Heavy Pettin + Tytan @ The Craufurd Arms, Wolverton on 30th August 2019

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On a hot August evening a palpable tension builds as we await NWOBHM stalwarts Tytan. Immediately evidencing a muscular, punchy sound that’s overlaid with melodic vocals the band arrive firing on all cylinders and, by second track, a raucous run through of ‘Money For Love’ even those unfamiliar with Tytan are caught up in their musical storm. The riff-tastic ‘Women on the Frontline’ follows with new vocalist Grant Foster slotting into the band like hand in glove as he confidently commandeers centre stage. With only two full length albums the band, nevertheless, have an impressive arsenal and fire off a sublime ‘The Watcher’. Tytan still features the irrepressible Kevin ‘skids’ Riddles on bass and his unmistakable style ensures ‘Fight the Fight’ marches like an army off to war. ‘Love You to Death’ crushes with an insanely catchy stop/start riff before ‘Far Side of Destiny’ caps an impressive set.

Why Heavy Pettin never made the big time shall forever remain a mystery. Armed with a classic debut album (Lettin’ Loose), a charismatic frontman, a top producer (Brian May) and a hard edged sound it shall ever remain a mystery. Sometimes he fickle finger of fate can be cruel but it does mean that we have Heavy Pettin here, tonight in the intimate environs of The Craufurd Arms with their integrity intact. Wasting little time the band hit the stage like a well oiled machine and launch into ‘Victims of the Night’ and it’s hard to believe the band were on hiatus for almost three decades because they display an obvious chemistry. With an earth shaking sound the AC/DC-like ‘Love Times Love’ really rocks courtesy of a twin guitar attack and the backing harmonies (both on this track and throughout the gig) are spot on and provide another texture to the rich, warm sound.

Those who only knew Heavy Pettin by their song titles might consider them a bit lightweight: the word ‘love’ appearing often would only solidify that belief. In reality their sound exits somewhere between early Def Leppard and early Tygers of Pang Tang. It’s at once heavy enough to please metalheads and melodic enough to bother the charts and it’s delivered with an authenticity that allows them to effortlessly inhabit the middle ground. Obviously having a blast the band are a bundle of energy and are sure to leave the stage a few kilograms lighter as they take us back to the halcyon days of ‘83 for ’Rock Me’ and then a raucous ‘Shout it Out’. There’s little time spent on in-between song banter as the band try to cram as many rock bangers into their set as possible, and they keep coming in the shape of the luscious ‘Sole Survivor’. With no signs of slowing down we’re treated to a high octane version of ‘Love on the Run’ and an amphetamine charged ‘Speed Kills’. Mick Ivory takes a drum solo on ‘Hell is Beautiful’ and proves a worthy replacement of Gary Moat while guitarist Gordon Bonnar invades the crowd and solos from the merch table: it’s that kind of evening.

Heavy Pettin, along with opening act Tytan, have provided a real celebration of the NWOBHM and classic rock in general and it’s great to see young blood at the show ensuring the genre has a bright future. Tonight is a celebration not only of music but the camaraderie between bands and between fans. Therefore it’s only appropriate that ‘Throw a Party’ is chosen as set closer and sends the crowd home delighted.

Heavy Pettin Set List:

Victims of the Night
Roll the Dice
Love Times Love
Break it Down
Rock Me
Shout it Out
Sole Survivor
Lost in Love
Love on the Run
In and Out of Love
Rock Ain’t Dead
Speed Kills
Hell is Beautiful
Throw a Party

 

 

 

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