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The Heavy: SXSW 2016

Kelvin Swaby of The Heavy at SXSW Radio Day Stage

Kelvin Swaby of The Heavy at SXSW Radio Day Stage (photo by WFUV)

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Bluesy British rockers The Heavy were part of the diverse, international lineup of this year's SXSW Radio Day Stage, powered by VuHaus, on Friday, March 18, broadcasting live from Austin, Texas, on WFUV 90.7FM with a video simulcast on VuHaus.

Like Future Islands, The Heavy came barrelling into view for many American music fans thanks to a galvanizing appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in January 2010 during which a clearly delighted Letterman asked the band to play its gritty single, "How You Like Me Now," a second time. But The Heavy had been generating enthusiastic word-of-mouth in the UK long before that Stateside viral video moment (and they were first at FUV for a session in 2008). Now, the Bath-based quartet is on the brink of releasing its fourth album, Hurt & The Merciless, on April 1.

However, the making of this new album was a less-than-happy time for the band's members—kinetic frontman Kelvin Swaby, guitarist Dan Taylor, bassist Spencer Page and drummer Chris Ellul—who faced personal travails, including Swaby's own divorce and remarriage. But rather than opting for melancholic tangents (and there are some, like "The Apology"), The Heavy did what it does best—unfurl ferocious, throaty, and body-grooving rockers, like "Since You Been Gone," in the spirit of their indomitable live gigs.

Despite the early hour, The Heavy's SXSW Radio Day Stage set was no exception, leaving the crowd bouncing and the floor quaking. Listen and watch below.

Setlist

  • The Apology
  • Not The One
  • Miss California
  • Since You Been Gone
  • Last Confession
  • Turn Up
  • What Happened To The Love
  • How You Like Me Now

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