The Brand New Heavies: Summer Hits Tour - Hastings

The Brand New Heavies land on Hastings Pier for a huge evening of their famed, classic hits!

Friday 7th June 2024
6:00pm til 11:00pm
Minimum Age
18+

Friday 7th June 2024
6:00pm til 11:00pm
Minimum Age
18+

The Brand New Heavies: Summer Hits Tour  - Hastings

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The Brand New Heavies: Summer Hits Tour - Hastings


The Brand New Heavies: Summer Hits Tour - Hastings

Music Genres

Acid House | Funk | Funky House | Jazz

Brands


About

Can it really be thirty years since The Brand New Heavies first sashayed their way into the public eye with a romantic’s heart, a hedonist’s spirit and a Superfly sensibility?

Their extraordinary new album TBNH, however, finds the band – and main songwriters funk-soul brothers Andrew Levy (bass) and Simon Bartholomew (guitar) -embarking on an entirely new chapter in their illustrious history.

A heady cocktail of Chic-style funk-pop, sunshine grooves and scorched-soul balladry, TBNH refines, reimagines and ultimately reinvents a winning formula which has won them16 top 40 hits and three million album sales.

The morello cherry in the glass? A breath-taking cover of Kendrick Lamar’s These Walls, produced by Heavies uber-fan Mark Ronson."He saw The Heaves in New York in a really small venue SOB’s back in the early days and it changed his whole musical outlook," says Simon of their collaboration with the planet’s hottest producer.

" It's incredible to think that everything he’s done since has been shaped by us. It’s a cool thing.”

At the album’s core, a friendship dating back to the mid-eighties, and their shared experiences growing up in Ealing, West London.“For us it’s always been about a love of funk, and the positive things which go with it, like dancing, hanging out and having a good time,” says Simon of one of pop’s most stylish and enduring partnerships.“We didn’t invent the wheel, but we did reinvent it to a certain extent by going back to the people in America who made the funk in the first place. That love of the music never goes away.”

For The Brand New Heavies, groove has always been in the heart. Having emerged as part of the l Acid Jazz scene, their self-titled 1990 debut made an instant connection with audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We were these young kids from a suburb in West London who went to America with our funny flared trousers and weird shirts, and they really took to us,” explains Andrew.“The week I landed in LA I was having dinner with the bass player from The Bangles. We went to a ceremony to honour Ray Charles at the Apollo in Harlem and Stevie Wonder came over and sang Never Stop to us. At the time you don’t realise how incredible that is.”

Over the last three decades The Heavies’ eclectic dancefloor aesthetic -Andrew still recalls the thrill of hearing Al Jarreau’s 1981 crossover classic Breaking Away -has seen them build an unrivalled reputation as the ultimate musician’s musicians, guaranteed to get the party started everywhere from Coachella to the Montreux Jazz Festival.However, their iconic status- acknowledged by the receipt of a ‘Living Legends’ gong at the Urban Music Awards in 2016- masked internal tensions. These came to a head when drummer and founder member Jan Kincaid quit the band during the touring cycle for 2014’s Sweet Freaks.“Jan leaving the band really toughened us up,” says Andrew.“He emailed to tell us he was leaving two weeks before a tour. We knew that if we cancelled, we would have been ruined. My son was ten days old at the time. But we stood strong. Simon and me get underestimated because we’re seen as the rock star playboys who horse around at the front and wear silly clothes, but we’re serious people. Jan leaving really galvanized us into making this thing work. Then, once we realised we could carry on, the vibes went through the roof.”

Having proved their mettle in spectacular fashion with a triumphant show at Mark Ronson’s star-studded 40th birthday party in 2016, they set about making an album which would eclipse anything they’d released to date.

Recording at Chicken Shack Studio’s in Penge, they set to work under the watchful eye of enigmatic producer Sir Tristan Longworth, painstakingly building songs up from drum tracks recorded at their own Sponge Studios in Brentford (now sadly, erm, de-funked).

“We needed someone to crack the whip,” says Andrew with a grin.“As fathers of young kids, Simon and I didn’t have the time we used to have. So it was great to be able to let Tris get on with it- he got some proper phat drum sounds.  On top of all that, he also makes these amazing gin and tonics with chilli’s in them.”

Rather than commit to one vocalist, the duo decided each track should have its voice, combining Heavies alumni N’Dea Davenport and Siedah Garrett, soul legends Beverley Knight and Angie Stone, current singer Angela Ricci and fresh talents Laville and Jack Knight.“We wanted to give it the feel of a compilation, a bit like (1992 hip-hop collaboration) The Heavy Rhyme Experience,” explains Simon.“We invested in real strings and got this young guy called Tom Walsh to do the brass arrangements. He worked with Jerry Hey who did all the horns for Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. It was like he’s been handed over the Olympic Torch. Some of the horn parts he wrote were incredible.”

The result is the sublime uptown funk of TBNH. Opener Beautiful- containing the lines:  ‘We’re winners/ We’re back to take it all” sets the valedictory tone, but it’s the  precision beats, strutting bass, space invader synths and shimmering guitar lines which  set the pulse racing, the head spinning and the feet moving.

“You have to have grown up dancing to this kind of music to try and emulate it,” says Andrew of their obsessive ear for detail.“I’m still totally obsessed with making our records as funky as possible. If a song doesn’t make me move, then I know it isn’t right.”

If a sizzling Prince-like jam Heat -with a vocal from Honey Larochelle which has to be heard to be believed- tells you this is the sound of a band fully reacquainted with their mojo, it's a spine-tingling Just Believe In You -co-written with Grammy-winning lyricist SiedahGarrrett which reflects the struggle they’ve been through to get here.“That song was Siedah’s own way of giving us some support when we were at a very low ebb,” explains Andrew.“There was a point where we thought we might lose the group and it’s easy to lose your confidence. She knew what was going on, and those lyrics were her way of telling us to go for it.”

While a tender Get On the Right Side  -written by Simon in response to a  break-up - pulls at the heart-strings,  the emotional core of the album is Together. Sung by soul legend Angie Stone, lyrics like: ‘We’ve been through dark dark times/ With love as our guide we made it back here alive’ are mirrored by a sultry backing track recorded at none other than George Clinton’s studio in Tallahassee, Florida.“It was just as you’d hope it to be,”says Simon.“A funky building under a big swampy tree with all these crazy people hanging around. It couldn’t have been more funky. We jammed loads and that was one of the tunes that came out of it.”

Add in the Teena Marie-style disco smash Dance It Out, breezy pop banger Getaway, Stax-like strut Stupid Love and precision-tooled jive The Funk Is Back-sung by Simon-and you’ve got a gilt-edged collection of songs which proves The Heavies have come through  their dark night of the (Philly) soul to make the best album of their career.

All in a fabulous sleeve featuring these guardians of the groove in the suitably louche surroundings of ultra-hip nightspot Annabel’s.“The cover sums up the album,” says Simon with a smile.“It’s a bit clubby, a little bit sleazy. A little bit luxury, a and a little bit street.”

The Brand New Heavies are back. How we've missed them.

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Please note: The event information above has been added by the organiser. Whilst we try to ensure all details are up-to-date we do not make any warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information shown.


Nearby Accommodation

Venue Address

Hastings Pier, Hastings, TN34 1JY

Useful Links

Please note, locations are plotted on this map by their postcode so may not be precise. We advise you to contact the venue if you need exact directions!

Please note, locations are plotted on this map by their postcode so may not be precise. We advise you to contact the venue if you need exact directions!


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