Ipswich: Party time and back to the 80s and 90s with the Brand New Heavies

The Brand New Heavies

The Brand New Heavies - Credit: Archant

Ipswich, Regent, Brand New Heavies

IT was back to the 1980s and 90s as party time came to The Regent, on Friday night, with the audience up on their feet swaying and clapping to those well known hits from the Heavies.

The families tunes littered the funky eight-piece band’s 90-minutes set and had their fans singing and dancing along from the word go.

Brother Sister, Never Stop, Dream on Dreamer, Midnight at the Oasis, Sometimes, You Are The Universe, were a selection of the songs intermingled with numbers from their latest album Forward, which was released in April, their first full studio album in nearly seven years.

Sunlight, Heaven, Lights and Addicted, showed how the band has been able to change its style over the years but still retain much of the familiar acid jazz feel which has seen them through the 80s, 90s, 00s and the present decade.


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Featuring every present members Jan Kincaid on drums and keyboards, Simon Bartholomew on guitar and Andrew Levy on bass, they are now fronted by the dynamic voice of Dawn Joseph.

But for me the laid back funky jazz beat is slightly missing as much of their tunes in the set were taken at too fast a pace. The tempos were quicker which took away that inimitable sound of the BNHs.

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But, hey, the audience appeared to be in raptures with with band who appear to be reinventing themselves.

The BNH have been lighting up the UK music scene for decades with their mix of jazz, funk and soul.

While the triumvirate of Kincaid, Bartholomew and Levy are the mainstay of the band they are able to augment their sound with quality musicians.

Best know when they were fronted by N’Dea Davenport, who still appears with the band, BNH have been blessed with female singers down the years including Siedah Garrett, Jay Ella Ruth, Carleen Anderson, Sy Smith and Nicole Russo.

But now it’s Dawn’s turn to take the spotlight and she has a powerful voice and presence on stage which is steering them on a tour of the UK and Europe with Ipswich benefitting from one of their stop offs.

Their new album has a host of quality numbers among its 14 tracks and is worth adding to your collection.

The evening was given a rousing lift with support acts De’Vide - aka Ipswich’s Barny Holmes and Lex Flowers - who wowed BBC One’s The Voice, Ipswich’s Jade Peters and a thilling set by Bassment Project from London, a band to look out for in the future.

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