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The Heavy @ Academy 2 review and gallery – iconic and seamless

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Featured image and gallery: Ben Redshaw


The Heavy definitely know how to captivate an audience with their seamless fusion of jazz and rock. The English rock band has already made stops in Paris, Amsterdam, and London, to start off the Europe leg of the AMEN tour. Bringing together not only two iconic musical genres but also generations of fans with their upbeat and calming tones heard by millions.

Lawi Anywar, a talented Bristol-based pop artist, opened The Heavy’s sold-out gig. As people started to arrive at the venue in anticipation of the legendary headliners, Anywar calmed the crowd, drawing the crowd together with his music in a very artistic approach.

The hidden talent, Anywar gave a strong performance and even managed to get some attention for himself. As he sang songs including ‘Grey Tints,’ ‘Cop Land,’ and ‘Liar,’ fans in the crowded room cheered and danced. Presenting a wonderful mix of songs from his two most recent EPs, Everything’s Fine and The Clapham Charmer EP, it was a wonderfully restful and distinctive way to open the evening.

Despite having a modest social media following, Lawi Anywar made an impact on the sold-out Manchester audience tonight, as seen by the rousing ovation he received as he departed the stage.

The Heavy’s eagerly anticipated set finally started after a brief interval. ‘Short Change Hero’, a classic that opened the show, really hyped up the crowd for the evening. They then performed hits ‘Can’t Play Dead,’ ‘Heavy for You,’ and ‘Hurricane Coming’.

The term ‘Lead Vocalist’ is an understatement when it comes to Kelvin Swaby. The frontman for the band has one of the most recognisable and talented voices in the industry. With the support from his band members, Spencer Page (Bass), Chris Ellul (Drums) and Dan Taylor (Guitar) they are well known for their memorable shows and have been touring worldwide since forming together in Bath, England back in 2007.

By pushing the boundaries of his voice, Swaby made sure that the Manchester audience was left speechless as he demonstrated why this show was sold out. The crowd went wild after the band performed ‘Stone Cold Killer,’ which was a firm fan favourite for the evening.

Even if you are unfamiliar with The Heavy, you will have undoubtedly heard some of their best singles. ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ and ‘What Makes A Good Man?’ have featured in some of the biggest blockbusters like The Expendables, Fast & Furious, and The Umbrella Academy over the years.

The band made sure they featured their most well-known songs from their discography in the show’s finale. The trio of ‘Feels Like Rain,’ ‘What Makes A Good Man?’ and ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ brought the event to a close as The Heavy exited the stage to a thunderous applause, capping off a triumphant performance.

The Heavy are performing in cities including Birmingham, Glasgow, and Bristol as part of their AMEN tour across the UK. Hearing The Heavy’s classic songs live is not to be missed.

Check out their brand-new album AMEN, which is available on platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

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Ben Redshaw

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