Louis Barrabas

One of our favourite musicians from our home town of Manchester, we’re delighted to be welcoming Louise Barrabas to play with us again as part of this year’s Voices of the Revolution.

Louis Barabbas is a writer, performer and label director, best known for caustic love songs and energetic stage shows.

He is also a member of Un-Convention, occupies a seat on the Musician’s Union Live Performance Committee, is one of the moderators at Tom Robinson’s Fresh On The Netresource, presents a weekly show on Fab Radio International and is an occasional mentor for Brighter Sound.

His performance career began in the Captive Audience Theatre Company but later switched to music as harmonica player for a number of bands spread across the genre spectrum (including performances with members of Freddy & The Dreamers, The Holmes Brothers, The King Blues and The Dole Queue). For two years he was a fifth of rock outfit The Derelicts and earned the moniker “the hairy Bez of blues harp” for his unpredictable onstage antics. After the band split he moved to Philadelphia and recorded with Dr. Dog (credited as Harmonica John on the “Takers & Leavers” EP for Rough Trade) and subsequently returned to the UK with a headful of ideas drawn from the East Coast underground live scene.

In 2006 he turned front-man and formed Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six. To this day the group has played all over the world, sharing the stage with such disparate acts as Motorhead, Supergrass, The Blockheads and Sun Ra’s Arkestra.

Realising that unfashionable, genre-hopping groups such as his own could achieve success through sheer stubbornness he formed the label Debt Records with bandmate Biff Roxby, producer Dan Watkins and PR-man Chris Mitchell, an enterprise devoted to supporting exceptional touring artists that didn’t suit a traditional marketing approach (or indeed a comfortable lifestyle).

As well as The Bedlam Six, Louis has performed and collaborated with Kirsty Almeida, Liz Green, Hope & Social, Bridie Jackson, John Otway and Becca Williams. He is also the co-author (with Richard Barry andAlabaster dePlume) of the musical “Dead At The Cafe Styx” (nominated for a 100star Pick Of The Fringe award in 2008).

Louis passionately believes in the unifying force of music – that good songs have the power to educate, entertain and console. One day he hopes to write one that does all three.

Find out more: http://louisbarabbas.com/

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