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The Heavy is Here! (And You've Probably Heard It)

By Kim Bellware in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 12, 2010 5:20PM

The Heavy (photo via The Heavy's myspace page)
Chances are good that you've heard The Heavy--you just didn't know it. Since their formation three years ago, the UK-based band has made several trips stateside (and to Chicago specifically), playing in support of acts like Mayer Hawthorne and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings while quietly building a following for themselves.

Over the past year, the group's guitar and horn-loaded brand of funk and soul has exploded, with the band's songs popping up in advertisements, sports promos and TV shows (the most recognizable one likely a current campaign for the Kia car company).

The Heavy's music is an easy party starter making them an obvious choice for adding oomph to ad campaigns and ho-hum end credits, but the full impact of how fun they are can't be felt unless seen live. Vocalist Kelvin Swaby is the key draw, with a startlingly powerful voice and an energy and stage presence reminiscent of a young James Brown. Swaby dances, kicks, jumps and dashes around stage from corner to corner as their guitarist Dan Taylor and bassist Spencer Page churn out chunky, enormous sounding riffs. Drummer Chris Elull completes the last piece of music puzzle pushing every song to an ever bigger sound, even the tune is more silky than screaming.

On their current tour, they won't have the benefit of The Dap Kings horn section to back them (as they did with previous tour dates and several tracks on their latest EP release, How You Like Me Now?) but the band has been known to pull creative surprises and improvisations for their live shows. Horns or no, The Heavy will be setting musical fire to the Double Door when they play their Chicago stop this Saturday.

The Heavy play on Saturday, November 13 at The Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee, 8 p.m., $15, 21+. Wallpaper opens.