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H.E.A.T - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (UK) - 19 November 2017

Nottingham is almost becoming like a second home for me. This is my sixth visit this year and 5 of them have been gig related. A two hundred and twenty mile round trip (and stop over) are no hardship, however, as I have become quite fond of the city and familiar with its attractions. Tonight's attraction is simply the prospect of seeing a full H.e.a.t headline show after so many appearances at Firefest where time constraints limited stage time. It's a chilly night in the Midlands but the cosy atmosphere of the Rescue Rooms ensures the temperature indoors is nice and toasty.


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After twenty or thirty times of saying "excuse me", I finally manage to make it to the rather makeshift photo pit where I am fortunate enough to watch the whole of the set. The lights dim and Glenn Frey's 'The Heat Is On' heralds the arrival to the stage of one of Sweden's premier Melodic Rock acts who are greeted like long lost relatives. Without further ado, we are straight into 'Bastard Of Society', the opening song from the most recent 'Into The Great Unknown' album. The new release has divided opinion somewhat, but in mine, it continues a quality trend that began in earnest with 2012's 'Address The Nation' record. Musically, they share a pedestal with Eclipse and Treat, all three bands seeing their profiles climb on the back of several fantastic albums in recent years, all packed with sumptuous songs and exquisite musicianship. All five band members have a strong stage presence, but in lead singer Erik Grönwall they have a Tasmanian Devil of a front-man whose energy levels never dip, from the very first song to the last. If this was at the expense of his singing, then eyebrows would be raised. Instead jaws tend to remain dropped as he hits every note whilst covering almost every inch of the room.

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The set tends to focus on the Grönwall era, but in the early part of the show we get 'Late Nite Lady', 'Straight For Your Heart' and '1,000 Miles' from the first couple of albums. 'Redefined' and 'Into The Great Unknown' may be new songs, but you wouldn't know it judging by the volume of several hundred extra backing singers who seem to know every word. Returning guitarist Dave Dalone and bassist Jimmy Jay stand stage left and right respectively (as you look at it) and though they may not cover as much ground as Grönwall, they play like their lives depend on it. Keyboard player Jona Tee adds some very classy sounds from his position next to drummer Crash's kit at the rear of the stage, each making their presence felt. During 'Beg Beg Beg,' Gronwall decides that the stage is too small and crowd surfs to the rear of the room where the bar is situated. Not content with just being at the bar, he takes a quick drink then, decides to scale the wall up to the balcony as the band launch into AC/DC's 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. I'm sure that the security guy standing next to me chose to close his eyes, but everyone else's were certainly open. Quality song follows quality song, including 'Breaking The Silence', 'Living On The Run', 'Eye Of The Storm', 'In And Out Of Trouble', 'Emergency' and 'Inferno', before the main set comes to a close.


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A strict curfew means the show comes to an end at eleven, but I think everyone would have been more than happy had it gone on and on and one into the early hours of Monday, work day or not. It was good to see so many familiar faces in attendance and I'm already checking the calendar to see when we can all meet up in Nottingham again. Eclipse and H.e.a.t have both treated us to UK tours this year, among many other great acts. 2017 has been a great gig year (and isn't over yet)... 2018 will have a difficult time following it.

Dave Bott


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