King Harvest And The Weight
The Castle, Manchester
19th June 2016
A day ahead of the release of their debut album (LTW review here ) and following the successful launch gig a couple of nights before, the Ben Adey project known collectively as King Harvest And The Weight hit one of the hotspots on the Manchester circuit to share the album to a live setting. Quite a transformation it was too.
Possibly the pressure was off having launched the album at the famous Hebden Bridge Trades Club, but every gig of course is an opportunity to impress and attract out a crowd whose word of mouth can spread the message. A few bucket hats might have been in evidence down on Oldham Street with The Stone Roses at the last of their mega gigs just out of town; either that or it was just a concession to some last minute cheap headgear to stave off the drizzle. Anyone with a modicum of taste may have been best served not squashed into the Etihad but in the famous intimate back room at The Castle – the perfect setting for some sweaty loud rock and roll. King Harvest Ben’s nod to stage gear, a smart little neck tie, not lasting too long in the heat radiating from stage.
Anyone familiar with the pre-release outings of material from ‘maps’ might have expected a reasonably sedate evening, but in the live arena, KH&TW are aren’t so much a different band but without question a different proposition to what you hear on record. ‘maps’ is just the beginning. The players who make up The Weight on the album gets filtered down a trio. Of course Ben Adey is King Harvest himself, songwriter and main force, joined by two of the numerous players on the album in Olly Smith on guitar and Justin Edley on drums to form a well drilled tight outfit. They literally yanked the songs from the album, smeared the song book in the dirt and injected them with some serious volume and attitude.
The more poppy ‘Diana’ and the low key ‘New York Is Dangerous’ took on a new coat of raw hard rock to sit comfortably alongside the more out and out rock songs from the album. ‘This Town’ paired with the the new ‘Snakes And Ladders’ might ultimately give an idea of the direction the band will take next. There’s no time being wasted in talk of the next release being on the schedule for the end of October and if ‘Snakes And Ladders’ is a taster, then those who might draw comparisons with a happening band like Rival Sons (not just in the visual department too with Olly Smith brandishing a classic Gibson Thunderbird, preferred axe of the aforementioned Sons) might not be far from the mark. Stripped back and stripped down to a basic power trio, KH&TW look like they have the potential to be worthy of the ‘ones to watch’ label.