The (not so) Brand New Heavies

The bottle of water in my hand, a husband by my side and frantically catching up on ‘berry email….. as I waited for the band to come on, I contemplated how different my life is 20 years on.

Review: The Brand New Heavies

For me, Ealing-born band, The Brand New Heavies, are a distant memory from my Manchester student days. Their deep love of classic ’70s grooves mixed with some heavier funk has led them to be one of the most successful and enduring acts of the acid jazz scene over the last 20 years.

Performing last night at Under the Bridge, Chelsea, the home-grown heroes celebrated their milestone 20th anniversary fronted by the dazzling and massively talented singer Honey Larochelle. The intimate venue rocked and grooved as the band of funkateers kicked off with Have a Good Time and Back to Love.  Inevitably, the crowd of 40-somethings wanted the big time hits: Dream On Dreamer and Midnight At The Oasis, and from here, the gig took off.

The founding and ever-present trio of Jan Kincaid, Simon Batholomew and Andrew Levy on drums/keyboards, guitar and bass respectively jammed and grinned in equal measure.  Pouring their soul into Brother Sister and Spend Some Time, the band reminded many of their fans of the album which soared to Number 4 in the UK Charts, turning platinum in the process.

The final song Dream Come True went down a storm and it was then that it struck me. There is something very special about watching this band perform. Their long-term togetherness, strength of friendship and sheer love of live jamming is evident. A rare breed in this day and age.

The Brand New Heavies, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6; Tue 13 Dec–Wed 14 Dec; 7pm; from £30;; 0871 220 0260

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