GIG REVIEW: Will Heard @ Gorilla
Will Heard is a songwriter and musician from Wandsworth London. He first gained commercial success featuring on Klangkarussell‘s single ‘Sonnetanz (Sun Don’t Shine)’ which reached No. 3 in the UK singles charts – the record even prompted Rihanna to take to twitter and compliment Will’s silky soulful vocals, no big deal. Since, Will has remained a consistent feature artist on several tracks with Rudimental and has collaborated with Tom Misch, Anne-Marie, & The Aston Shuffle. In Feb 2017, he released his debut EP ‘Trust’, which finally saw the musician re-surface as a stand-alone solo artist.
Opening the Manchester show with Sun Don’t Shine, Will proved that he has so much more to offer than just his powerful voice. As a multi-instrumental artist, he belted out some crispy jazz notes on his saxophone. Then, accompanied by his band, he followed up with Naked from his Trust EP and frequently blessed us all with his angelic falsetto. The rest of the evening continued to provide the audience with a groovy concoction of upcoming unreleased tunes, EP material, collaborations, and a funky cover of Drake’s ‘Girls Love Beyoncé.’
On tracks like Beep Me (a cover of Missy Elliott’s 1998 release) Will’s voice is reminiscent of the late Amy Winehouse, mixed with Sam Smith’s falsetto and the vocal gymnastics of Stevie Wonder. Big.
Will had such explosive upbeat energy and the audience thrived from all the interaction he gave, coming across as genuinely a fun-loving, spiritual, funny guy and had everyone cracking up when describing the next song in a variety of weird tones of voice. During a performance of Go Far, Heard decided to leave the stage completely and join the crowd at Gorilla for a serenade and a boogie. On another occasion, he chucked his water bottle everywhere. His intended target being the audience, but the majority splashed all over the mixing console and the sound engineer Chris. Will apologised profusely like a naughty schoolboy and called for more towels to mop up his potentially disastrous, misfired mess.
Apart from a pretty poor aim, Will Heard was an absolutely class A act with a voice that could easily compete with any of the all-time-great vocalists. Will is criminally underrated as an artist and I look forward to the day that he gains the recognition he deserves. If you haven’t listened to his new EP you should definitely check it out on Spotify, below.
As my grandma would say, ‘he could sing the phonebook,’ and even that is an understatement. Go listen.