Tue 24 Apr 2018

Review… Will Heard at Gorilla, Manchester


Painting With Chocolate Regular

Will Heard

@ Gorilla, Manchester

23rd April 2018


 Following the success of his recent song ‘Falling 4 U’, Will Heard is on the road to bring his music to the masses. A singer-songwriter from South-West London, he mixes together elements of acoustic music with pop, funk and soul, to create a unique sound that’s gentle to the ear, but will soon get you dancing.

 Associated and having previously with DJ/Producer Dillon Francis on track ‘Anywhere’, deep house DJ Kygo on track ‘Nothing Left’ and then Rudimental on tracks ‘I Will For Love’ and ‘Rumour Mill’ (featuring singer Anne-Marie), the future is already looking bright for Will Heard.

 The atmosphere in Gorilla tonight is lively, with an excited buzz going around the room. Starting off his show with a cover of ‘Sonnentanz’ (originally by Klangkarussell), Will Heard comes out in style, saxophone in hand, ready to get the crowd dancing.

 ‘What’s up Manchester!’ shouts Will, laughing as he takes his hoodie off- ‘I mean, who needs clothes right?’ he says cheekily to introduce sultry, soul influenced ‘Naked’. His voice is so fitting to the soul/funk he incorporates into his songs. There’s times when his voice has similar tones to Toploader vocalist Joseph Washbourne from their cover of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’.

 ‘Leave It For Tomorrow’ is a chilled out number, one you can listen to on a hot summers day and have a little dance to. You wouldn’t think young musicians or singer-songwriters would be interested in making jazz/funk/soul influenced music, especially as most of the songs in the charts sound like they have been made in the same vein. So hearing these songs from Will Heard tonight is very refreshing. The theme for tonight is to bring in good summer vibes, get everyone relaxed and happy and having a good time.

 Slowed-down cover of ‘Beep Me 911’ by Missy Elliot is interesting, but he pulls it off and does a good job of re-creating her soulful vocals in his own voice, putting his own stamp on it, rather than duplicating it.

 I really like the level of crowd interaction tonight, he’s taking the time to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and is keeping a little conversation going between songs. He’s collaborated with huge artists already in his career, but that’s not stopping him from being a very down-to-earth, grateful for his fans guy.

 ‘Go Far’ livens things up with the bass slaps giving it a funky feel, and mid-way through the song Will jumps off the stage to song amongst the crowd. New song ‘Out In Space’ is just a beautiful little acoustic song, done by just Will and his guitar. It shows off his talent really well, showing how strong a musician he is when everything is stripped back.

 Encore song ‘The Way I Feel’ is a groovy way to end tonight’s show. For a special request, Will gets all the lights turned purple and has Gorilla’s infamous disco lights spinning. Every artist I’ve reviewed here has had an obsession with these disco balls.

 This has been a fun gig to review, way more chilled compared to last week with Idles, but still equally as impressive. I hope Will Heard continues to have more amazing shows on his headline tour.

Tickets for show in Birmingham here.

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