Friday, November 7, 2008

A Torrid Evening With The Heavy

The Heavy: November 5, 2008 @ Mercury Lounge, New York, NY

I made my way down to Lower East Side venue Mercury Lounge again. This time it was to see UK band, The Heavy.

Also on the bill was Kenan Bell whose set I didn't see and Pennsylvanian band Illinois. I wasn't familiar with Illinois prior to going to the show, but I'd seen a picture of them with their singer playing a banjo. That was all I needed to see. I knew at that moment I had to get there early enough to catch their set. They were good! I'll be checking their music out more when I get some time. I posted photos of their set and their set list in an earlier post.

Now, I came to be a fan of The Heavy by accident. Someone recommended a band with a similar name to me. I went searching around the Internet and never found that band but what I did find was The Heavy. At the time I got hooked by this great band, their album Great Vengeance And Furious Fire hadn't been released here in the States yet. Once I finally found a place to buy it, I had to pay in Pounds! Turns out, the record had only been out a week or two in the UK at that point.

Since I had gone though the whole paying in foreign currency thing to get their music, I had to see them live! As fate would have it, I missed the shows they did in these parts when the record was released over here earlier this year. Well, I wasn't about to miss them this time!

I planted myself right up front and waited for The Heavy to hit the stage. Their set started in the dark. Now, not everybody can get away with playing a song sans lights, making the audience focus on a voice. That's how The Heavy kicked things off. When you've got a voice like The Heavy's Kelvin Swaby, you can do that!

After the low key soulful start, The Heavy launched into a tight set that kept the audience enchanted. Vocalist Swaby takes the old school soul singer approach to performing ... working the stage and working up a sweat. He didn't limit himself to the stage either. He jumped into the crowd several times getting up close and personal with the audience. The man is an entertainer.

The rest of the band, Dan Taylor (guitar), Spencer Page (bass) and Chris Ellul (drums) while more sedate than their frontman, held their own playing their dirty mix of soul, funk and rock. They kept you moving with their intoxicating take no prisoners efficiency. They were hot and stanky! Yeah, they were that damn good.

The set list flowed perfectly. I would have been happy with any set as long as it included "Set Me Free" which this one did. There were plenty of opportunities to sing along or howl as was the case during "Big Bad Wolf." Swaby sang to the ladies and interacted well with the energetic audience.

The Heavy put on a great show. They asked via song "How Do You Like Me Now?" With the smiles and enthusiasm of the audience, I would say, everyone liked them plenty! I enjoyed myself. I wiggled and eyewitness accounts say I even waggled. I was a dancing sweaty mess.

The Heavy are dirty. They're funky. They're full of sweaty soul. They're bad ass hot stanky fun ... yeah, again, they're that damn good. They are, well, HEAVY!

And Mr. Swaby, you can sing to me anytime.

Set List
  • She Got To Go
  • Strong Enough
  • Dignity
  • Coleen
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Set Me Free
  • Sixteen
  • You Don't Know
  • Girl
  • In The Morning
  • How Do You Like Me Now?
  • That Kind Of Man
  • Oh No!
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