Friday October 11th 2013
Many believe that the number of love songs in the world far outstrip the number of things with which one can fall in love. That is why Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six are doing their very best to readdress the balance, penning twisted dirt-swing about lust and loathing, served up on an exuberant gobbet of malicious delight.
Stories about grieving lovers, thieving lovers and deceiving lovers seep from their songbook like a putrescent parade of painful parables. It’s strangely beautiful – but not very.
Whilst relentlessly peddling their peculiar brand of Lyric-Driven Dirt-Swing™ (an incomparable rendering of jive-smitten cabaret blues) Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six have captured the imaginations of every species of listenership – both at home and overseas.
Since forming in late 2006 their music has infiltrated almost every creative niche, being adapted into animated short films, burlesque routines, musical theatre, fringe festival revues, documentary soundtracks, motion picture scores and even a comic strip.
Their infamous live shows – incorporating rock, jazz, folk and theatre influences – have proved time and time again that the group is at home on any line-up, even sharing the bill with such disparate acts as Motorhead, Sun Ra’s Arkestra, I Am Kloot, Eliza Carthy, The Blockheads, Emmanuel Jal and The Buzzcocks. In the last year alone they have toured Europe, the States and Mexico, inspiring stage invasions, dancing in the aisles and a confused mixture of exhaustion and bonhomie wherever they go.
They are signed to co-operative Manchester-based label Debt Records.
Former mime-artist and street sweeper Louis Barabbas is particularly interested in love stories – but the ones that take place after all those Happily-Evers have gathered a few layers of dust; narratives that explore the darker side of romance in an environment where regrets and insecurities start to take shape and are allowed (even encouraged) to blossom and gather thorns.
Louis is a writer/musician, dubious pundit, member of advisory board for Un-Convention, BrighterSound mentor, spoons player, Beards Calendar Miss June, co-founder of Debt Records and Captain of Dirt-Swing band The Bedlam Six.
© Ian O Brien 2012