Dirty Honey rolled into the UEA as part of their first European dates, and Norwich loved the band, with MetalTalk’s Paul Monkhouse saying, “you can bet that they’re headed towards the arenas, their name soon to be twenty feet high on billboards and marquees.”
Marc LaBelle spoke to Paul and Steve Ritchie after the show, and it’s clear that both he and the band love the reception they are receiving this side of the pond.
Having first covered Dirty Honey in early 2021 for their debut album release, MetalTalk also covered their New Haven gig with Mammoth WVH and their first UK appearance at Download. There was already excitement at MetalTalk about seeing the band live, and while their debut album was superb, we suggested to Marc LaBelle that was nothing compared to experiencing them live.
“That’s obviously a great compliment,” Marc said. “I don’t know if it’s a detriment to the album, but it’s something that we hear quite a bit.”
Talking about tonight’s California Dreamin’ performance was a goosebump moment for us, but it was also evident that everyone in Norwich loved Dirty Honey tonight. “I love everyone in Norwich,” Marc says. “We had the day off here yesterday, and we had a great time. Fortunately, we have bicycles on the bus, so we got to explore quite a bit, and we really enjoyed ourselves. This was our first proper day off in the UK, and we got to spend it here.”
Their first UK appearance was at this year’s Download. “Download was fucking awesome,” Marc says. “Our tour manager was telling me we had to get there. That was the number one thing on his list, and he wasn’t kidding. He knew the impact it would have for us, and it was immediate.”
The MetalTalk coverage of Download included a review of Dirty Honey’s performance by Monty Sewell, who spoke very highly of them. “That’s great,” Marc says. “We knew it was gonna be a special gig for us because of the hype and it being the first gig in the UK. But we couldn’t have expected the welcome we received. There were 7,000 people there at 11 a.m. It was crazy. So hopefully, that permeates throughout the rest of the UK.”
It certainly had in Norwich. “For sure,” Marc says. “There were definitely some Dirty Honey fans already here at the start of the night that were really excited to see us. Whenever you look out, and you see some of your own t-shirts at a support slot gig, you know that’s obviously very flattering. But we’re out here to prove ourselves and to prove that the state of rock n’ roll is alive and well, especially in America.”
Touring with Rival Sons is special for Dirty Honey. “We looked up to Rival Sons for a long time, touring here and in Europe. To be out here with them, a band that we looked up to for a long time, is a really special thing. I wanted to move to London and tour around the UK for a little while before we had any success. The American thing sort of happened by accident.”
MetalTalk spoke with Black Stone Cherry recently, and they were very complimentary of the UK audiences, and you sense there is a similar opportunity for Dirty Honey to really open themselves to the UK and European audiences as well.
“You can feel it,” Marc says. “Not to name drop, but I was talking with Slash a couple of days ago. He said ‘Dude, you’re gonna love Europe. Haven’t you toured Europe yet? Like, what’s going on? How have you not been to Europe and the UK.’ I was like, dude, Covid happened, man. We’re pretty young into this thing. He was just speaking so highly about the audiences over here, and we felt that from day one.”
For now, though, Marc says he and the band are “taking it all in and enjoying the ride as Download obviously exceeded all our expectations and tonight was fantastic.”
If the Norwich fans were keen to do it all again, then sooner than later is the message Marc sends out. “We’re trying to figure [another European tour] out right now, so maybe early next year, maybe the fall.”
As for the next album, they have to finish the current tour before moving that forward. “We have to carve some time out for that,” Marc says, “but I think that’s something we don’t want to rush this time around. I think Covid-19 left us a finite amount of time in the studio. We want to go back in there and explore some things.”
In the meantime, there are few opportunities left to catch the band with Rival Sons. You just know that next time they are over here, it will not be as support.