Fri 22 Sep 2017

Review… Will Heard at Deaf Institute, Manchester


Words: Joshua Wilson @IndieRocksUK

There’s no eloquent way to describe the impact Will Heard had on Deaf Institute with this latest performance, my dumbfounded mind struggling with anything further than; “Oh my holy hell, that was phenomenal!” Always one to give things a chance but rarely one truly fascinated by bands of such relatively lower scale, I stand in absolute awe of the performance I witnessed – an awe shared by a fully-packed, sold-out room brimming with screaming, energetic and astounded lunatics. Without trace of doubt, I announce without shame that this could well have been one of the finest performances I have ever witnessed from an unsigned band.

My preference when reviewing a live gig is to basically ignore everything about them prior to the performance and then experience it, free of all bias and expectation. I am so glad I decided to retain this mentality for this performance. My experience began with the wait at the door, where I was surprised to find two people who arrived even earlier than myself – and even more so to witness the size of the queue that formed shortly after. As I waited patiently, I listened in on the voices filling the room as Tetrominoes tumbled down on my mobile phone display and heard endless speculation on the unquestionably perfect person Will is – my mind dismissing the guarantee they might be the reliable source of information on the basis of how little actual knowledge they seemed to possess about him but noticing the incredible enthusiasm the crowd had for him, their excitement mirroring that of an excitable teenager discovering their newest musical obsession.

It turns out the enthusiasm was totally deserved – along with the growing intensity and eagerness in the room as the area became absolutely lavish with streams of restless and charged fanatics. After the warming of a fantastic support act, Will was screamed on stage from the first sight of his face exiting the backstage area and thus began an instant upbeat and emphatic introduction to what would continue to be an incredibly entertaining and gratifying performance. This show encompassed everything you could want from a performance, from the musicianship onstage to the movement and the communication to the stupendously enormous sound in the room, with the stunning showmanship at near competition with the inspiring fanaticism of the audience there were times throughout where the band almost looked humbled by the sheer amount of adoration and support from the crowd but this served to encourage the band further.

Anything soulful goes down an absolute treat with me, but an additional incorporation of Jazz influence and well-executed combination with the accessible face of upbeat pop sets the foundation for a truly excellent musical product and display, this paving the way for a whole new level of supremacy when the music hits the stage when tasked to such a visibly adept and gifted group of musicians. The entire band brought so much to this performance, with even something as minor as the consistent cheeky grinning of the drummer and the remarkably tasty bass fills bringing true groove and style and the masterful use of backing vocals ascending what might have otherwise been an amazing display to the standards of a truly professional performance, made more so with the introduction of the band members at the end – this act of sheer respect being one of many reasons I consider this to be one of the best executed performances I have seen on this scale.

Performances like this serve a perfect example of why we should all make substantial effort to support upcoming bands. Passion like this rarely exists in commercially successful bands, and when we’re faced with the chance to support something as pure and wonderful as this it really is our duty to do so. The support I saw that night was inspiring, and that level of support is what will shape the future of music. Get more involved in your local music scenes and you will be astounded as to how much these smaller artists and bands will give to reward you with the most incredible performances they can, sometimes they even let you take embarrassing pictures with them!

Will Heard tickets available here
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Twitter – @willheardmusic
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