Miranda Barber
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Miranda Barber

London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom
Band Folk Acoustic

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Dec
04
Miranda Barber @ Headlining LONDON UNPLUGGED @ The Ballroom @ The Cavendish Arms

Stockwell, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Stockwell, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Nov
27
Miranda Barber @ Blue Velvet Acoustic Night, Remix Bar, Woking

Woking, Surrey, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Woking, Surrey, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Oct
31
Miranda Barber @ High Barn

Essex, Bardfield, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Essex, Bardfield, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

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Music

Press


This Australian born, London based singer/songwriter excels at crafting smoky piano lauded balladry with vintage croons. "Blues Day" starts off this 7-song EP (5 songs + 2 worth while bonus tracks) with the eerie presence of old time greats (Ella, Billie, etc...). While it's evident that Barber is a very capable musician, handling the elaborate keyboard work on this EP, she definitely possesses a monstrous talent as an accomplished vocalist. Her strange versatility as a seductive lounge singer meets operatic diva makes for some stunning moments. "Paprika Haze" is the EP's most straight-forward pop arrangement, and very immediate...but Barber is in her natural element when sparse and haunting pianos, guitars, and double bass lurk in the background of her powerful vocals. This is an artist who definitely won't stay on the outskirts of indie-dom forever. A major label talent for sure.
www.theblackandwhitemag.com - The Black And White Magazine


Miranda was voted out of 600 songwriters, into the final 12 to be showcased on www.slicethepie.com for a £15,000 prize, to help fund the making/promotion of an album. Voting was then opened out to the public for three weeks.

Miranda received a legion of support and on 7th September 2007, was declared winner of the showcase, with the most public votes. She is guaranteed £15,000 to make/promote an album. She is the first solo artist to receive financing through slicethepie.

www.slicethepie.com - Slice The Pie


ALBUM REVIEWS:

Glasswerk.co.uk - 29th July 2008
[Lips' Decision] "is an album oozing sexuality, in 1950's smoky jazz bar feel. There are some gorgeous bluesy piano moments and soul that would melt even the coldest of hearts..." Leigh Rafferty
http://www.glasswerk.co.uk/index.php?db=national&page=reviews,review&id=7054

Tourdates: 25 July 2008
"Soulful, sophisticated and fun, Lips' Decision mixes the smouldering, late night jazz singing of Billie Holliday with piano-led Joni Mitchell-style confessionals......With a little luck the smooth MOR of Lips' Decision may just end up being the soundtrack to your summer." Ian Sinclair

Vanguard Online 30.06.08
"Skinny legs, check; jazzy backings, check; jazzy inflection, check. Could Miranda be coming from the school of Amy Winehouse circa debut album - Frank? Well, just a bit but not too much. The style and sass and swing are there though. The voice is the difference, not a soul-jazz voice like Amy, this is a quirky voice.

The sound is jazzy and runs on piano and strings and a double bass. Organic sounds like cello and viola are added, along with, oh joy, a man impersonating a trumpet. The whole thing is full of catchy tunes and quirky inflections. The tone is a lot like early Ben Kweller in its joie de vivre and it's nice to catch something leftfield like this and give it a boost.

It's the joy that wins through, with a bounce and a sexy swing to the backing – simple-ish arrangements and a nice acoustic like you dream it might be in the front room of your local with your favourite singer. The darker, slower pieces are full of atmosphere too and, as Captain Beefheart said – "if you've got ears, you got to hear". Ross McGibbon .
http://www.vanguard-online.co.uk/0807AMB.htm

Seatwaves 30.06.08
"As for the album, it has been eagerly awaited and is everything that I hoped it would be. Having been a keen follower of Miranda for some time, I am glad to say that it is all about Miranda and her music; no gimmicks and no overstated production. Miranda can be serious, jazzy, cheeky, raunchy even; but always classy, as this album illustrates...It was produced by Charlie Winston and recorded at Goldtop Studios in London and is a truly excellent debut album." Peter Coulston
http://backstagepass.seatwaveblogs.com/2008/06/album_review_miranda_barber.php

Entertainment Focus UK, 17.06.08
"Lips' Decision is a 12-track collection of piano-led songs that dip their fingers into jazz, blues and soul. Opening track The Num Num Song is a finger-snapping, uptempo jazz-tinged number that sets the album off on a happy vibe. Elsewhere on the album Bad Man is the kind of jazz number that requires the singer to be draped over the top of a piano is a smoky New York bar whilst My Roof Has Got A Hole In It is a surprisingly fragile and moving ballad.

Barber's refusal to stick to one genre is definitely one of her strengths. Lips' Decision succeeds in being a varied and interesting record. The songs aren't over-produced and their raw magic is intact.
http://music.entertainment-focus.com/reviewalb355.php

URBAN PLANET - SUMMER ONES TO WATCH, 11 July 2008

"If you like some old school soul and husky vocals sound, with a twist of jazz and live piano then Miranda Barber is well worth listening to. Her tracks are intriguing and chilled out alongside a few surprises. For a listen be sure to stop by her MySpace."
CLICK HERE for full review.
http://www.urbanplanet.co.uk/showArticle.aspx?loadid=00957


The Beat Surrender
http://www.thebeatsurrender.co.uk/daily/recordbox/lips-decision-miranda-barber/

IN LONDON - http://pagingbook.dev.heathmans.net/22/86/issue.aspx?iid=86 (page 24)

The Late Greats:
http://staergetaleht.blogspot.com/2008/07/guilty-pleasures-for-humpday-if-only-i.html

FEATURES:
Urban Planet: http://www.urbanplanet.co.uk/showArticle.aspx?loadid=00955

Wears The Trousers Magazine:
http://wearsthetrousers.com/2008/07/08/introducing-miranda-barber/

CMU Music News:
http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/ssq/mirandabarber.html

The Australian Times and The South African Times:
http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/living.aspx?ID=551
www.southafrican.co.uk

Hackney Gazette: http://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/content/hackney/gazette/news/story.aspx?brand=HKYGOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newshkyg&itemid=WeED12%20Jun%202008%2011%3A22%3A36%3A097

Soundfires:
http://www.soundfires.com/fifteen/29 - Various press reviews and features


Review from latest Troubadour gig, 24th May

24.05.07 Farah Naz, Revere, Miranda Barber
Troubadour Club, London

I fell in love with this gig at the spotting-it-in-the-listings stage. Farah Naz – intoxicatingly velvet vocals rooted in Eastern heritage (from Pakistan to Texas). Revere – beautifully unpredictable. Miranda Barber - hypnotic sultry voice that dips and slides like honey.

Miranda is not new to me (my fifth time with her). A complex Australian (oxymoron? That's a joke M!) with soulful lyrics and suitably pained reflections of lost and found loves. With a new CD (My Tomorrow) to promote Miranda was ably assisted on percussion by Sian and duly obliged with a passionate set of honesty and heaven and humour. They kicked off unmoved by incidents such as the stolen setlist (not me!) and a fractured sound-check and flying crockery. Deeps moves and caressing motives and piano-led inventive control gave Blue Day such a chilled intimacy that I forgot anyone else was there. No egg shells but flesh and tangled hair. Leave the light on. Miranda raises the bar. More sultry honey please.

I also love what she wears.
http://www.funkyband.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=565#565
- Funkyband.com


Miranda Barber
My Tomorrow EP

The second EP from Oz-born, London-based singer-songwriter Miranda Barber presents the listener with a lucky seven piano-based ballads. Whilst this is strictly a 5+2 bonus tracks release, those welcome extras easily stand alongside the 'proper' songs on their own merits. Barber's first, self-titled EP drew some almost subliminal Kate Bush comparisons in the vocal style but here she moves in a more jazz-influenced direction with double bass, subtle guitar and soft percussion. However, it's Barber's voice and her hands on the piano that command centre stage. Luckily, that's where it gets really interesting.

Befitting the depth and darkness of some of her lyrics, Barber guides us through some brooding, ominous musical terrain. Blues Day and the title song succeed in chilling the heart while keeping the listener involved and transfixed. Barber's rich, pure vocal gets straight to the emotional core of the songs with seemingly little effort, casting welcome elements of light and shade with subtly textured self-harmonies.

The achingly pretty My Roof Has Got A Hole In It might well drown you in its desperate melancholy before Paprika Haze lifts the mood with a shift in style whereupon it occupies that sublime showtune-meets-pop song otherworld practically invented by Randy Newman. A hot 'n' spicy invitation to get together driven forward by Barber's spiky piano chords, Eggshells rounds off the regular EP, pulling the mood back down and unflinchingly exploring the more obsessive side of love.

Whatever perceived modesty led Barber to include Too Damn Hard and No Air To Breathe as bonus tracks was a false one; the sheer quality of the songs more than warrants their inclusion. The former allows Barber scope to display the jazzier end of her range, while the latter provides a devastatingly chilling conclusion. A political twist on the murder ballad canon, it follows a young asylum seeker on his journey to a new life and a painful loss without descending into mawkish melodrama. Not an easy feat by any means.

My Tomorrow is a perfect showcase for Barber's talent; alternately soothing, chilling and mysterious, but always, always beguiling.

- Trevor Raggatt, Wears The Trousers Magazine
- Wears The Trousers Magazine


Wannabe stars of tomorrow jump aboard the new musical express

Dan Sabbagh, Media Editor
http://www.slicethepie.com/About/PressItem.aspx?id=138

Miranda Barber, a singer-songwriter from London, is not an obvious capitalist – her music, she says, is a cross between Joni Mitchell and Billie Holiday, more hippy chic, perhaps, than pure pinstripe – but the 33-year-old has nonetheless taken a stock market approach to breaking into the music business.

She is one of four acts quoted on Slicethepie, a stock exchange for unsigned acts. The website, launched this year, allows artists to raise £15,000 from fans to record an album, in return for which the backers get shares in the bands. Shares in Miranda Barber and her as-yet unrecorded album cost £1.47, giving her an overall market value of £22,050.

"It's fascinating, but it's an alien world to the creative process. I've no idea even who backed me," said Ms Barber, who stumbled on Slicethepie as a place that might raise money to make an otherwise elusive first recording.

Slicethepie was set up by David Courtier-Dutton, who spent three years with Infobank, the shortlived dot-com darling, during the boom years before coming up with the idea to mix music and high finance in one website. It has 25,000 registered users, although with only four unsigned acts being traded. Yesterday's volume of £524 is, inevitably, small.

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"It seemed like a great opportunity," Mr Courtier-Dutton said. "The music industry is on its knees and there are only one in three albums in Tesco that you want to buy, but there's far better music out than what you can get off the shelf."

The website trades off the notion that it is possible to break a band without a record company - more bad news for an industry that has seen Radiohead and Madonna turn their backs on EMI and Warner Music respectively in the last month.

Artists retain their copyright, with Slicethepie taking a distribution fee of £2 per album. It uses the money to buy out shares in bands two years after floating, implying that they must sell more than 7,500 albums for the original investors to turn a profit.

Already one of the listed bands, the indie act Gilkicker, is in talks about a record deal - the "takeover" means that its shares pay out at a 50 per cent premium. They are now suspended. The money motive is used throughout. Reviewers are welcomed, and writers are paid 5p per review, rising to 25p if their "star rating" improves.

Bands and singers that get the best reviews proceed to the next stage, called the Showcase, and about a dozen or more acts then face a popular vote. Those that come through this try to raise the cash: so far five, including the suspended Gilkicker, have.

The idea is to sell albums for £7.90 on iTunes. After the retailer and Slicethepie take their cuts of £3 and £2 respectively, a band receives £2.90.

Mr Courtier-Dutton owns about 60 per cent of the shares in the company behind the site, having raised £800,000 and £600,000 from private individuals on values of £2.5 million and £10 million respectively. Another fundraising begins this week.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article2673445.ece - Dan Sabbagh, Media Editor


New Profits For New Acts

http://www.slicethepie.com/About/PressItem.aspx?id=141 - Arts & Books section


"...Back to the music. What possessed me to stray from my south London homies once again, you may ask. Quite simply, Miranda Barber. I can honestly say without fear of contradiction that Miranda is one of the very finest singer/songwriters and pianists working this fine city of ours, and goodness knows there is competition. From her impeccable lyrics to her finely structured tunes and amazing voice she is, in every sense of the word, a class act. She opened with "My Tomorrow", a typical Miranda song that starts gently and builds to a finale that shows the magnificent range of her voice. "Push too Damn Hard" was a lot of fun and is probably Miranda's version of chilling out; it's an up tempo song that she obviously enjoys performing very much to the delight of the audience. As she said, she took it right down for "Blues Day", which was sort of bluesy but then maybe not. One hell of a song, though. "Paprika Haze" had shades of "When Im Sixty Four" (she'll probably kill me) in its structure and some of its lyrics but also boasted a killer chorus down at the low end of the keyboard. In addition to the wonderful songs, seeing Miranda perform is a pleasure because it is obvious that she enjoys the whole thing just as much as the audience and can't wait to do it again. I can't wait to see her again..."

Peter Coulston
http://www.innovative06.co.uk/literature/music/ginglik/index.php - Innovative Magazine


"The Small Fish crew managed to catch Aussie songstress Miranda Barber LIVE @ London's Troubadour. Pete reviews her performance.

Miranda Barber @ The Troubadour - 24.05.06
"Another rainwashed Wednesday evening at the old Troub threw up this particular gem. Aussie songstress Miranda Barber plays both the audience and the piano like a Broadway nightclub hostess in a Sinatra film. The rich, cigarettes-and-whisky harmonics in her voice give her songs a seductive mix of the vampish and the innocent.
... the mournful energy of her solo piano and voice is perfectly suited to the intimate confines of the Troubadour. Her songs are narratives - occasionally bizarre, sometimes comic ...The soulful and world-weary number "Eggshells", shows that Barber has the rare gift of projecting intimacy, seemingly singing for herself, but at the same time opening up a peephole into her personal world." - http://www.smallfish-online.net


http://www.overplay.com/reviews.asp
Originally from Melbourne but based in London, Miranda Barber specialises in torch songs powered by energy-saving light bulbs. That is to say, the seven songs on "My Tomorrow" are redolent with all the heady mounrful balladry of Bessie Smith or Billie Holiday, but it's all executed with the sparse efficiency of Joni Mitchell or Damien Rice.

"Blues Day" is a slow brooding drama that builds upon a simple piano refrain and a fragile vocal that's not a million astray from '90s Oracle of Hearftbreak, Beverly Craven. Indeed, it's this kind of elegrantly fragile confessional that dominates proceedings. From the simple and forlorn "Eggshells" and the stately-but-spacey "No Air To breathe" to the beautifully lovelorn "My Roof Has Got A Hole In It". "As always, the smile fades away too soon," she sings.

Sometimes though, Miranda and her band like to shake things up ever so slightly. "My Tomorrow" has a disparate, jazzy feel, while the rich, slightly Beatley "Paprika Haze" is positively jaunty by comparison. It all makes this a more rounded listen, although everything is executed with grace and gravitas, naturally. Best of all is the smoky blues of "Too Damn Hard". The harmonies sound live and it's injected with a dark playful spirit. Proof, if needed, that sad songs can be fun.

by overplay
http://www.overplay.com/reviews.asp
- Overplay


Discography

Debut album, Lips' Decision, 30 June 2008
Barbershop Records
Online distribution through Tunecore - available on itunes, napster, amazon etc and:
www.mirandabarber.com/listen.html and www.myspace.com/mirandabarber

My Tomorrow EP, February 2007
available at www.myspace.com/mirandabarber and
www.mirandabarber.com

Barber EP, November 2005
Available on itunes and www.mirandabarber.com/listen.html and www.myspace.com/mirandabarber

Photos

Bio

Australian-born Miranda Barber moved to the feisty fray of East London in 1999 and has not quite made it back home. Her brew of smoky piano lauded balladry with vintage croons, is a fresh mixture of intelligent lyricism, melodious hooks and the kind of song writing that hasn’t been heard since the 60s. She holds high the banner for the acoustic singer/songwriter, whilst effortlessly sailing in and out of the waters of blues, jazz, soul and folk. Miranda has a stunningly powerful voice - soulful, husky and sultry, and her ability to also tell a great story makes for a curious mix of the real, the romantic and the quirky.

In London, Miranda has got her fingers wet here and there, collaborating on live and recording projects with various producers and artists including Sam Semple, Charlie Winston, Tom Baxter, Roy Dodds and Raison D'Etre.

On 7th September 2007, out of 600 songwriters, Miranda won the first ever singer/songwriter showcase on www.slicethepie.com by public vote, and received finance to make her first album. Produced by Charlie Winston, the album was recorded live at Goldtop Studios in London, and was released on Miranda's own label, Barbershop Records on 30th June 2008. More recently, two tracks from Miranda's album made it into the top 10 acoustic/folk songs in the Australian Songwriters Association Awards 2008.

[Lips' Decision] "is an album oozing sexuality, in 1950's smoky jazz bar feel. There are some gorgeous bluesy piano moments and soul that would melt even the coldest of hearts..." Leigh Rafferty, Glasswerk. co. uk

"Soulful, sophisticated and fun, Lips' Decision mixes the smouldering, late night jazz singing of Billie Holliday with piano-led Joni Mitchell-style confessionals......With a little luck the smooth MOR of Lips' Decision may just end up being the soundtrack to your summer." Ian Sinclair, Tourdates

"...no gimmicks and no overstated production. Miranda can be serious, jazzy, cheeky, raunchy even; but always classy, as this album illustrates...a truly excellent debut album." Peter Coulston, Seatwaves