David Sinclair Trio
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  The Brand New Heavies
So I met up with the Brand New Heavies in Copenhagen last Thursday. What an amazing night! I watched their show at the 1,500-capacity Vega club from the mixing desk enclosure in the company of the group's PR, Sam Oxley, and their sound engineer Mark Ralph. They played brilliantly, and their new singer, Nicole Russo is a star! But what happened next really floored me.

When the gig was over, Sam, Mark and I wandered backstage to hook up with the band. As I walked into the dressing room an acoustic guitar was thrust into my hands, and before I knew it I was in the middle of a jam session - with the Brand New Heavies!!! How cool is that? Answer: Just as cool as it ever gets, believe me.

As well as guitarist Simon Bartholomew, bass player Andrew Love Levy and Mark all playing guitar, bass and/or various percussion items we had a succession of glamorous singers on board, including not only Nicole, but also the Heavies' talented backing singer Heidi Vogel and the lovely Simone Larsen, singer with the celebrated Norwegian group D'Sound, who were supporting the Heavies at the gig. Well, we swung through a selection of 12-bar blues with varying degrees of success (on my part), followed by impromptu versions of the Doobie Brothers' Long Train Runnin' and La Bamba, which morphed, as it often tends to do, into a spectacularly raucous version of Twist and Shout. And then, just when it all seemed about to peter out, Mark started pestering me to play one of my songs. Next thing you know we were ploughing through Dusted & Rusted, hastily adapted for acoustic guitar and bass. God knows what it sounded like, but it felt fantastic.

I guess, having heard that I was a musician as well as a journalist, the group had decided to pay me the ultimate compliment and invite me to play with them. Well, flattery will get you everywhere in this game, and believe me, I was beyond flattered. Flattened more like!

But I was genuinely impressed too, not just by their generosity of spirit, but also by their unforced enthusiasm for playing. Even after all those years on the road, and straight after a gig, when most musicians would either be out partying or holed up in their hotel bar, they were all still totally up for it. I can also tell you that to play with musicians like that, under any circumstances, is a privilege. They have such total command of their instruments that, for me, it was a bit like hitting a tennis ball with Pete Sampras.

Naturally, after it was all over, I was dishing out copies of the Dusted & Rusted CD left, right and centre. Mark, who also co-produced the Brand New Heavies' super new album, Allabouthefunk, gave me his number and suggested we meet up some time in his recording studio in London. Simone volunteered to play the CD on a show she hosts on a Norwegian radio station. And Simon said that if I wanted him to play guitar on one of my future recordings he would be happy to do it. Wow. Respect! At last!! And maybe even Big In Norway to add to the CV.

Talking of future recordings, Drew, Elizabeth and I are returning to the Stone Room with Gareth on Wednesday (23rd). We have two new songs ready to record this time, so if everything goes according to plan there will be more to add to our online repertoire in the near future.

After which, I am going to San Diego to see U2 play the first show of their World Tour. I wonder if there will be any aftershow jamming on that trip... Come to think of it, I've got a couple of riffs that The Edge just might want to get to grips with. Hey-hey-hey!

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THE DIARY OF A ROCK'N'ROLL AFFAIR David Sinclair is a songwriter and bandleader who lives in West London. He runs the David Sinclair Trio featuring George Andrew (bass/vocals) and Jack Sinclair (drums/vocals). This is the story of the group.

February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / July 2005 / September 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / September 2006 / February 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / November 2007 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / July 2008 / September 2008 / November 2008 / January 2009 / September 2009 / February 2010 / July 2010 / February 2011 / December 2011 /

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