Sunday, 14 December 2014

HEAT Live at the Islington Academy

A hectic 2 gigs in 3 days as we approach the end of the year with first HEAT and then Morbid Angel two days later. A quick recap for the HEAT gig first followed by the darkly dealings from the legends aka Morbid Angel. This is my second time seeing HEAT this year after being pretty much blown away by them at the Garage earlier on this year. That was one hell of a gig so they had a lot to live up to in the slightly bigger hall that is the Islington Academy. Two supports were up first. Love Zombies who I don't know at all. They played pop light happy punk with a jumping energetic front gal bouncing here there and everywhere. Not really my cuppa but I guess I've heard worse opening bands. At least she was fun to look at and pretty cute too if nothing else.

Next up were muscular modern rock from fellow Swedes Sherlock Brothers. I've actually come across these guys on my travails on the cyberweb quite recently and what I heard was quite palatable but I sort of forgot about them. I didn't know they were the main support for tonight until I got in the venue tonight so I thought cool I get to check these guys live as well before I've heard their album. They were a much more muscular offering than the first band and went down well with the more filled out crowd than Love Zombies. The frontman has an earthy powerful voice and their tunes are built around heavy melodic grooves and big riffage. Vocally the front man has a decent set of pipes and sounds very manly indeed. So if you like your chest beating modern rock with a lot of melodic riffs and coolish choruses then Sherlock Brothers are worth a listen. They were a very suitable warm up act for HEAT as well it must be said.

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The venue had filled out well but I would say it was probably only a half to 2/3 full with plenty of space at the back but standing right in row 2 I could care less about that. I remember the Garage being pretty rammed but it is a smaller place. Anyway I was expecting a hugely entertaining show from the Swedish boys and once again they delivered big time. I don't mean no dis-service to the other guys in the band but it's all about Erik Gronwall as far as I'm concerned. The guys seriously owns the stage and is one of the best front men I've ever seen. And for such a young guy to be that confident in his own ability to sing his ass off and provide a spectacle for the fans takes some guts and deserves immense praise. Of course he still has to have the vocals and he has that in spades.

The guy is a bona fide rock star and then some. If you could bottle that much enthusiasm and energy and sell it the world would be a much happier place. The band of course concentrated on the two albums with Erik mostly which they did last time as well. The songs sound so tight and well played live that you really get into it more than you would playing the album at home. In fact Tearing Down The Walls which I consider inferior to Address The Nation comes into it's own when the songs from it are played live. There's just a bit more oomph and purpose to it all and the crowd feeds off of it big time. There wasn't a single moment in the set that felt wasted or pedestrian in anyway. The band plays with smiles on their faces throughout and with a front man like Erik you just cut him loose and the crowd is just putty in his hands. Two amazing gigs this year from HEAT a band you can never take your eyes off when it comes to live performance.

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