Banish the January blues as disco icons Heatwave bring the fire and the funk to The Blues Kitchen.
It’s been nearly 50 years since the release of Too Hot To Handle, one of the key records in the dawn of Britfunk. It came to existence after American servicemen and brothers Johnnie and Keith Wilder, stationed in Germany, were discharged from the army and relocated to the UK, where they met songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton. With Temperton they formed a multi-cultural band featuring musicians from from all over the world, while recruiting the Midas touch of 70s hit-maker Barry Blue. Together, they created a debut album that made North London sound like Hollywood.
The three lead singles, ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin’’, ‘Super Soul Sister’, and the anthemic ‘Boogie Nights’ were unstoppable, the latter reaching number two in the British pop charts before taking on America. With so many musical roots between the band members, it was only natural that the album would be a fusion of various genres, taking in disco, funk, soul, R&B, jazz and rock to create something that was their own.
That debut record was the high watermark of the group’s career, though several hit singles and acclaimed records did follow. But various tragedies and the formation of other projects took hold, before the three core members of the group passed away between 2006 and 2017. The current incarnation of Heatwave is thus not anything like the original line-up. Think of it more as a celebration of the glorious, irrepressibly upbeat early music that group released. The perfect antidote to those January blues.