It’s Time North America Discovered Little Barrie For More Than The “Better Call Saul” Theme Song



In this age of big Rock collectives wielding multiple instruments out the ying-yang, Little Barrie is a definite throwback as a guitar-drums-bass Rock trio, the time-tested Rock formation that leaves no place to hide if you don’t have the goods. These guys are the legitimate article with finely-tuned Rock sensibilities and an expert touch on Sixties-style pop/rock and psychedelic blues, but they also have an unmistakably contemporary edge that veers towards funk and R&B. Think Arctic Monkeys without the charisma but with better musical chops.

Lead man Barrie Cadogan is a fabulous guitar player and not a bad singer. He has been in demand as a guitarist through studio work with Edwyn Collins, Johnny Marr, Paul Weller, the Chemical Brothers and many others. Followers of the great AMC show Better Call Saul know Little Barrie as the band who recorded the show’s infectious theme song. It was a big break, giving them their first toehold in the North American music scene.

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And it’s not as if they’re new to the game, the first Little Barrie album having come out in 2005. I think it’s more a question of late bloomers building up momentum. They have just released their fifth album Death Express, and it’s as good a place as any to get on the Little Barrie train.

There’s 20 tracks on it, and they can’t all be winners, but it’s a wide collection of all the ways these guys can kick it. The taut nervous energy of the verse in the lead single “Produkt” surprises you when it kicks over to its airy, expansive chorus. “You Won’t Stop Us” reveals inspirations from all over the map, from Peter Bjorn And John to the Amboy Dukes.

That’s the great thing about Little Barrie. This is not a groundbreaking outfit seeking out original music territory. But they have such well-developed Rock sensibilities that they can shine a light on some of the more obscure Rock idioms from the past 50 years and make them sound fresh and exciting again.

Photo: By Jake from Manchester, UK (Little Barrie @ The Ritz, Manchester 1/2/2013) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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