Who: The Heavy
When: 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: The Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver
The Heavy never dreamed that a TV commercial featuring sock monkeys on a joyride would boost its career.
Unless you’ve been living in solitary confinement, you’ve heard the British band’s soulful tune “How Do You Like Me Now” punctuating Kia’s car ads. The combination of The Heavy’s powerhouse music and the toy-like characters gave the spot an extended shelf life on TV.
That’s been very good for The Heavy.
Now the band’s brand of gritty, neo-soul is getting lots of exposure and the band’s scoring prime gigs. The Heavy is headlining shows Friday and Saturday at Denver’s Larimer Lounge.
“I was working with some good friends at The Gap and we started the band,” front man Kelvin Swaby said. “We started playing acoustic nights and sampling pieces of old music.
“We wanted to create a band that had a vintage ideology, but used contemporary resources. We blended the two and we’ve become very good alchemists at doing that. Now we have a raw and gritty soul sound.”
The Heavy was hit with two very good pieces of luck this year.
The group made its late night debut with David Letterman and the TV host asked The Heavy to play an encore. That never happens.
Then, the band’s get-stuck-in-your-head tune, “How Do You Like Me Now” was featured on the Kia ad.
“That song is off our latest record, The House That Dirt Built,” explained Swaby. “It was used for a few things in England, but the exposure with Kia has been great. People are Googling the commercial and finding out about the band.
“We’ve seen the interest reflected in our MySpace hits and our gig schedule has filled up. Now I want to start working on our next album.”
Swaby is hoping that people look beyond the commercial and explore the rest of The House That Dirt Built.
The Heavy wanted the CD to sound like a mixtape and show off all the kinds of music the band plays.
“We thrive on the mistakes and the rawness of The House That Dirt Built,” Swaby said. “Our live show of the music is going to be a crazy, energetic performance. We have a horn section and the live experience is completely different than the album.”