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Bath quartet The Heavy returned on 1 April with Hurt & The Merciless, their self-produced fourth album and their most powerful and personal to date, which they tour next month, playing Manchester Academy 2 on 13 May. Drummer Chris Ellul talks to Big Issue North about the summer ahead, which consists of tea parties, Bat Mitzvahs and the odd festival too.

How would you describe your sound?
Rock’n’roll and soul. Good old-fashioned songs with big riffs, big drums and big hooks.

Tell us what you’ve been up to since last summer. 
Waiting for this damn record to come out! But otherwise recording and playing with some side projects, and dabbling in the dark art of producing.

What festivals are you playing this year?
All the big ones. Nanna’s Tea Party, Freddy’s Bat Mitzvah, the list goes on. Plus some other little ones like Coachella, Houston Free Press, Fuji Rock in Japan and Hurricane Festival in Germany.

Who else are you excited to see at the festivals?
I’ll be interested to check out The Arcs. And generally putting some faces to some pretty unusual and funny band names.

If you could curate your own festival with artists dead or alive what would the line-up look like?
This one would sell a few tickets with my headliner: David Bowie (Berlin era). I’d also have Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, The Cramps, The Beach Boys, The Shangri-Las.

What’s your best festival memory?
Going to Glastonbury for free in 2000, missing most of the bands I wanted to see but having a lot of fun. It was an amazing festival.

What’s in your festival survival kit?
Find a house with a shower, and the other necessary facilities. Go back to it at the end of each day. That’s what I’d do, because I’m too boring for festivals these days.

Apart from music, what should the ideal festival have?
A good booker – that would be a good start.

Antonia Charlesworth

Interact: Responses to Festival Q&A:
The Heavy

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