Event Review: Honey Dijon @ Dr Morse

I rocked on down to Dr Morse nice and early. Having experienced a few weeks of exceptional weather the organisers at Yaldi Boomtime moved Friday’s proceedings to the intimate little venue in Collingwood to make the most of it’s cosy outdoor terrace. I’ll admit that upon arrival I was slightly apprehensive. With only an hour and half until Miss Honey Dijon was set take the decks, the sparse crowd was interspersed evenly around the outdoor seating and the dancefloor was a tad empty.

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But where the crowd was slightly lacking the music wasn’t. Up first were Olibusta, who set about muscularly flexing between deep melodic grooves and atmospheric house chillers. Whilst the vibe was tight it perhaps wasn’t the most encompassing track selection for the post work vibe but it never stagnated and the soft transition into Theo Parrish’s ‘Anansies Dances’ was a particular highlight. As Yaldi head honcho Craig Bell took the reigns, the venue felt in transition. People were jostling their way to the dance floor, the outdoor heaters were beginning to heat up and as Craig seamlessly mixed his way through Motor City influenced house and disco the party was coming alive. The inspired use of Talking Heads ‘This Must Be The Place’ brought with it the left field tone Yaldi seems to appeal to, igniting some joyous shapes. As the mood brightened so too did the numbers. By the time Honey Dijon came gracefully streaming through the crowd, the outdoor terrace was packed out and as Bell dropped in Kerri Chandler’s ‘You’re In My System’, there was a pretty special feel about the place.

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Honey, decked out in a coat with white fur shoulders, oozed sophistication and quickly eased the crowd in with a remix of Erykah Badu’s ‘Back in the Day’. As the set began taking shape, jazz enthused numbers rang out across the terrace drenching the floor with infectious melodies and deep percussive elements. Where some artists fall into the trap of leaning too heavily on one sound, Honey smoothly worked her way through an eclectic mix of disco, Chicago stompers and acidic house, constantly challenging the crowd. The playful ‘100% Pure Love’ by Crystal Waters met with notable approval as did what appeared to be a version of Mr G’s unreleased ‘House is a Nation’ or a track using the addictive accapella. An artist who forged her sound in both Chicago and New York is was apparent throughout the depth to which these sounds influenced her selections but never constrained them. By the time Mike Dunn’s sultry ‘Phreaky MF’ came streaming through the system the vibe was electric and whilst I had to leave slightly after, the positive energy stayed with me.

All in all, the guys from Yaldi did a fine job. The intimate feel of the space allowed Honey to express her inner artist and it was great to see the crowd fully engage with her musical direction. A refreshing party!

Photos: Chris McGinn