Ideal Forgery are a Manchester based Alternative Indie Rock Band that operate under their own independent record label; Ideal Music. Recently described as ‘an undiscovered diamond in the rough’ they strive to write ‘good music on real instruments’ which has had a heartfelt impact on their local fan base.

The bands music is all created by Zak Heaney (Lead Vocals/ Acoustic Guitar) who has been writing songs and cultivating his individual vocal sound from a young age. The band were formed by Zak in 2014; as he decided that his raw sound needed a stronger musical voice; which came in the form of a 5 piece band. The rest of the band consists of Mikey Tee (Lead Guitar), Polly Virr (Cello), Ian Walters (Bass) and Owen Mitchell (Drums/ Percussion) whom all come from completely different musical backgrounds. 

The bands sound is driven by Zak’s ambition to create music that reaches out to people; through lyrics, raw emotion, power, edge and a mutual understanding of the everyday struggles many people face. They’re influenced by a variety of musical styles including; Indie, Acoustic, Orchestral, Post-Punk, Folk and Rock. When you go to watch Ideal Forgery you can be assured of raw emotion, musicality, talent, an individual voice and the sense of inclusion into a world and sound that you needed to hear. After recently releasing a new EP- ‘Shy’ they have already begun writing and recording an album that they hope to release at the beginning of 2017; but be assured, you will hear them gigging in the best music venues in Manchester before then.




Zak Heaney, Frontman of Ideal Forgery, from Manchester (UK), has lived and breathed music longer than he can remember; it has given him an individual voice and purpose. Initially inspired by artists such as David Bowie, The Smiths and The Dire Straits (through listening to his parents vinyls) it wasn’t long before he immersed himself with the sounds of Nirvana, NoFX, The Foo Fighters and Rise Against; which helped cultivate the unique edge to his vocal sound. This in turn has been tempered by his musical love of artists like, Ryan Adams, Milo Greene and Dustin Tebbutt; which is notable in the contrasting acoustic style that Ideal Forgery often incorporate into their overall sound.

“It has been through music, and not much else, that I’ve reached this point, emotionally and mentally, in my life; without it, I have no idea who I’d be.

I’m grateful to have been able to share so many of my thoughts and feelings with so many people, and to have been received with nothing but empathy and positivity. It’s one of the most amazing and humbling feelings”



Lead Guitarist- Mikey Tee, is Ideal Forgery’s living sound FX. Coming from Heywood (UK), Mikey was up against the stigma of misguided youth; however through music, he found his true calling. From listening to The Doors, The Cardinals, Bad Company, Alice In Chains and The Allman Brothers he has been heavily influenced by guitarists- Jonny Marr, Bert Jansch, Davey Graham, Robbie Krieger, Neil Casal and no other than Jeff Beck. It is apparent through the Blues idioms in his playing that he thrives on creating a variety of different sound effects; which you wouldn’t conventionally hear from a guitarist.

“I’m inspired by natures beautiful and nightmarish sounds…”



Ever since picking up the cello at 6 years old, Polly Virr has had a passion for sharing the instrument’s mellow, soulful tones and experimenting with the incredible versatility of the cello. Born into a musical family and classically trained, her musical tastes couldn’t be more diverse! From James Blake to Mumford and Sons, Nick Drake to Little Dragon and Snarky Puppy, Shostakovich to Stevie Wonder… This interest in such an endless array of artists contributes to Polly’s love for playing across all genres and her belief in challenging the audience’s preconceptions of the cello and its capabilities.

Polly loves to improvise and to collaborate with other musicians, constantly striving to discover new ideas and share in the creative process of song writing. She is extremely passionate about taking live music to new audiences and communicating with people from all walks of life, using the cello. This has led to her playing cello in hospitals, care homes, detention centres, schools, parks, jazz clubs, pubs, concert halls, museums, trains, trams (most recently), carousels… the list is forever growing!

“The cello’s sound and range is perhaps most similar to the human voice, and this immediately speaks to the me in a really unique and powerful way. I’m so excited to explore the role of the cello within the soundscape of Ideal Forgery and to discover new, fresh approaches to playing within this Genre”



Now living with the mantra that ‘all about the Bass’ is a way of life, Ian Walters cycled through several different instruments including clarinet, fiddle, guitar and cajon, before he realised that Bass is where his heart lies. Hailing from Dunbar (Scotland) Ian moved to Manchester 5 years ago; which is when Zak stole him from the rest of the world. With an eclectic musical C.V. including a 9 month Tour of Eastern Europe; his musical tastes come from accross the world. Naturally, playing Double Bass and Electric Bass; he was going to have a keen interest in musicians such as Ray Brown, John Martin and Pino Palladino, whom led him to enjoy Ska, Funk, Jazz and Folk.

”My first appreciation of music came from listening to my father’s records- Hendrix, Clapton, Dire Straits; this made me appreciate how powerful music could be. For me, music is the most rudimentary form of emotional communication.”



Growing up in the Isle of Man meant that Owen Mitchell was part of a small and niche musical environment. He fell in love with Percussion and Drumkit as he realised that he could create the most interesting sounds with the biggest scope of instruments. Coming from a musical family and living above his Dads music shop, he was always surrounded by a vast array of musical styles and sounds; including Folk, Orchestral and Rock music. With an interest in Symphonic music and it’s subsequent influence on all musical forms, he listens to a variety of artists such as- The Police, ELO, John Williams, Biffy Clyro, Tiny Hazard, Iron Maiden, Snarky Puppy and Jamiroquai. Since moving to Manchester he has played in a variety of Bands and Orchestras; which have all led him to one place- Ideal Forgery.

When you’re sitting behind a drum kit or playing percussion, your responsibility is to make the music feel good, by using different intensities of rhythm and sound. I’m forever striving to create new sounds and challenge peoples perception of what a drummer/ percussionist is capable of”