Nicely rammed in The Garage for this gig by The Heavy. Hailing from Noid (south-west of Bath), they’re on tour in support of their second album “The house that dirt built”. The band consists of Chris Ellul (drums), Spencer Page (bass), Dan Taylor (lead guitar) and Kelvin Swaby (vocals).
They play a mix of soul, funk, punk and rock laced with hip hop loops, horns and samples over which Swaby rasps, croons and gets all Gospel with the vocals. They come onto the darkened stage to the strains of “Short change hero”, a track off the new album. It’s got an athmospheric spaghetti western type intro that perfectly showcases Swaby’s soulful vocal. After this opening number, Swaby says they’ve been looking forward to this London show as they launch into “Coleen”, the single of their first album “Great Vengeance and Furious Fire”. It’s greeted with recognition by the appreciative crowd and the band don’t let up from this point on.
Their show is full on and energetic, part Iggy and the Stooges and part James Brown but always unrelenting. There’s a big cheer for “Sixteen”, a previous single off the new album that is built around a sample of “I put a spell on you” by Screaming Jay Hawkins and it’s an influence the band unapologetically showcase. They play a good chunk of the new album and the singles off the first then finish with a storming version of current single “How you like me now” and it’s horn led riffs and pounding drums are a perfect way to end an uptempo bouncy set.
It’s the second time I’ve seen them now and feel they’re a band who should probably be more well known than they are. Well worth seeing live.