From London, led by Barrie Cadogan (vocals, guitar), Lewis Wharton (bass, vocals) and Virgil Howe (drums, vocals), Little Barrie have been rocking their socks off since early 2000s, with their fifth album on its way this year. Having drawn influences from garage/alternative rock, soul and funk, this band has proven throughout their albums that it’s not afraid to enter new waters. The band behind TV show Better Caul Saul’s theme tune have been exploring various sound, all whilst sticking to their rock/blues roots which is led by their fantastic guitarist Cadogan and Jesus does this guy have some licks!
Reminding us of classic rock bands from the ‘60s like Cream and Traffic, after releasing a handful of singles to small labels like Stark Reality, they signed to Genuine Recordings, releasing their debut album ‘We Are Little Barrie’ in 2005 which was produced by indie-pop legend Edwyn Collins. They would build an important relationship, which would see them producing most of their other albums and just to give you an idea who Collins is, check this out:
Within 23 weeks and in-sync with Collins’ busy schedule, their first album mixed with some electric live performance soon put the band on the map, especially their lead guitarist Cadogan who’s absolutely phenomenal on guitar and even had him collaborating with Johnny Marr from The Smiths. Soon followed their second album ‘Stand Your Ground’, released in 2007 under the label PIAS/Wall of Sound, with producer Dan the Automator taking control and a change on the band’s drummer in 2008 to Yes’ guitarist Steve Howe’s son, Virgil Howe. The album contains some brilliant riffs and licks on the guitar, it really shines Cadogan’s brains behind the guitar with a subtle voice that smoothens the tracks through its rock paths and brilliant accompaniment from bass as well as drums.
After touring around Europe, Japan and Australia, Little Barrie went back to the studio with Collins for their third album ‘King Of The Waves’, released in 2012. By then, they had already started working on another album but first, were invited to opening shows for Dinosaur Jr, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion as well as The Stone Roses in Paris. This album took on a heavier surf rock sound, showing more hints of distortion through the guitar as well as vocals and to be honest, there are some great songs like “Dream To Live”, “I Can’t Wait” and “Money In Paper” that ooze rock’n roll as well as blues.
Their last album ‘Shadow’ was released in 2014, again produced by Collins, featuring a darker theme, incorporated with more reverb, fuzz effects touching on freakbeat as well as psychedelia. I would recommend checking out tracks like “Eyes Were Young”, “Bonneville” and “Everything You Want”.
As of May 12th, 2017, the band released 2 singles which hint at what their next album could sound like, keeping true to their rock’n roll whilst having touches of psychedelia and much more. I’m surprised this band hasn’t gotten much attention, this trio has kept alive for many years, building experience as well as a live reputation which not many bands have. Cadogan is a wonderful guitarist, leading the charge with smart riffs that makes you want to pick up your guitar to try and figure out what he’s playing. Their sound is reminiscent of 60’s rock, which might be why a lot of people look past this band since we might be at a time of different sounds, electronic has really come around and only now are we seeing young talents shed light on genres that haven’t been as popular lately. But just by going through their records, you will land on a song and think “Shit, this is catchy!”, before you know it its up on your playlist. Nevertheless, Little Barrie keeps rocking on, soon releasing their fifth album and I’ll make sure to tell you all about it when it comes out, this trio isn’t done exploring and I’m not done discovering their material.