The Heavy; Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, 19/11/13

The Heavy; Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, 19/11/13

The Heavy were supported by The Computers, and I would not normally mention the support act but this quintet are definitely worth the effort. This crazy band from Devon rocked the almost-empty, dark basement in the painfully cold Scottish capital for a solid hour. They refer to themselves as “The saviours of soul, the heavy weight champions of rock ‘n’ roll” and despite being hyperbolic I would say I agree. Their music is funky, soul-y, rocky and, well, it just music that makes you wanna shake around, lose all your inhibitions and dance away.

Now, for those of you who haven’t heard of The Heavy, first of all I do, genuinely, from the bottom of my soul, feel sorry for you. Secondly, I implore you to change that right-fucking-now. It is a real shame when One Direction are better known than The Heavy but what can you do, eh? The Heavy are a four-piece from Bath and have come a long way since starting in ’07. Worldwide tours, a track with 50 Cent and having their music soundtrack David Beckham’s latest fragrance advert are just a few of their achievements.

The band came on with singer Kelvin Swaby swaggering to the front of the stage to an eruption of screams. With his trademark old school microphone he stands in front of his talented band: Spencer Page on bass, Dan Taylor on guitar and Chris Ellul on drums. It was silent, with dim blue and red lights shining down upon them. The whole room erupted as they smashed out hit after hit from all three of their albums; the energy from the band transferred through every single person in the room that evening. From their first album they played ‘That Kind of Man’, ‘Set Me Free’, ‘You Don’t Know’ and the final song of Great Vengeance and Furious Fire, the smooth, soulful track with Kelvin’s passionate vocals – ‘Who Needs The Sunshine’.

The whole room came alive when they performed one of their most famous songs ‘How You Like Me Now?’ and by this point Kelvin’s shirt had been removed to reveal a vest covered in sweat. This was a man who eats, sleeps and breathes music; his passion was endearing and contagious. From their second album The House That Dirt Built the band performed several tracks reinforcing how versatile they truly are as a band. This album is dirtier, heavier and a lot more rock influenced than the first. With the hits ‘Sixteen’ , ‘Cause For Alarm’ and ‘What You Want Me To Do’ all making the cut for the gig. It wasn’t just the older songs that everyone knew and loved but their songs from 2012’s The Glorious Dead got everyone singing along in what, towards the end, was an utterly electrified room. Kelvin even had the crowd to howl like wolves when they performed the catchy and oh so cool ‘Big Bad Wolf’.

I had high expectations of their live performance but my gosh, they smashed it out the park. If I had to sum up the gig in one word it would be sex. But good sex, not a quickie or sex when you’re so drunk you don’t remember it, or awkward sex, or have-to-be-quiet-sex but the greatest sex. Multiple-orgasms-back-scratching-sweat-dripping-toe-curling-mind-altering-sex. It was quite possibly the best gig I have ever been to, and I fear that this review doesn’t do it justice. This review is like trying to recreate that amazing sex on your own, in the dark, with a floppy penis. Close but no cigar. Now fuck off and listen to The Heavy.

Tom Armston-Clarke