Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
10:45 AM 18th December 2021

Brand New Heavies - A Dream Come True In Leeds

Celebrating the end of 42 shows this year, Brand New Heavies brought the party to Stylus in Leeds for a night of good times and great music.

The line up of the band still includes original members Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy. Over the years the band has included an array of vocalists including Siedah Garrett who wrote songs for Michael Jackson.

The band has discovered a true talent in current singer Angela Ricci; her interpretations of Brand New Heavies classics did them justice with a voice that is a force to be reckoned with.

Surprisingly they chose to open the set with their cover of the Maria Muldaur hit Midnight At The Oasis, rather than starting off with one of their own tracks.

The Acid Jazz nature of the Heavies tracks benefited from the horn section which worked brilliantly with the trumpet solo on Brother Sister giving the song a soulful step in its stride.

Andrew Levy and Simon Bartholomew
Andrew Levy and Simon Bartholomew
Mark Ronson, who wrote and produced with Amy Winehouse, also worked on the latest Brand New Heavies album, a point they were quick to mention in the introduction to These Walls.

As Ricci left the stage, the band reminded fans that they used to be an instrumental group before they hit on the idea that having a vocalist would probably give them a greater chance of success.

Stupid Love, a track off the new album gave way to the big hits that many know the group for. Stay This Way brought back the memories of when DJ Pete Tong played the track on his Friday night show on Radio 1 whilst Stupid Love proved that even now they can still deliver the goods with a fine pop/funk song.

For an encore Guitarist Simon Bartholomew changed into a glittery cat suit that would have not looked out of place if Justin Hawkins from The Darkness had chosen to wear it. The band proceeded to perform a rousing version of Dream Come True before You Are The Universe ended the party.

With more new music promised from the band in 2022 it appears that the party is set to continue.