I may as well be honest right from the start as it will soon be obvious from the review that I didn’t attend tonight’s gig to see the headline act DJ Format. The draw for tonight’s show was definitely Little Barrie, so for those of you looking for a review of DJ Format I must apologise now as unusually the bulk of the review will be devoted to the support.
Stealth is another venue in the same complex as the Rescue Rooms although it is really a club rather than a dedicated music venue and as such the show was going to be a late one. Little Barrie took to the stage about 11:45 which is pretty late for those of us the wrong side of 35.
I have been following the fortunes of Barrie Cadogan (guitar / vocals), Wayne Fulwood (drums / vocals) and Lewis Wharton (bass) from the early beginnings, and I am delighted to see the band getting some well-deserved interest. They have appeared on BBC 6 music on several occasions and Mark Riley keeps making passing comments about the band on his show, but tonight would be my first taste of the Little Barrie live experience, I was not disappointed.
Being the support I knew the set would be shorter than I would have liked, but the quality, wow, it is true what they say that sometimes less is more. The lads put together a blistering set taken from their debut album We Are Little Barrie, a mix of l, soulful rock’n’roll with a bit of blues as well. Highlights were “Free Salute”, “Greener Pastures” and of course the new single “Long Hair” all executed impeccably.
Edwin Collins who produced the album once said that Barrie Cadogan is probably the best guitarist of his generation, high praise indeed but well deserved. To say however that the band revolved around Barrie’s magical guitar would not be fair as Little Barrie is far more than that, Wayne provides some exquisite drums and adds a superb soul feel with an amazing voice, whilst Lewis unassumingly keeps the whole thing together with intricate bass lines which more than fill the inevitable gaps associated with three piece bands. The obvious comparison would be The Jimi Hendrix Experience although the feel of Little Barrie is quite different.
As I said at the start I wasn’t really here to see DJ Format, hip-hop is not really my kind of thing so I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by claiming to be an expert. To be honest this was the first time I’d even heard of DJ Format so I can’t really give any valid comment at all. What I did hear I enjoyed, not so much the music but actually seeing this type of music performed live, I would put my main taste closer to the heavy rock end of the music spectrum but seeing these guys peddle their wares left me with a better understanding of the hip hop scene and quite a bit more respect for the artist who perform it.