Little Barrie
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Little Barrie

London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1999
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"Little Barrie Rock The Big Apple"

They like their music in New York City. It's the crucible of North America and has been the destination for every major cultural exodus. Part charnel house, part cauldron, it's the city of cities where art and finance shake hands with mutual respect. It's a place where things get done.

It's the first week of May and we're outside Santos Party House on Lafayette Street in Lower Manhattan with a copper sulphate sky arcing over New Jersey. The shadows lengthen and the crowds gather for Little Barrie, one of the finest British bands of the past two decades into which Barrie Cadogan pours his musical sensibilities when not on guitar duty with Primal Scream. It's rock at its best. But with a twist.

The trio comprises Barrie (guitar, centre), Lewis Wharton (bass, right) and Virgil Howe (drums, left) and they're their usual laidback selves an hour before the gig. Having just completed a run of shows on the US East Coast in support of their new album, Shadow - three years after the release of the critically acclaimed King Of The Waves - the band has been refreshed by the writing and recording of something a little bit more experimental.

Consider the compositional precision of Lalo Schifrin coupled with the distortive melody of the 13th Floor Elevators and you'll get an idea of Little Barrie's current muse. "For Shadow we were inspired by film soundtracks," says Barrie. "The 1970s sound saw some music producers use new techniques to achieve a purer sound."

This goes some way to explain the care with which Shadow has been put together. The album's elemental soundscape lends the music an expansiveness in which each song has room to breathe and bloom. As a result, the album flows with a profusion of r'n'b, psych-rock and funk influences on stand-out tracks like Bonneville, Sworn In and Pauline. Having also recently worked with Charles Bradley, Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Andrew Weatherall and Pete Molinari, the band's camp is a much more fertile place.

"The atmosphere we tried to create is down to the form of production which allowed us a little bit more experimentation," adds Lewis.

Virgil agrees. "Shadow, for me, is an album that really swings. It's got a push to it." He espouses the virtues of composers Roy Budd and Lalo Schifrin for how they conceptually transformed soundtrack music and, in doing so, how music could be listened to outside the concise, three-minute pop song format.

The album was recorded and mixed in 17 days at Edwyn Collins' studio in London with his engineer Seb Lewsley at the dials. The whole album had been demo'd and rehearsed before they finally hit the studio in between Barrie's touring with Primal Scream.

Barrie cites Edwyn Collins and his technicians as people who contributed to the artistic integrity of the record and says the production sound of an album is dependent on the balancing act between producer and engineer and the roles they play in the process. When it's done right, it can produce gold. "A guy like Eddie Kramer who worked with Jimi Hendrix is an amazing technician, as was Shel Talmy who worked with The Kinks".

Little Barrie's is a sound that travels and, what's more, is appreciated in the US which remains a nation of musical fusion with rock'n'roll to the core the staple that informs Americans' musical tastes.

The band's label Tummy Touch Records is known as a purveyor of music in which it believes. "It's the opposite of the typical, cynical record company," says Lewis. "It's open-minded."

"We wanted to keep the spirit of a live performance in the album and capture a feeling rather than get everything perfect," adds Barrie. "Recording it felt like a radio session. As a result, this album is a bit more personal, a bit darker and moodier."

The call comes. It's stage time. The trio rise and stretch with relaxed urgency. "Our ideas have changed and through touring our performance levels have risen," says Barrie. "But the beauty of being in a band and having the freedom to write and record like this is that you're never satisfied with it. There's always more to do."

Two hours later and the skies are dark but the city is a little brighter. Little Barrie have risen to the occasion and sent a shockwave through the New York crowd. So catch these fellas live if you can, because music played like this truly is a dying art. - Huffington Post


"Album review"

LITTLE BARRIE - SHADOW

Turn the clock back to 1970, fire up the lava lamp, switch off the
lights, settle into your bean bag - now you're ready to immerse yourself
in Little Barrie's fourth album, Shadow. With booming bass (Lewis
Wharton), thumping drums (Yes guitarist Steve Howe's son Virgil) and
distorted guitar licks from Barrie Cadogan (Primal Scream), this
ventures into that blues rock sound akin to early Led Zeppelin. And
Nottingham trio Little Barrie do it with style. This is darker than
previous albums, certainly 2011's King Of The Waves, and don't expect
too much like the excellent Surf Hell here. Shadow has reverb vocals,
wah-wah guitar and attitude. It is downbeat but totally absorbing before
the riff-driven Pauline, at the halfway point, grabs you by the lapels
and demands you take note. Delivered with bucketfuls of confidence, it
may be a slow burner, but it's well worth the wait.

Rating 9/10

(Review by Steve Crancher) - Press Association


"Little Barrie at The 100 Club"

****

The most famous basement in Oxford Street was rammed. It looked like a scene from the 1960s cult movie Blow-up as Little Barrie took the stage, and sounded a bit like it too once the trio began with Bonneville Ride, a psychedelically tinged swirl of guitar, bass and drums that rose slowly with the irresistible momentum of an incoming tide.

Three years since their previous album, Little Barrie were back in the 100 club to reclaim their crown as the kings of underground rock 'n' roll. Led by slender, crow-haired Barrie Cadogan, who has played guitar with Primal Scream Morrisey's band and other star line-ups, Little Barrie have grown like wild flowers between the cracks of the celebrity pavement. As they set about showcasing songs from their new album 'Shadow', co-produced by their friend and mentor Edwyn Collins, the room shuddered and the walls sweated.

With bass guitarist Lewis Wharton and drummer Virgil Howe providing a rhythmic foundation that was both secure and explosive, Cadogan measured out his guitar parts in minimalist bursts of agression. 'Fuzz Bomb' was propelled by some grungy wah-wah sounds while 'It Don't Count' borrowed the sine-wave motif of Jimi Hendrix's Foxy Lady. The monster riff of 'Pauline' proceeded like a boulder rolling down a hill. These and other numbers sounded far more powerful than the recorded versions, a reminder that this is a band that needs to be seen close up on a stage. - The Times - London - David Sinclair


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

LITTLE
BARRIE


Little Barrie have been growing up in the shadows for 15 years
now. Honing their sound and crafting their art. Avoiding hype and
surviving fashion and its whimsical dalliances. It’s what great bands do. Few
bands make it past the first album and many more never make it that far. It is
a testament to the three players involved - Guitarist and vocalist, Barrie
Cadogan, Bassist Lewis Wharton and drummer extraordinaire, Virgil Howe - that
as a band they are about to release their strongest album to date. Aptly named
"Shadow".


From the
opening of ‘Bonneville Ride’ — one of several tracks that emerged with a theme
of motion’ — the album oozes a brooding self-confidence, brilliantly combining
texture and liveness. “I wanted to do something a bit darker and slightly
soundtrack-y,” says Cadogan. “The last record was a bit more surf rock ‘n’ roll.
I wanted to think about some different guitar sounds, a different approach to
playing. More of a mood, more reverb and fuzz.


Three years after the release of the acclaimed
"King Of The Waves" album they return and if you thought they were ready
to take advantage of the current vogues then think again, Little Barrie are on
their own journey and pursue their own musical agenda.


 “I don’t ever want us to
repeat ourselves. We want to keep moving, your tastes change, and the way you
want to go. The band’s sound has changed, there was more of a soul influence on
the first album, then there was rockabilly and the surf thing, and now it’s a
bit more garage-y. But we’ve played together so much more, and because of that
we’ve been able to do a lot more. It’s not just the gigs, but recording and
rehearsing together. There’s much more of a performance element in the band
now.” Barrie explains.


"Shadow" is an expansive, swaggering, musical
masterpiece blending all their previous influences with a darker, more
cinematic edge to the production. Anyone who has witnessed the band's live
performances over the past few years will testify to just how tight,
accomplished and telepathic each element has become.


As a result "Shadow" oozes the kind of confidence only
gained through understanding how to get the most out of every note, every hit
and all the spaces in between. It’s an intuitive grasp of music and all its
many variables. Recorded and mixed in just 17 days there is a relaxed urgency
about "Shadow" inspired by having recently worked with Anton Newcombe
of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Damo Suzuki (Can), Andrew Weatherall and Pete
Molinari.


“That’s the healthy thing about working with other people. It
brings stuff out of you that you wouldn’t automatically come up with.”


Bassist Lewis Wharton continues the theme of musical exploration.


“There’s definitely been a watershed with us. Now we’re only
interested in fulfilling our own criteria, so the album feels good for that,
it’s more self-confident and relaxed. Barrie’s come to us with more of an
initial concept, he’s had a quite a vision this time of what he wants, and I
think that’s helped glue it all together.”


 “We’ve found a place at
Edwyn’s where we all feel really relaxed, none of us feels out of our depth or
under time pressure, and all of those things contribute to how an album sounds.
You can’t have a plug-in that sorts that out, you have to really feel it. I
think ‘mentor’ is a good word for Edwyn, he’s that go-to opinion that you need
in the studio." Howe Explains.


Wharton,
also a motorcycle enthusiast and blogger, is looking forward to his first
exhibition this year of his illustration work (“it’s more traditional, like you
might get in a Champion annual,” he says). Howe, the acclaimed drumming son of
rock figurehead Steve Howe, also produces & DJs across Europe and has even
introduced some of the new songs from the album at his sets.


Having toured extensively around the world throughout the time
between "King Of The Waves" and the making of "Shadow", including
personal invitations to support artists such as The Stone Roses, Charles
Bradley, Dinosaur Jnr, Kasabian and Primal Scream there is a feeling of a band
with a lot to say and get off its chest.


As always,
Little Barrie’s inquisitive ears led them to new places. Barrie currently
eulogises about everyone from Bo Diddley via Funkadelic to Californian
experimentalist Ty Segall. “We listen to so much different stuff, but we’ve got
a lot of common ground as well,” he says. “We’re almost like record collectors
who formed a band,” smiles Wharton.


"So fate's sticking true to form. And Life's sick of living
you. To revolve at an equal distance. Apart from a dream come true."


On the title track "Shadow" Cadogan intones "I was burned
in a sound" And
who would argue?


 


 



Band Members