Despite regularly playing support roles at Leeds events, this was the first time in recent memory that The Heatwave brought their ‘Hot Wuk’ party to the city. The event is built around The Heatwave expressing their party ethos, the carnival atmosphere they bring to other events being given the time and space it needs to develop.
Belgrave Music Hall was a peculiar choice for the event. The large single room contained and fuelled the party atmosphere, but the lack of club facilities frustrated attendees. It is difficult to get into the carnival spirit if you can’t put your jacket in a cloakroom or cool down in an immediate smoking area. If they return to Leeds, perhaps Hifi would be the best space, balancing the act’s need for a stage with suitable club amenities.
Despite the venue, people wanted to party. The Heatwave’s eclectic blend of soca, dancehall and bashment had whistles blown, horns sounded and girls whining. The dedication of a portion of their set to Sean Paul was received well, before some of the crowd climbed onto the stage for the final few tracks.
Gabriel and Ben have an intricate understanding of one another which comes through in their performance. The Heatwave have built a cult following in Leeds, and this night did nothing but solidify their reputation.