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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Saturday 24 May 2014

H.E.A.T Gig Review - Manchester Academy 3, Monday 19th May 2014

Quite a few (almost packed to the rafters) were in attendance for H.E.A.T’s last date of their UK tour at a hot and humid Manchester Academy 3. For those who witnessed H.E.A.T at Manchester a few years back (about 25 people all told), then a packed academy shows (and knows) how far this Swedish quintet have come. Those in the audience this evening know that H.E.A.T are marked for greatness. The only question mark seems to be that it’s taking a little longer than expected. There is no doubt H.E.A.T have the fire in their bellies, and with their latest album, a set of songs that WILL take them to the next level and beyond.

It’s no surprise that tonight’s set it heavily weighted towards the last two albums, and the acquisition of Grönwall has taken H.E.A.T from being a good band, to a stellar band. Going from support band Supercharger to H.E.A.T is like the difference in sound between a wax cylinder and CD! Entering to the very appropriate "The heat is on" by Glen Frey, the Swedes set their phasers to 'stun' right from the off - Grönwall prowls the stage like a maniac - jumping, punching, hardly ever keeping still. Who says you have to mime when you're as active as this dude. ‘Point of No Return’ and ‘A Shot At Redemption’ show how far H.E.A.T have come is a short space of time with Grönwall (from Swedish Idol to bonafide Rock Idol) - both are songs that Jon Bon wished he could still write - and they become a different proposition in a live setting - totally electrifying and captivating. ‘Mannequin Show’ would have been cool had they segued into ‘Oops I did it again’ (just for a laugh of course as everyone has surely made the comparison by now!)

H.E.A.T do pay homage to their more melodic past with ‘Beg, Beg Beg’ (and a little of Zeps ‘Rock and Roll’ thrown in for good measure), alongside ‘Danger Zone’, and only ‘Late Night Lady’ from the debut / Leckremo era.

Grönwall proves he’s a dab hand with the guitar also, playing acoustic for the first part of ‘Tearing Down The Walls’. Since H.E.A.T have dropped down to the one guitar, Erik Rivers seems to have grown and is enjoying the limelight. His playing is fluid and compelling, and the ladies present certainly seem enamoured!

Support band Supercharger snuck up on H.E.A.T mid ‘Downtown’, half naked and serving drinks to the boys, and from here on the set (after being nothing short of perfect) took it up another notch - probably because it was the finale of their tour, so everything was timed to perfection for this Manchester crowd.

As it was the final night, Supercharger joined them for Roxette's 'You Got The Look', and both bands completely looked as if they were having fun even if it was slightly 'winged'. ‘Breaking The Silence’ and ‘Living On The Run’ finished the set, 20+ songs in total, and made this gig a truly memorable one for those who attended.

H.E.A.T truly deserve to be playing bigger and better venues, and at this rate it isn’t long in coming. Utterly fantastic! 

Pictures courtesy of Jeff Price

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