Brian Harvey: London Ronnie Scott’s

Find out how to go from post-boyband no mark to R&B sex-munchkin in seven easy steps...


Brian’s rocking a shocking dyed-white receding Billy Idol barnet now, kinda coke smuggler meets Front subscriber.

Seriously bad LA porn svengali cream suit, with long coat that tragically diminishes the man’s already stunted proportions. Nice sunglasses though.

Having spent a rumoured five minutes hawking phlegm into the downstairs toilets, our Bri is in fine voice. He is, however, seriously lacking in controversial between-song soundbites. “That was the single,” he grunts after The Single (‘Straight Up’). “I have to say that or my record company will ‘ave a go at me.” Ha ha ha HA HA HA ha ha HA ha!

This being a media-only shindig, the room is filled with meeja types dragged away from Popbitch on the promise of free booze and finger food, as well as a sprinkling of slab-headed geezers packed into grey suits who would qualify as bona fide gangsters were they clutching dobermans and five-book deals.

Sushi, sandwiches, possible vol au vont action. Plus beer and wine, but nothing classier than that, despite the fact that the record company sent out shot glasses as a promotional item to entice us along.

Like Dame Dane Bowers, Brian has reinvented himself as an R&B loverman, which means mucho fluttery hand stuff as he yodels through the soulful scales just like proper black singers do innit. Then Eminem comes on and they share some E. Only joking. Although there does appear to be a professional Slim Shady impersonator in the audience.

Wee Brian is aiming to corner the market in music you hear on taxi stereos at 3 in the morning as you speed through Dalston and try to keep the booze down. ‘Straight Up’ is brutally efficient in its sleek sub-Jerkins piston backbeat, and features the kinda key change that onetime Harvey puppetmaster Tom Watkins would undoubedly approve of. There’s a ballad (‘Cheats’) which is Bri’s fave (natch) cos he gets to wail like a girly diva, and then there’s some other songs which all aim for taut cyber-R&B rhythms like wot Dallas Austin does. He doesn’t do ‘Stay’, sadly.

Christian Ward

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