Monster Mad For The Honey

Today’s snippet of queasy post-punk dub is brought to us by Honey Bane, a colourful early associate of Crass, with whom she recorded the corking 1979 single, You Can Be You.

This statement later took on a shade of irony however, as the barely teenage Bane fell into the clutches of one Jimmy Pursey, whose ham-fisted attempts to turn her into a pop starlet ultimately led to her musical downfall.

Guilty, the self-released follow-up to You Can Be You sees Honey at the crossroads between her punk beginnings and the brief and turbulent pop career which followed. The darkness of the record is genuine (HB’s highly unstable childhood in various draconian corrective institutions is often reflected in her lyrics) but aside from that its laboured new wave noodling fails to convince.

For one thing, whilst having a terrific voice for punk, a pop nightingale Honey ain’t, and Guilty’s gratingly flat vocals are more reminiscent of a nervous soloist in a school musical than a sultry chanteuse. The dub version on the flip is little more than a collection of Honey’s cringeworthy moans drenched in tape echo, but it does, nonetheless, exude a certain lop-sided charm.

Following a slew of unsuccessful singles for EMI/Zonophone and a role in the 1983 borstal saga, Scrubbers, Honey allegedly spent the remainder of the decade posing for ‘erotic’ magazines. Returning to music in the 90s, she has recorded sporadically ever since and there is even a hint of dodgy dub sneaking in the back door of her recent album, Acceptance of Existence, as you will hear below.

Try these on for size:

(Dread Zed)

And now for the good stuff:

Her first band, Fatal Microbes:

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