Friday, January 31, 2014
Heavy Load, 25th January
When I started my Meetup group our first meetup was to The Phoenix near Oxford Circus for the night How Does it Feel to be Loved - an indiepop night that was a hell of a lot of fun.
Almost two years later and I was back again, this time for Heavy Load - a night dedicated to the classic rock songs of yesteryear, though with a little bit of diversity thrown in. I'm not really a 'rock' chick - I mean, I like Queens of the Stone Age and Silverchair but have never really got into the rock bands of yore that lead the way, like Led Zeppelin or Lynyrd Skynryd. Not that I don't like them when I hear them, but I've never sought them out or owned one of their records. But I'd put it on my List because it was something that was a bit different, and it turns out one of my friends was a long-time fan of 'The Load'. He let me know he was going with a couple of mates and I decided to tag along.
On this particular Saturday night they were focusing on the year 1974 which meant an hour and a half of classic anthems from that year, followed by normal Heavy Load music policy, with an emphasis on songs from that year, followed by a Top 10 Heavy Load songs of 1974 played at midnight. I'm sure this happened but by this point I was too pissed to notice.
I walked in and it felt like a completely different place to the Phoenix basement bar I remembered. Incense was wafting around the room and the ceiling and walls were glowing with rainbow-coloured lights in different shapes and sizes. All very groovy and psychedelic. There was a lot of hair - both as beards and long straggly tresses - and there were definitely a few people who looked like regulars and who probably knew all the music from the first time around.
The music, for the most part, was great! I had a wicked time there. It wasn't ALL just classic rock - I distinctly remember a bit of Stevie Wonder (Superstitious) among the Stones (Gimme Shelter) and Queen (Don't Stop Me Now). I remember them playing The Doors (Alabama Song) and The Beatles Live and Let Die. I rocked and I moshed and I even did some headbanging. If 60s and 70s rock and roll is your bag then this night is definitely for you as that was definitely the majority of the music played. For me - well, it was fun while it lasted but it probably won't go into my regular rotation of weekend nights out.