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4th February 2017

Live: The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart filled Manchester’s Gorilla with a polished and passionate performance, writes Ruth Foran

1st February at Gorilla


The Head and the Heart, having playing in Manchester seven years ago, filled Gorilla to the brim on Wednesday night providing the audience with a warm performance from start to finish. The audience were treated to hits from all three of their albums, including their latest Sign of Light.

The band came on with a bang, belting out their hit ‘City of Angels.’ They received an excellent reception from the audience from the word ‘Go.’ Something absolutely breathtaking about this group was their ability to harmonise almost effortlessly, sounding exactly like, if not better, than their recorded album tracks. Each vocalist sang their own part with huge smiles on their faces while doing so. They looked just as happy to see the audience as we were to see them, which helped everyone to feel so welcomed by the band.

Every single member of this six-person band is immensely talented — there’s no arguing with that. They all showcased their talent through the ranges of instruments they played, each picking up a guitar, piano or percussion. Charity Rose, the only female in the group, completely complemented each song with her amazing sound from the violin. Yet what impressed me most were her vocals. Her tone differentiated from soft rasps to then grand power notes that had the crowd erupting in cheers. The drummer, Tyler Williams, despite being hidden at the back, kept catching my eye with his amazing energy, a huge beam on his face the entire show. Lead singer Josiah Johnson showed off his amazing falsetto abilities channelled with husky undertones for their track ‘Oh My Dear’.

The crowd at this gig felt homely, ranging from ages of 14 to even the likes of 50-plus, showing that this band’s music is relevant to pretty much everyone. People stood arm-in-arm, swaying to the music almost the entire time (with the exception of a few daring single dancers, waving their hands in the air.)

They thrilled the audience with crowd-pleasers such as ‘Ghosts’ and ‘All We Ever Knew’, having the crowd bopping and chanting in unison. They also had the ability to completely move the audience, saying, “Just for a moment, let’s be still” — the soft blue and emerald lights reflecting waves, having a rippling effect on everyone in the room.

To me, this band was a breath of fresh air. It was heartwarming to witness a band that even after a few years are still just as passionate about their songs. A woman on the bus home summarised their performance better than I could — “It’s when you feel you’ve finally got the right music — that’s when you know how to express it.”

That, they did.

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