Non-Nordic Sunday: Heavy Salad – ‘The Wish’ (single from forthcoming album)
It seems that last week’s Non-Nordic Sunday offering (Suave Martyrs) was the first Manchester band featured in this section. Hey-ho, just like the buses, along comes another one straight away, the psych-cosmic oriented trio Heavy Salad from the city’s east side (the increasingly gentrified bit that used to be a post-industrial wasteland before Abu Dhabi moved in).
I have to admit a personal interest here in that one of their three female backing singers, who collectively go under the title of ‘The Priestesses’ (don’t know why, I might have called them the Three Degrees of Lettuce or something), is known to me, which is how I came to learn of them. (They appear briefly in the video around the two-minute mark). But they are pretty well known to others,
including BBC 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq, who has been pushing this single.
Heavy Salad loved the idea of being in a band like a psychedelic cult, albeit a cult with no rules, hence the title of their forthcoming (September) album ‘Cult Casual’.
Their “myriad” musical influences also include surf rock, experimental rock and free jazz. This suggests before I even start that they’re going to fall between two other Manc bands, GoGo Penguinand the mad cosmonauts from Henge. In fact, they remind me of neither; they’re more like a traditional pop band really; it’s only the video which suggests any psych tendencies.
‘The Wish’ was produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys / Working Men’s Club).
They (singer/bassist Lee Mann) say, “The song seeks to turn the mirror on society and reconsider how we approach our lives…I want to turn my nihilism into something positive!”
Had I known nothing about Heavy Salad, just listening to ‘The Wish’ and watching the video would have told me straight away that this is a Manchester band. There’s a theme running through Manc music from the 1960s and the likes of Herman’s Hermits and Freddie and the Dreamers via the ‘Madchester’ days of the 1980s through to the 1990s Oasis era and beyond. That theme is of lads having a good time, irrespective of the quality of the music they are producing (though that quality is generally very high). They even talk about having a good time in the opening line.
Musically, it won’t tax you, a simple verse-chorus-verse-chorus-simple guitar bridge-verse-chorus-finish affair, but pleasant enough. The lyrics deserve a listen; they make a simple statement, simply. In fact the song is really perfect for the simpler times we’re living in right now, which I why I think it is likely to get airplay beyond Mr Lamacq.
Heavy Salad formed in the autumn of 2018 and are: Allan Hutchison on drums (formerly of infamous Manchester Psych legends Lord Mongo), Rob Glennie on guitar and Lee Mann (Bass player for the live incarnation of The Moonlandingz).
Nice cameo from ‘Death’ in the video. Good that he could make it given his busy schedule.
(Editors Note: Incidentally the above mentioned Henge have just rescheduled some of their cancelled 2020 dates, including this one I hope to get to at the Continental in Preston in December, whilst in a similar style you might also like Swedish band Gösta Berlings Saga, who've just released a new album, read about it along with a few words on Tim Smith here.)