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Concert Review: The Brand New Heavies at The Highline Ballroom

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For nearly twenty years, the London-based outfit named The Brand New Heavies have provided the music world with a healthy blend of soul, funk, and uplifting lyrics. And on June 2, 2007, they brought their party to New York while performing at the new Highline Ballroom.

Fronted by the N’Dea Davenport, The Heaveies played a brisk eighty minute set that featured three songs from their 2006 release “Get Used To It” including the heartfelt “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”, the funk anthem, “Bring Back The Funk”, and disco-tinged “Let’s Do It Again”. All three songs proved that despite nearly ten years between the widely popular “Brother Sister” and last year’s record, The Heavies stayed true to form.

Davenport had incredible stage presence as she strutted and preened for the audience while playing off her trusty bandmates Andrew Levy (bassist) and Simon Bartholomew (guitarist). Each song was sung with vigor even though I’m certain she’s tired of singing the songs off the this incarnation of the band’s three disc catalog which included her as the lead singer.

I also have to note Bartholomew’s as he truly seems like the same youth from London who had a love for soul and funk music twenty years ago. It is apparent that with each performance he is living out his dream of performing music for the masses.

My only disappointment with the show was its length. Drummer Jan Kincad did not provide vocals except for two songs off the group’s latest release (and those vocals were more of the backup variety). The group went through a handful of their “classics” but left out some great gems in “Daybreak”, “Forever”, and “Keep It Coming”. At times, it felt more like a revue than an actual full concert. This is in contrast to their nearly two hour performance last summer at Brooklyn’s Warsaw.

Still, The Brand New Heavies proved that they still have the funk. I look forward to their next visit to New York.

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