Mean Poppa Lean
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Mean Poppa Lean

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Rock R&B


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"Mean Poppa Lean are a band to whom the word 'subtlety' means nothing. They deliver the kind of fun you once had in the playground. Some of these tracks (Smash & Grab E.P) are undeniably funny, the band parodying the genre and themselves throughout. They have the tongue in cheek humour of adolescent schoolboys and whilst this might all sound ridiculous and cliched there is something unavoidably infectious about this band."
Now Then Magazine (Sheffield).

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- Now Then Magazine, Sheffield

With a hint of 6ix Toys, a dash of Red Hot Chili Peppers and plenty of good humour Mean Poppa Lean were the discovery of the weekend. The quartet (sextet if you count their trumpet and sax [er, trombone? - C-Dogg] duo the Horny Brassholes) already have a polished their live show: call and response tracks, getting the crowd to go down low and “a little more bacon, a little more sausage,” quips from the singer trying to get the drummer to hit the high hats more, which added a tongue-in-cheek twist to the set. There were parts of Smoove and Jacko during ‘How Times How Hot’, Flea basslines lurking underneath ‘The Pash’ and with great showmanship to boot, MPL need to be caught to believed., Great Escape review

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SINGLE: MEAN POPPA LEAN Sheryl Crow ( Funk-fuelled and ready to take on their first European tour, Mean Poppa Lean let rip another ballsy number in new single Sheryl Crow. What's with the name, I hear you ask. 'She's fucking boss,’ apparently. Energetic, with pulsing drums, rippling bass and bold brassy accompaniment, we see another festival hit in the making. Well, with the chanted verses it's inevitable really. B-side, the hilariously titled Regretamin turns it down a tad, with heavy riffs and crooning vocals reminiscent of Reef. (LS)

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- Brighton Source Magazine

"Almost a Cuban Brothers tribute act - not quite as funny, but not far behind - they create an atmosphere in the crowd that no amount of money could buy. Mixing laughter and lyrics is always a clever move and frontman, which he most certainly is, Christian Barnes does it perfectly ("What are we like? Fucking mental / Where do we live? Down the shops / Who do we love? Sheryl Crow / Why? She's fucking hot"). The band on the whole are almost like a spoof super group; their bassist is a dopple ganger of Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Barnes sings like a South Park Micheal Jackson character and guitarist 'C Dog' rips out riffs even Hendrix couldn't do (after he'd had a few, obviously). Throughout their set they steal a megaphone from an audience member, stating "we always win" after she unwillingly gives it up, get the whole crowd to "go down low" in a funkadelic cha-cha-slide, and even do the first ever "drum solo fry up" (it's almost impossible to describe what that is, but if you see them live you'll soon understand). MPL are no doubt the highlight of the whole festival, with their show still being spoken about after the headliners play." -

- Jordan Joice, The New Current on Leefest '10


'Smash and Grab EP' (2008)

'Sheryl Crow' Single, b-side 'Regretamine' (2009)

'Personality EP' (2010)

'Live on Twelve Legs' (2011)



Mean Poppa Lean came to fruition in 2006 on the breezy shores of Brighton, when Anglo-American songwriting partners Christian Jennings Barnes (New York) and C-Dogg (Oxford, UK) conspired to create something bigger after the dissolution of their first band, Hedroom. With a shared love of Prince and the flamboyant 80s RnB scene, where image was just as important as a catchy hook, they sought to break free of the stagnant indie scene that loomed over the charts in the mid-Noughties.

Teaming up with old schoolfriends Danny Bass and John Grills, the foursome set to task creating an uncompromising, exciting live show built around infectious four-to-the-floor beats, sing-a-long choruses, exuberant crowd interaction and glamorous costumes that were nowhere to be found on the unsigned live scene at the time.

It took only a handful of gigs for MPL to become the talk of the town in Brighton, and the band began to spread out around the country, blowing minds wherever they went. They recorded their first EP 'Smash and Grab' for next to nothing at The Levellers' Metway Studios in Brighton, and the launch party saw them sell out Brighton's prestigious Concorde 2.

After a lot more touring and winning a local battle of the bands, they returned to the studio to record their first single 'Sheryl Crow', which was self-released to the delight of fans and critics in October 2009. The release was supported by a comprehensive UK tour with Brighton cohorts Floors And Walls, as well as the band signing with Insanity Agency for live bookings.

While recording 'Sheryl Crow' the band recruited two new members; Rob Flynn on trumpet and Tom Beck on trombone, also known as The Horny Brassholes. The addition of brass created a much-needed third dimension to their sound and the Brassholes have now become a permanent fixture of the line-up. 2009 was topped off with memorable appearances at Isle Of Wight festival and both V Festivals.

2010 was a busy year for the band, who not only continued to blitz the UK scene but also made three trips to mainland Europe, visitng Holland, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and the Czech Republic. They even reached the Austrian Indie charts, remaining in the top 30 for 9 weeks and peaking at number 12. They have gained a huge fanbase at home and abroad, constantly being mentioned on blogs across Europe and beyond.

Currently, MPL are due to release their debut live EP, 'Live on Twelve Legs' featuring their sweaty selves along with the supporting cheers of their most loyal Brighton fans, on 2nd May 2011. Keep your eyes open for the live footage cropping up all over the place, and MPL shall be hard to miss in their tailor-made clothes by upcoming Brighton designer Brett Le Bratt.
A remix of their last single Personality (recorded with Ashley Slater - Freak Power, Dub Pistols) by Leon (Yaaks) is also due for release in April and previews are already hitting dance charts.

Mean Poppa Lean are an organic, self-made band who are intentionally outrageous and anti-fashion, however their hearts lie in creating great pop music that will transcend image and genre to set the industry alight.