They’ve been on a six week tour of the States so now it’s time to take their heavy, heavy monster sound back to the UK in support of their third album “The glorious dead”.
Last time I saw them was at this Brighton gig, and tonight they’ve augmented their standard line up of drums, bass, lead guitar and vocals with a three piece string section called String Beans, a three man horn section, three backing singers and a Hammond organ player. With fourteen people onstage it’s a fat sound, they were always a great band as a four piece and their continuous touring has honed the live show immensely.
It’s a mixture of old and new songs, the older songs like “Sixteen”, with its nod to Screaming Jay Hawkins, sounding assured and timeless. Lead singer Kelvin Swaby says how great it is to be back in London and a sold out Scala crowd greet this with huge cheers. The songs off the new album go down really well, particularly new single “Can’t play dead” which has a neat little stop frame animated video to go with it. “Curse me good” also sounds like a potential single but then the new album is pretty consistent in the quality of the songs. Another good thing is that the crowd seem to be familiar with this new album which is always a good thing as they’ve clearly been buying it.
There’s time for some good old fashioned call and response to the chorus of the song “Big bad wolf”, with previous single “What makes a good man” also sounding epic. The new extended band look good and are on great form, and the use of the string section adding an extra dimension to this raucous soul revue.
A tight band with a good frontman, part Dyke and the Blazers with the odd Stooges riff, The Heavy have really come into their own.
That video for “Can’t play dead”.