The Barratts

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.

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