The Barratts

Musicians — Northampton

Photograph by Albert Jagger

Name, where are you from?
James Faulkner, I’m from Northampton (currently a nondescript grey town in the Midlands).

Describe your style in three words?
Intoxicated Period Actor.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
There are far too many to begin explaining, however seeing Arcade Fire on their 'Everything Now' tour is most decidedly up there, and, as the ultimate irony, the very concept of it speaks volumes to me. 'Creature Comfort' had the crowd swarming towards the stage like adoring ducks upon a baker boy’s bike.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
While accepting that we would be upstaged, I couldn’t resist the chance to play alongside The Doors. My second choice would be Joy Division, simply to watch them. The most disparate approaches, one camp being ultimately primal and seductive, the other being the harrowed cries from a mechanical dystopia. And yet still in the same vein; of the Germanic, the Gothic, the sincerely troubled, the unflinching, terrifying rawness that art depends upon.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
We began our musical awareness as rather a Mod-ish gaggle at school, and as that fell away in due course; we were all drawn into different aspects of the classics that span history, from the fuzz trip-out soul-food of the psychedelic movement up to the constant, driving thump of the clubs of 1988. Things as disparate as surf and post-punk all seem to lock antlers in our rehearsal room.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Charles Dickens, I fancy. Old Charlie was always the one to speak up for the unsung, educating the “educated” on the flowers in the dustbin that paid for their petticoats and carriages. I’d get him absolutely hammered on warm Kronenbourg, go walking either of our Londons, forcibly swap clothes and write some lyrics with him. Let me know when you sort it for me. It’s not on Spotify but you should definitely check this out for a giggle.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Ah, there’s so many great venues we need to look after in this country, workhorses providing refuge to the young and angry. It’s hard to know where to begin. The Black Heart in Camden has always been the perfect room to kick up a fuss in, both on stage and off. Never wear new shoes there, and don’t expect any of your beer to go in your mouth.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
'S.F. Sorrow' is one of the few concept albums that I find wholesome, and in my experience, the band seem to be now pretty much forgotten by most people that would have dug it back in the day. I once got tested on it when I was about 15 by an off-duty music teacher as we bumped into each other, both exploring our old school at night, a situation which I saved with an Austin Powers-esque flourish. Not really. 'Baron Saturday' comes after the great tragedy of S.F. Sorrow’s life happens, originating from the Haitian Voodoo tempter Baron Samedi, taking Sorrow on a “trip” of decadence and hedonism. Hmm.

The first track you played on repeat?
'Bike' by Pink Floyd from 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'.
Don’t dismiss this as a kid’s song if you’ve heard it, or a Floyd song if you haven’t - although I first played it on repeat as a young boy. The soundscape of this track is completely unlike anything else, and I feel I am often striving for the eccentric charm of this song in our own work. Give it a listen.

A song that defines the teenage you?
‘Stuck on the Puzzle’ by Alex Turner.
I think this one speaks for itself, as the quiet frustration of seldom being able to materialise my feelings has at least left me with something to hold onto. A song for watching the lights from passing buses on fateful Autumn nights.

One record you would keep forever?
'Up The Bracket' by The Libertines.
An album very close to my heart and, in many ways, my favourite. So shambolic, yet so sophisticated. 'The Good Old Days', in particular, makes my blood rise with purpose and pride.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
“Sing as you raise your bow,
Shoot straighter than before.”

'The Battle of Evermore' by Led Zeppelin from 'IV'.
I didn’t get on with Led Zeppelin until I’d matured and found my way to them through The Stones, then The Doors. It’s easy, being into witty British Indie, to overlook it as insincere, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The lyrics are so well-crafted and authentic, and I was considering having the line tattooed on me at one point. The vocals and instrumentation really bring out the imagery too, I’d love to duet it with Florence Welch one day...

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
'Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes' by Kevin Ayers.
The original Dandy Warhols track, delivered with a wit so cutting and yet so nonchalant, and needless to say a groove that can never be forgotten. A great social comment then and now. How does he manage not to run out of Ivory?

A song you wished you had written?
'Mile End' by Pulp.
What I love about this song is the striking contrast between the music and the lyrics; if you didn’t listen to the lyrics it could easily be the happiest song in the world. It’s influenced my lyricism and has inspired me to inject catchier songs with a darker subtext with tracks like “Satellites”.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Under The Westway' by Blur.
As I can’t fit the entirety of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s discography into this playlist, I’ll go for this. Blur finally got their Masterplan, and how glorious it is. Lines like “Men in yellow jackets, putting adverts inside my dreams” entwined with the Life on Mars guitars and hauntingly beautiful piano, Ray Davies almost becomes a green-eyed monster. London songwriting will always be its own breed.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Power' by Kanye West.
Undeniable, though I’m still to be convinced on the man on the general, not to mention the autotune and the hair-prog synths can remain firmly in the “laughable” pile. A track that can convince you to pull anything off (get your mind out the gutter, honestly, some people). The backing vocals aid the track in living up to its name, the beautiful, dutiful, raw and warlike sounds smack of some salvo of Native American arrows.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'You Give A Little Love' by Paul Williams.
When you’ve taken the highway to the end of the night, with everyone who’s left on the same page, there is nothing quite like the undeniable love you have for your friends. The best 'travel well' track that The Beatles never wrote, and they wrote their share - which for me is one of the main reasons why they’re remembered with such affection. Good old Bugsy.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
'Eleanor Ring Me' By The Jacques.
Although they’ve been around longer than I was aware, I saw The Jacques play at Camden Rocks in June and their music, as you will hear, is like a loosely laced Doc Marten artfully applied to the temple, in the most flattering possible way. The track I meant to pick, however, - Stigmata -unfortunately not on Spotify - saunters off down a dreamier lane. This track, however, is another highlight with the flawless line “And the bus driver’s got a grudge on the dustbin man & the lollipop lady”.

'You Got Me' by MONARCHS.
A top tune from some electrifying gents, taking their rightful place beneath the Midlands banner, a filthy rocking tune that could only be pulled off sincerely by these chaps. We’ve had the pleasure of playing with these on a few occasions and there are to be many more.

'Everything You Want To Be' by Sam Hollis.
Sam Hollis is a singer-songwriter from Birmingham, and his hot-off-the-virtual-press E.P. 'It’s Probably Gonna Be Alright' is candid and intriguing. His honest and oddly bittersweet take on the state of things is something that speaks to me on my more resigned days. Despite being lyrically and musically current, it has the peculiar timelessness of the inherent disillusionment and resulting lethargy of youth. Drawling the simple facts of the matter like your mate on the opposite side of the drinking game, the chorus comes in like catching said mate at his very best, and thinking about how like-minded you really are.

'Focus' by Phantom Isle.
A psych-pop band that began in dear old Northampton; lovely chaps and lady with a lot to offer to those in need of the dreamlike escape that Steve Jobs has robbed most of us of. That said, it isn’t all lost in incense, beards and rugs, this lot know when to bring the ruler down on your behind with an irresistibly urgent chorus. Ones to watch; watch yourself, Kevin Parker.

Photograph by Albert Jagger

Name, where are you from?
James Faulkner, I’m from Northampton (currently a nondescript grey town in the Midlands).

Describe your style in three words?
Intoxicated Period Actor.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
There are far too many to begin explaining, however seeing Arcade Fire on their 'Everything Now' tour is most decidedly up there, and, as the ultimate irony, the very concept of it speaks volumes to me. 'Creature Comfort' had the crowd swarming towards the stage like adoring ducks upon a baker boy’s bike.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
While accepting that we would be upstaged, I couldn’t resist the chance to play alongside The Doors. My second choice would be Joy Division, simply to watch them. The most disparate approaches, one camp being ultimately primal and seductive, the other being the harrowed cries from a mechanical dystopia. And yet still in the same vein; of the Germanic, the Gothic, the sincerely troubled, the unflinching, terrifying rawness that art depends upon.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
We began our musical awareness as rather a Mod-ish gaggle at school, and as that fell away in due course; we were all drawn into different aspects of the classics that span history, from the fuzz trip-out soul-food of the psychedelic movement up to the constant, driving thump of the clubs of 1988. Things as disparate as surf and post-punk all seem to lock antlers in our rehearsal room.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Charles Dickens, I fancy. Old Charlie was always the one to speak up for the unsung, educating the “educated” on the flowers in the dustbin that paid for their petticoats and carriages. I’d get him absolutely hammered on warm Kronenbourg, go walking either of our Londons, forcibly swap clothes and write some lyrics with him. Let me know when you sort it for me. It’s not on Spotify but you should definitely check this out for a giggle.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Ah, there’s so many great venues we need to look after in this country, workhorses providing refuge to the young and angry. It’s hard to know where to begin. The Black Heart in Camden has always been the perfect room to kick up a fuss in, both on stage and off. Never wear new shoes there, and don’t expect any of your beer to go in your mouth.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
'S.F. Sorrow' is one of the few concept albums that I find wholesome, and in my experience, the band seem to be now pretty much forgotten by most people that would have dug it back in the day. I once got tested on it when I was about 15 by an off-duty music teacher as we bumped into each other, both exploring our old school at night, a situation which I saved with an Austin Powers-esque flourish. Not really. 'Baron Saturday' comes after the great tragedy of S.F. Sorrow’s life happens, originating from the Haitian Voodoo tempter Baron Samedi, taking Sorrow on a “trip” of decadence and hedonism. Hmm.

The first track you played on repeat?
'Bike' by Pink Floyd from 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'.
Don’t dismiss this as a kid’s song if you’ve heard it, or a Floyd song if you haven’t - although I first played it on repeat as a young boy. The soundscape of this track is completely unlike anything else, and I feel I am often striving for the eccentric charm of this song in our own work. Give it a listen.

A song that defines the teenage you?
‘Stuck on the Puzzle’ by Alex Turner.
I think this one speaks for itself, as the quiet frustration of seldom being able to materialise my feelings has at least left me with something to hold onto. A song for watching the lights from passing buses on fateful Autumn nights.

One record you would keep forever?
'Up The Bracket' by The Libertines.
An album very close to my heart and, in many ways, my favourite. So shambolic, yet so sophisticated. 'The Good Old Days', in particular, makes my blood rise with purpose and pride.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
“Sing as you raise your bow,
Shoot straighter than before.”

'The Battle of Evermore' by Led Zeppelin from 'IV'.
I didn’t get on with Led Zeppelin until I’d matured and found my way to them through The Stones, then The Doors. It’s easy, being into witty British Indie, to overlook it as insincere, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The lyrics are so well-crafted and authentic, and I was considering having the line tattooed on me at one point. The vocals and instrumentation really bring out the imagery too, I’d love to duet it with Florence Welch one day...

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
'Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes' by Kevin Ayers.
The original Dandy Warhols track, delivered with a wit so cutting and yet so nonchalant, and needless to say a groove that can never be forgotten. A great social comment then and now. How does he manage not to run out of Ivory?

A song you wished you had written?
'Mile End' by Pulp.
What I love about this song is the striking contrast between the music and the lyrics; if you didn’t listen to the lyrics it could easily be the happiest song in the world. It’s influenced my lyricism and has inspired me to inject catchier songs with a darker subtext with tracks like “Satellites”.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Under The Westway' by Blur.
As I can’t fit the entirety of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s discography into this playlist, I’ll go for this. Blur finally got their Masterplan, and how glorious it is. Lines like “Men in yellow jackets, putting adverts inside my dreams” entwined with the Life on Mars guitars and hauntingly beautiful piano, Ray Davies almost becomes a green-eyed monster. London songwriting will always be its own breed.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Power' by Kanye West.
Undeniable, though I’m still to be convinced on the man on the general, not to mention the autotune and the hair-prog synths can remain firmly in the “laughable” pile. A track that can convince you to pull anything off (get your mind out the gutter, honestly, some people). The backing vocals aid the track in living up to its name, the beautiful, dutiful, raw and warlike sounds smack of some salvo of Native American arrows.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'You Give A Little Love' by Paul Williams.
When you’ve taken the highway to the end of the night, with everyone who’s left on the same page, there is nothing quite like the undeniable love you have for your friends. The best 'travel well' track that The Beatles never wrote, and they wrote their share - which for me is one of the main reasons why they’re remembered with such affection. Good old Bugsy.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
'Eleanor Ring Me' By The Jacques.
Although they’ve been around longer than I was aware, I saw The Jacques play at Camden Rocks in June and their music, as you will hear, is like a loosely laced Doc Marten artfully applied to the temple, in the most flattering possible way. The track I meant to pick, however, - Stigmata -unfortunately not on Spotify - saunters off down a dreamier lane. This track, however, is another highlight with the flawless line “And the bus driver’s got a grudge on the dustbin man & the lollipop lady”.

'You Got Me' by MONARCHS.
A top tune from some electrifying gents, taking their rightful place beneath the Midlands banner, a filthy rocking tune that could only be pulled off sincerely by these chaps. We’ve had the pleasure of playing with these on a few occasions and there are to be many more.

'Everything You Want To Be' by Sam Hollis.
Sam Hollis is a singer-songwriter from Birmingham, and his hot-off-the-virtual-press E.P. 'It’s Probably Gonna Be Alright' is candid and intriguing. His honest and oddly bittersweet take on the state of things is something that speaks to me on my more resigned days. Despite being lyrically and musically current, it has the peculiar timelessness of the inherent disillusionment and resulting lethargy of youth. Drawling the simple facts of the matter like your mate on the opposite side of the drinking game, the chorus comes in like catching said mate at his very best, and thinking about how like-minded you really are.

'Focus' by Phantom Isle.
A psych-pop band that began in dear old Northampton; lovely chaps and lady with a lot to offer to those in need of the dreamlike escape that Steve Jobs has robbed most of us of. That said, it isn’t all lost in incense, beards and rugs, this lot know when to bring the ruler down on your behind with an irresistibly urgent chorus. Ones to watch; watch yourself, Kevin Parker.

The Barratts | Satellites (2018)

The Barratts | A Certain Time Of Night (2016)

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