Brand New Heavies to Funk up your week. Recorded for BBC Radio 1’s In Concert series, live at The Waterfront in Norwich in 1992. A soulful dose of Acid Jazz and R&B by one of the best exponents of the UK Funk scene.
A few words from their meticulously researched and lovingly written Wikipedia Page:
The Brand New Heavies began in the 1980s as an instrumental acid jazz group called Brothers International.
The group came up with the Heavies name after signing their first record contract, borrowing from a liner note on a James Brown single declaring the artist “Minister of New Super Heavy Funk”. As The Brand New Heavies they gained a cult following in the London club scene and soon signed to Cooltempo as acid jazz replaced rare groove in clubs. The band issued a debut recording for Eddie Piller’s Acid Jazz label in 1990 with Jay Ella Ruth as lead singer.
A single, “Got to Give”, came out on Cooltempo before the Brand New Heavies signed to Acid Jazz Records and released Brand New Heavies to critical acclaim. The band signed to a division of Chrysalis Records in the UK, and American distribution was picked up by influential label Delicious Vinyl, and N’Dea Davenport (who had signed an artist development deal with Delicious Vinyl) joined the group. A revamped version of the first album with vocals by N’Dea Davenport was then released, and the singles “Dream Come True”, “Never Stop” and “Stay This Way”, all with Davenport on lead vocals, became hits on both sides of the Atlantic, with the latter becoming a music video directed by Douglas Gayeton that saw heavy rotation on MTV.
The group’s appearance with MC Serch (formerly of 3rd Bass) and Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest) at a performance in New York City, inspired the group to incorporate elements of hip hop music. Their next album was the critically acclaimed Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1, which included collaborations with Guru of Gang Starr and The Pharcyde, among others, but lacked any female vocals.
The Brand New Heavies released Brother Sister in 1994 which was the last album for a while with N’Dea Davenport, who had left to complete her solo album (which she had put on hold to join the Heavies). The album spawned more singles, though one of them, a cover of Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis”, was popular only in the UK because it was not included in the US version of the album.
In April 2006, the Brand New Heavies reunited with N’Dea Davenport and former label Delicious Vinyl. A new album, Get Used to It was released on 27 June 2006 via Starbucks and more traditional music retail outlets. The album was recorded in New York and London; and the lead single “I Don’t Know Why (I Love You)” was issued in early May. The single was notable for being one of very few late releases to feature the trademarked A Tom Moulton Mix, as he had been asked to contribute remixes. Later that year, their Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1 album track “Jump ‘n’ Move” featuring Jamal-ski was featured on the soundtrack for the 2006 computer animated feature film Happy Feet and the in-game soundtrack for 2004’s NBA Live 2005 and 2009’s NBA 2k10. The band toured at the end of 2006.
The Heavies recorded a cover of “C’est Magnifique” (originally from Cole Porter’s 1953 musical Can-Can) for an early 2009 TV ad by Lancôme. The song also appeared in an early track listing of the Heavies’ 2009 live album, but wasn’t eventually included. The 2-CD Live in London was released in October 2009. The studio version of “C’est Magnifique” was released as a download and also included on a couple of various artists compilations.
The Brand New Heavies released a download instrumental album called Dunk Your Trunk in November 2011. The album, recorded in only four days and described as ‘funky library music’ is directed at ‘TV and Movie people to add to their programs and films’. The 5-track Dunk Your Trunk Remixed E.P. was released on download on 1 May 2013.
The Brand New Heavies eighth studio album Forward was released on 6 May 2013. Lead vocal duties on the album are divided evenly between N’Dea Davenport, who features on the first single “Sunlight”, Jan Kincaid and Simon Bartholomew, making his debut as lead vocalist on this album, and new UK vocalist Dawn Joseph. While the album was produced by the Heavies themselves, as all their previous albums, there are also new collaborators, including songwriters Johan Jones Wetterberg, Marc Jackson Burrows, Rita Campbell and Tim Laws and mixing engineer Toni Economides.
On 10 October 2013, The Brand New Heavies announced via their website that Dawn Joseph had officially joined the band as full-time lead vocalist and that the band were working on a new studio album slated for release in early 2014.
On 21 February 2014, The Brand New Heavies played at Buxton Opera House with support from British acoustic blues singer songwriter Matt Woosey. The Brand New Heavies ninth studio album Sweet Freaks, with Dawn Joseph on vocals, was released on 24 October 2014.
Jan Kincaid and Dawn Joseph both left The Brand New Heavies in late 2015 and N’Dea Davenport rejoined shortly thereafter. In May 2016, The Brand New Heavies announced two upcoming projects. The first, a new studio EP entitled TBNHND, is scheduled for release in Summer 2016 with N’Dea Davenport on vocals. The band also announced their intention to release Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 2 in 2017, a followup to their groundbreaking 1992 album Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1.
In July 2016, the band began touring extensively in Europe and Japan with Sulene Fleming on vocals.
Crank it up and get funky. One more day to the weekend. You can do it.