London Calling – The Heavy North – Live Review

The Fiddler – Kilburn – London 11th November 2021

The Fab 5 were back on stage tonight and ready to show London town what they were made of. Making their debut at the historic Fiddler Venue the offspring of the Mean Fiddler where the likes of Van Morrison, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, John Martyn, Dr John, Sun Ra, The Pogues, Lloyd Cole, Dwight Yoakam, Christy Moore and R.E.M. have all performed is no mean feat but like everything these affable and charming lads do, they just took it in their stride.

With an excited crowd warmed (and it was warm in the venue) up nicely by local band The Flitz who performed a set of modern indie pop to get us in the mood, it was now over to the headliners to take their place.

To the sounds of Velvet Undergrounds Venus In Furs, they took to the stage like they owned it and immediately started with the now familiar opening The Genie, a blues rock tune with heavy riffs and bass. Heads were bobbing already and I could see people start to realise that this band are something special.

They played a blistering set of songs that will mostly make up their debut album Electric Soul Machine and what an album this is shaping up to be. To the initiated songs like No Good, Darkness in your eyes, Lying to yourself are already well known but its the newer tracks like Awake that particular shine in a live environment – Andy the cool bass player told me after how he and Mark the drummer had been working hard on their rhythm parts to make the songs pop. He is not wrong. This band are as tight and talented as I have ever witnessed.

Highlights are many and I particularly love the way Kenny the singer goes all Elvis during Bring me love, pointing to the crowd and asking them do they want love? Yes we do Kenny and you guys bring it.

Jose the lead guitarist was in his element tonight as well – playing with the kind of assured cool that made Jimmy Page such an icon – this guy is incredible and playing his Flying V guitar just marks him out as the next guitar god in waiting.

Underpinning the Heavy’s sound though is Ste the keyboard player – he brings depth and warmth to their music in a way that Rob from The Charlatans did many years ago – individually and collectively all members brought their A game tonight.

And before we know it we are at the closing track – As long as you’re here with me, is probably the greatest song that Stax never produced and Otis never got to sing.

Kenny’s voice tonight was as great as ever and he exudes class and talent with ever lyric and note he sings, a friend of mine seeing them for the first time was blown away by his range in vocals and also by how well the backing singing support Kenny and make it sound at times like a gospel choir. I didn’t argue.

As long as you’re here with me is where Kenny gets to shine though – I could see new fans with mouths open with the power the lad has – more converts to the cause.

And that was that – to a triumphant cheer and calls for an encore the lads departed and as the hot stage lights dimmed they took the time to speak to new & old fans and receive the hugs and pats on the back that were well deserved.

For me they are currently the best live band on the circuit and I just want them to reach a bigger audience and show the world what they are about – but for now I’m just pleased I get to see them at these iconic venues where they will soon be able to put their name next to the legends that have come before.

As always – please read, share, and let me know what you think.

PNL

Michael

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