The lead singers have come and gone over the years but as with most things in life the Brand New Heavies prove the original is always the best. Image Credit: Wenn

The lead singers have come and gone over the years but as with most things in life the Brand New Heavies prove the original is always the best.

More than 25 years since they got together in a garage on the outskirts of London, founding members Andrew Love Levy, Simon Bartholomew and Jan Kincaid say they are happy N'Dea Davenport "came home" in 2005.

"We are all back together and it makes a difference," Love Levy says. "It wasn't the same without her."

First singing with the boys from 1990, Davenport left the group in 1995 to work on her solo album, which she was busy with when she first signed up.

A number of others tried to fill her shoes, but in 2005 Davenport returned to the group. Ahead of their headlining gig at the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival, Love Levy tells tabloid! what the crowd are in for.

Describing his age as the wrong side of 35, Love Levy is not only the bassist but also songwriter and producer for the group. "We play the best uplifting funk, dance music in the world... ever," he says. "We have a great supporting band, which makes us sound even better: keyboards, backing vocals and even a horn section.

"We really can't wait to play in Dubai and want to visit the Burj Khalifa."

Cracking the US

Years on the road touring and in the studio have given the band a confidence which even saw them break the US — something many English groups struggle to do. And that's not the only reason Love Levy has a thing for the US. "I have lots of great memories but my favourite Heavies experience will never change.

"I met my wife at a Brand New Heavies concert in Chicago in 2006, and I've never looked back."

That was also the year that Love Levy and Bartholomew worked a couple of red feather boas better than even the hottest burlesque performer. Proving they still had lots to give, the pair strutted on stage in New York for the Big and Heavy Tour alongside Macy Gray. "We've had some great times."

Making the most of great stage show opportunities for a burst of exercise, Love Levy says keeping fit isn't easy. "The biggest hurdle is staying fit. It's the hardest thing, especially when you're on the road. Free drinks backstage and parties every night start to bring a whole new meaning to the word heavy in the Brand New Heavies."

So why should we catch them in Dubai on Wednesday, February 17?

"Because at a jazz festival people don't usually dance, so with us banging out disco grooves — one can."

My iPod: Andrew Love Levy

Right now I would play: The audio book The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra.

One to make me cry is: Never Knew Love Like This Before — Stephanie Mills (the album version).

One to make me dance: Fashion by David Bowie.

At karaoke I would sing: "I'd have to sing one of my own songs, because only I know the true meaning. So probably Spend Some Time."

At my funeral they should play: Lights Out — Santogold (right).

First smooched at a school disco to: Love Don't Live Here Anymore — Rose Royce.

First single/album I bought myself was: Le Chic by Chic.

One I would skip on my iPod is: Bush

Most listened to this month is: These Dreams — Heart.

Total MB: 6 Gigs. "Hours of tunes, awesome.