next year. The club limited to just 150 places comprises of four specially pressed up releases from the Honey Pot – of course – octopus syng, us and them and one other to be announced all housed in a handsome looking box, all on coloured vinyl along with various freebies and inserts as well as a signed copy of ‘Lisa Dreams’.
The Sunday Experience Posted on November 12, 2015 by marklosingtoday
If you head down the A1 from Wetherby towards…oh I don’t know Lincoln or somewhere you’ll see a sign pointing to ‘Honey Pot Lane Industrial Estate’. What delightful juxtaposition of images that is.
This the Honey Pot is a ’60’s style psych outfit and according to the illustration on the sleeve one of them is actually a mermaid. Before even glancing at the press release I figured that this was a Fruits De Mer type band (it's true- they previously released an EP on the label). So as a result what they play is a kind of local band interpretation of great 60’s psych pop with nods towards both Jefferson Airplane and the school run. The title track thinks its a good idea to combine early Pink Floyd with a flute then take the whole thing in a Jethro Tull direction.
They mean well that's for sure and I assume would sound ok whilst enjoying a pint of organic beer at a village hall get together. Problem is, all the way through the album all I can think of is men wearing sandals.
THE HONEY POT Lisa Dreams 7" (Mega Dodo)
Mega Dodo launch their new single club series with this limited 7" featuring two new tracks from The Honey Pot, which are exclusive to this release and will not be included on their forthcoming album Inside the Whale. Crystal Jacqueline provides lead vocals on Lisa Dreams, a bouncy pop song with vocal harmonies and whimsical psychedelic lyrics about swimming in ice cream and sleeping in a bed of unicorn down. Into the Deep, sung by Icarus Peel with backing vocals from Crystal Jacqueline, is an altogether more intense affair, combining elements of 60s West Coast psych-rock with a dark atmosphere. Each song is very different from the other but both are really great. The singles club is limited to 150 members, who will receive four 7" singles over 12 months, this one being followed by 7"s from Octopus Syng, Us and Them, and another yet to be confirmed, alongside various exclusive items of memorabilia. Available only at www.mega-dodo.co.uk
Kim Harten: Bliss/Aquamarine
THE HONEY POT Inside The Whale
For their first album release of 2016 the wunnerful folks at Mega Dodo have picked a blinder of a record from The Honey Pot, the Devon based melting pot of very English sweet, surreal and strange psychedelic sounds and groovy 60s tripped out San Francisco Acid Rock. Featuring members of the extended Mega Dodo family Crystal Jacqueline and Icarus Peel, the Honey Pot play a blend of Sixties psych that has its boots in the past but its head in the future, looking back to go forward…….drawing not only on the unique English inheritance of surreal, warped Psychedelia and strange, twisted Acid Folk but also frazzled SF style sprawling sonic adventures, The Honey Pot are from where the West Coast meets the West Country and someone has spiked their cream tea.
Inside The Whale shows that The Honey Pot have significantly progressed since the release of their 2013 debut album. Where To The Edge Of The World was very “English” sounding, name-checking a rich history full of the likes of The Hollies, The Kinks, Donovan amongst others, the new record has an harder San Francisco circa 1967 vibe while still retaining that core of quintessential, whimsical Englishness. The albums opener ‘The Outskirts Of Your Mind’ has the spiraling Folk Rock feel of very early Fairport Convention, if they had dabbled in anything more mind expanding than Real Ale, with Male/Female voices blending beautifully. The track is a good example of where The Honey Pot are now at and you can imagine that this folky, Acid Rock sound could have been the direction that the Fairport’s could have taken if they had not been given the address of Cecil Sharp House. The more surreal, high in Notting Hill Gate, 60s/70s counterculture vibe can be heard on ‘Psychedelic Circles’, a trippy Donovanesque “acid hymn” that in a very strange parallel universe has been a massive worldwide hit and kept ‘Please Release Me’ off the top of the charts in April 1967. Part of The Honey Pot’s evolving sound is that they are prepared to improvise more and see where it takes them…………the album’s title track is a blissed out eight minutes of beautiful, gentle psychedelia which ebbs and flows around Crystal Jacqueline’s wonderful voice. There is a more expansive use of keyboards on this record which gives the songs more depth and colour………….this works really well on tunes like ‘Walking On Eggshells’, which has a baroque feel somewhere between H.P. Lovecraft and Jacco Gardner, and where acidic guitar lines, rolling bass and Doorsy organ combine to propel the Psychedelic Blues monster ‘Pink and Orange’ screaming straight outta the Matrix Club sometime in 67. Although Inside The Whale has been inspired by great 60s West Coast bands such as Jefferson Airplane, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Doors, It’s A Beautiful Day, The Sopwith Camel, Spirit and Love along with psychedelicized Brits like Donovan, Kevin Ayers, Kaleidoscope, Traffic and other bands that found heaven in their minds, it is not a "paint by numbers" recreation of the past. The final two tracks ‘Butterfly Ride’ and ‘A Curates Egg’ are both excellent pieces of modern swirling psychedelia that although evokes a sense of bygone days are, like the rest of the album, looking into the eternal now where anything is possible and the future is unwritten. The Honey Pot are taking the “Sound Of The Sixties”, retooling it so that is relevant today and in the process have made a really great psychedelic record that has now set the bar pretty high for the rest of the year.
THE HONEY POT Lisa Dreams 7" (Mega Dodo)
Also worth checking out is The Honey Pot’s contribution to the Mega Dodo Singles Club……..for the first release a couple of fantastic tracks left over from the Inside The Whale sessions (‘Lisa Dreams’ and ‘Into The Deep’) have been selected. ‘Lisa Dreams’ is perfect Californian Sunshine Pop, an imaginary soundtrack to a groovy beach party.....a beach blanket bongout that the Shaggs are playing at. As an antidote to the dark, damp British winter months we can’t think of anything better. The flip side is a slow burning, darker, more menacing acid fried Psych number underpinned by rumbling bass and groovy drums. Imagine the Doors at their lysergic, swampiest, slinkiest best…….it’s a total trip. Released on 22/01/16 ‘Lisa Dreams’ is available as a 7” single with limited edition run of 250 copies with a digital download also available and can be pre-ordered from the Mega Dodo Bandcamp page at https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/lisa-dreams where you can find info about the Mega Dodo Singles Club as well.
THE HONEY POT. Inside The Whale CD / Lisa Dreams 7” (Mega Dodo)
The Honey Pot are a Devon-based band who play a blend of West Coast American psych-pop from a very English perspective. ‘Lisa Dreams’ is the first release in an ongoing Mega Dodo Singles Club and finds two slices of thoughtful lyrics and instinctive melodies. ‘Lisa Dreams’ is like Syd Barrett being reincarnated into a female-fronted indie pop band, while the b-side, ‘Into the Deep’, is a slower, more brooding track that recalls The Doors to some extent, with male vocal this time to the fore and the female vox providing great backing harmonies. Although neither of these tracks appear on the subsequent album, they do serve as a nice introduction to the musical-landscape of The Honey Pot, which is expanded even further on the LP. Overall, it has a more relaxed atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean there are any less great moments, from an occasional hint of Patti Smith-style vocals through to keyboards that could’ve been lifted from The Damned’s ‘Black Album’ (although they, in turn, were probably influenced by the same era of psych-pop.) It takes more time to appreciate the depth of the album but it’s certainly worth it. Its’ roots may be in older genres, but the results are totally fresh and contemporary. Cult-status certainly beckons and, who knows, if they get airplay it the right places, they could even cross over to a much wider audience.
Fear and Loathing Fanzine
The latest from Crystal Jacqueline & The Honey Pot is a 15 track set that takes the 7 tunes that appeared on last year’s Fruits de Mer Records double 7″ set and adds 8 more to make Electronic Memory a groovy combo of classic covers, Icarus Peel originals, and strange narrative bits.
The album opens with upbeat, lusciously melodic and soon rocking orchestrated Psychedelia, with freaky and sometimes Beatle-esqe effects, and a child’s voice repeating the line, “Crystal Jacqueline did not wake up in time. I don’t mean that she was late for a meeting, or even her breakfast. The truth is, she simply didn’t wake up when she was supposed to.” The child is the “storyteller” and these various music and narrative segments consist of surreal and rocking music and fun trippy effects which suggest a kind of Alice in Wonderland theme that loosely strings the album’s songs together. (The child reciting “The White Rabbit lay down and placed Crystal Jacqueline on his tummy” is a great line.)
In additional to the transitional segments we have two excellent Icarus Peel originals. It’s Raining is a high energy Pop-Psych rocker with a catchy melody, awesome spaced out guitars and powerhouse drumming. And The Swan Necked Spider is a sultry slice of cool grooving and soulfully funky Psychedelia.
Rounding out the set are 7 killer cover tunes. Pink Floyd’s trippy-spacey-tribal Remember A Day is amped up with a fuller rockin’ Prog-Psych sound. The Honey Pot’s rendition of White Rabbit is a one-two punch knockout, starting off very much like the original, but then about halfway through blasting off into a monster rocker with symphonic keys and ripping guitars. Fleur de Lys’ garage-pop freakout song Tick Tock is given a wah’d dose of funky grooves, which sounds great combined with the stratospheric guitar solos and classic 60s organ. Mighty Baby’s Egyptian Tomb is similarly rocked up and includes more ripping guitar, which sounds fantastic within a bouncy Pop-Psych grooving context. Great vocal harmonies too! Hole In My Shoe, written and sung by Dave Mason, was probably the most un-Traffic like song Traffic ever recorded, being something of a surreal nursery rhyme ditty. The Honey Pot are faithful to the core of the song but inject a punchy rocking edge, killer psyched out instrumental segments and guitar solos, and great vocals from both Peel and Jacqueline. For Curved Air’s Puppets, Crystal is faithful to the spirit of the original, but injects an orchestral feel that’s both flowing and quirky, and dispenses with the jazzy piano, and in my opinion is overall better than Curved Air. Finally, Crystal cranks out a cool rocking cover of The Electric Prunes’ I Had Too Much To Dream.
I love Jacqueline’s vocals, which achieve a difficult to describe blend of potency and lulling calm. And the more acquainted I become with Peel’s music the more I realize what a great guitarist he is. Add in solid production and arrangements and we’ve got a damn fine set of Psychedelia. Recommended.
Note that the CD will be available in March as a boxed set that includes the CD, a 12 page booklet, two postcards, a badge, and… get this… a packet of Mega Dodo patented vinyl simulator (i.e., “space dust”). Better hurry because there are only 100 of them.
Aural Innovations, January 15, 2015. Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz
Crystal Jacqueline & The Honey Pot - Electronic Memory
Crystal clear, honey sweet
Down in Devon there’s a secret that shouldn’t be kept: a cottage industry of rural-feeling psych infused with 60s whimsy that variously appears under the names of Crystal Jacqueline, her partner Icarus Peel, and their band The Honey Pot. Records deserving of a wider audience have appeared on the Fruits de Mer label (which originally issued some of the material here on a double 7” set), and on John Blaney’s Mega Dodo imprint, where Jacqui’s delightfully beguiling Sun Arise album appeared.
Crystal and co aren’t afraid to play around with old familiars, pushing the boundaries of White Rabbit or I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and juxtaposing heartbreakingly sweet and fragile vocals with a sense of purpose – sometimes of attack. They reimagine the originals but don’t stray too far from the bucolic pastoralism that characterises their take on Lewis Carroll psychedelia.
That Alice In Wonderland aura is accentuated on these recordings thanks to an interspersed narrative that creates a storybook atmosphere (Keith Jones at FdM thought the band’s name sounded like the title of a children’s tale and the idea sprouted from there). Even though that notion might seem twee, it’s really a lovely set.
Ian Abrahams: Record Collector
CRYSTAL JACQUELINE AND THE HONEY POT Electronic Memory CD
Originally released as a double 7" EP on Fruits de Mer Records (reviewed earlier this issue in part 2 of the Fruits de Mer feature), Mega Dodo have reissued the original material from the double EP on CD, along with two new tracks, to make up this full length album. The CD is limited to 100 copies and is packaged as a box set with 12 page booklet and an assortment of memorabilia. The 15 tracks here include a mixture of original material and vintage cover versions, punctuated by surreal, fairytale-esque storytelling set to music, featuring the voice of child narrator Paige Naomi Baker. The story in question incorporates song titles from the album and is reproduced in its entirety in the accompanying booklet alongside similarly surreal psychedelic artwork. The album features covers of songs by Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, The Fleur de Lys, Mighty Baby, Curved Air, The Electric Prunes, and Traffic, the latter's Hole in my Shoe being exclusive to this reissue. Also included are two songs written by The Honey Pot's Icarus Peel, one of which appeared on the original vinyl release, one of which did not, and the various narrative pieces which I believe were part of the original double EP, but are new to me as they were not included on the advance promo I received, so were not mentioned in my original review for that reason. The band put their own stamp on the covers, making for a coherent listening experience that successfully combines the surrealistic whimsy of UK psych-pop with the wilder, harder-edged form of psychedelia coming from the US. Available 2nd March from www.mega-dodo.co.uk
Reviewed by Kim Harten Bliss Aquamarine
Sunrise Ocean Bender
The West Country’s The Honey Pot debut their sweet sounds To The Edge Of The World this February via a new partnership between Mega Dodo and Psychedandy Records. One spin through and it’s not surprising that Psychedandy, home of Icarus Peel, is half of the conduit. Sharing much of Peel’s appeal and mission, The Honey Pot are purveyors of psych pop that is a bit folky, a touch groovy and thoroughly English (spare a tuppence for some butterscotch ice cream and curried spam?). Full of ‘black penny grooves’ sprinkled with a dusting of whimsy, The Honey Pot nimbly keep their tunes from becoming treacly, or worse yet, twee. Name-checking a rich history full of the likes of The Hollies, The Kinks, Donovan…you know the candy jar we’re talking about…To The Edge Of The World offers up as diverse a box of goods as you’d expect with that lineage. Vocal duties, split between the sexes, work to serve the songs’ best interests whether it’s more pastoral oriented fare or more outright hazy psych provisions. Though firmly rooted in that era above, The Honey Pot still keep the sound current…and currant. Opting for a lighter, frosted touch that keeps the melody up front rather than drenched in fatty sonics, To The Edge Of The World should please the sweet tooth, as well as leave a little something sticking to the ribs.
The Strange Brew Podcast
The Honey Pot are another new group who wear the psych-pop influences on their sleeve but like many albums from the sixties it has a wide range of styles. Album opener for example, “To The Edge of The World” is West Country Brits play West Coast USA a la early Fairport Convention with male and female vocals intertwining.
My favourite element is the toy town victoriana that the group successfully embody; from “Comfys Honey Jar” and “Florence”. The wonderful pastoral psychedelic “Paper Garden” echoes Vashti Bunyan and the acoustic “Love Is Green” share a Billy Nicholls sensibility.
Finishing with the darker “Sweet Orange Sunshine”, like a stripped back Al Stewart’s Turn To Earth, The Honey Pot leave the listener wanting more.
Broken Hearted Toy
To say The Honey Pot has been influenced by psychedelic rock bands of the 1960s would be an understatement. It’s more like this English band, which formed in 2012, found a hippie cookbook and started using its vintage recipes for creating music. The results might seem out of synch with a lot of modern trends, but for fans of this particular genre, The Honey Pot’s 14-track debut, To The Edge Of The World, is a trip worth taking.
“Roses Will Grow,” with its distorted guitars and lyrics like “The shadow of a dream passes by,” recalls Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses.” On “Tuppence For Your Thoughts,” The Honey Pot adds a dash of prog rock, along with some electrified folk, while the coed vocals on the title track and regal-sounding “Comfy’s Honey Jar” revive the spirit of Haight-Ashbury Jefferson Airplane. The harder hitting “Here Come The Dreams” and “How Many?” find The Honey Pot appealing to more modern tastes without slipping out of their favorite decade.
Hailing from the West Country, The Honey Pot were brought to Rocksucker's attention by Mordecai Smyth and they share a predilection for vintage English psychedelia. Contrary to Smyth's bouncily melodic and lightly surrealist character portraits, however, these guys deal in more of a "Tell me, tell me / What is it you see?" sort of mysticism, evidenced by the fact that that is indeed a lyric from the album (the gleefully silly "Comfys Honey Jar", to be precise).
Though it can be hard to tell whether they're joking or not, To the Edge of the World is coursing with both psychedelic pop staples - sunny boy/girl harmonies, bouts of attitudinal speak-singing, eruptions of spazzy guitar, that sort of thing - and more original touches like the string and gong in "Love is Green", the koto in brief interlude "Miss Yesterday", and the intentionally sloppy group singing on "Florence".
The Honey Pot pull it off with aplomb, but doomy closer "Sweet Orange Sunshine" hints at the presence of another trick or two up their collective sleeve that they will hopefully indulge next time round rather than spend so much time anchored in homage. Still, psych-heads should find plenty to enjoy here.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!
The Honey Pot is the latest project from West Country legend Icarus Peel. Previously he's recorded solo, but for his latest album he's recruited members of various South West bands to help realise his vision.
Redolent of cream teas, ten shilling notes and English cottage gardens, To The Edge Of The World is the sonic equivalent of an impressionist painting. To call their music psychedelic would be an injustice. There's a hazy richness to the songs that has as much to do with the arrangements and period tonality as with the nostalgic, romanticism of the lyrics. The references are implied rather than stated, drawing the listener deeper into Peel's world.
As English as tuppence and as satisfying as a sticky bun and a cup of good, strong tea, this is an album that delights in the past, whilst sounding as fresh and inventive as the music that inspired it.
Moving from analogue to digital, “To the Edge of the World” is a fourteen track collection of Psychedelic pop, drawing on influences such as The Small faces, Jefferson Airplane, The Hollies and sixties psych in general, the band mixing the English sound with a large helping of West-Coast groove. Opening with the title track the band show themselves to be in that groove right from the off, a gentle beginning slowly rising in energy levels, sounding like an English Elevators by the end A fine opener that is matched by the brilliance of “Comfys Honey Jar”, a kaleidoscopic tune that is sweetly lysergic, a tune that would be the highlight of any Rubbles compilation it graced, the hero of the tune sitting in a “state of bliss” due to his jar of honey.
From here on in the band rarely put a foot wrong, the whole album flowing beautifully,with strong songs and great arrangements, the playing matching the quality of the songs, with the blending of male/female vocals really lifting the songs. Highlights include the California swirl of “Paper Garden” with its Airplane coating, the haunting “Hazy Recollections” also in the West-Coast style, and “Florence” which is as English as English can be, in a Psych-Pop kinda way, you just know you will be home in time for tea.