An October in the style of the „acid jazz“ London scene
The authentic jazz/funk/soul/R’n’B band, The Brand New Heavies, will have two concerts in Belgrade’s Bitefartcafe club, as a part of the Musicology Barcaffè Sessions concert series, on October 29 and 30.
Pioneers of the “acid jazz” scene in London, The Brand New Heavies, translated their love for the funk grooves of the 1970s into a sophisticated sound that carried the torch for the classic soul in an era dominated by Hip-Hop. Formed in 1985 by drummer/keyboardist Jan Kincaid, guitarist Simon Bartholomew, and bassist/keyboardist Andrew Levy – longtime school friends from the London suburb of Ealing – The Brand New Heavies were originally an instrumental unit inspired by the James Brown and Meters records its members heard while clubbing the rare groove scene in vogue at the moment. The trio soon began recording their own music, gaining enormous exposure when their demo tracks were spun at the influential Cat in the Hat Club.
Eventually adding a brass section, the Brand New Heavies built a cult following throughout the London club circuit, surviving the shift that saw the rare groove scene fade in the wake of acid house. After an earlier recording deal with Cooltempo yielded the single “Got to Give,” the Heavies — now including vocalist Jay Ella Ruth — signed with the fledgling indie label Acid Jazz; recorded on a budget of just 8,000 pounds, the group’s self-titled LP appeared in 1990 to strong critical acclaim, resulting in a licensing deal with the American company Delicious Vinyl. With Ruth now out of the band, Delicious Vinyl hand-picked N’dea Davenport as her successor, insisting the Heavies re-record tracks from their debut for their first U.S. effort, also an eponymous release that appeared in 1992.
After scoring at home with “Dream Come True” and “Stay This Way,” the single “Never Stop” soon landed on the American R&B charts, with the Heavies the first British group to accomplish such a feat with a debut single since Soul II Soul several years earlier.
Under the influence of Q-Tip and MC Serch, they’ve absorbed the hip-hop sound and released “Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. 1”, an album that featured Main Source, Gang Starr, Grand Pub and Pharcade.
In the following years, the band had successful albums such as “Brother Sister” (1994), “Trunk Funk: The Best of the Brand New Heavies” (1999) and “Get Used To It” (2006).
The band leaders, Simon and Andrew, wrote and produced 16 singles that were at the famous top 40 singles lists while selling over 2,5 million copies worldwide.
Over the last couple of years, they’ve worked on a new album, that was released on September 6, called “TBNH”. The band has already started its world tour, and their arrival to Belgrade means that the Serbian audience will be amongst the first to have the opportunity of hearing their new songs.
The Brand New Heavies performed in Belgrade three years ago at the same concert series, where they held concerts people are still talking about, which is why the organizers scheduled two more concerts this year that the fans will be able to enjoy on 29th and 30th of October at Bitefartcafe club.
The Heavies will be the second performers at this year’s Musicology Barcaffè Sessions season, which will feature also incredible artists such as Hindi Zahra and Cory Wong from “Vulfpeck”.