From The Back Alleys of The Blues
An Interview with Barrie Cadogan

Words by Audra Tracy

Barrie Cadogan is at home in London, unwinding after a recent string of American shows along the Northeast. Soon the guitarist/vocalist/namesake of UK trio Little Barrie will hit the road again for a European tour, including stops in Leeds, Brighton, Paris, and Amsterdam. But for now, he’s just smelling the roses.

“It was a good trip”, Cadogan says of the stateside tour. “We’ve had some really good audiences in the U.S. this time. It’s nice to be home as well.”

Little Barrie released their latest full-length album, Shadow, on May 27th via Tummy Touch Records, and it’s yet another nagging reminder that the UK is just better at rock n roll than us lousy Americans. Produced by Edwyn Collins and Seb Lewsley, the record bares its teeth with vicious riffs on stand-out tracks like ‘Sworn In’, ‘Pauline’, and ‘Everything You Want’.

While their last LP, 2012’s King of the Waves, was more of an adventure in surf rock, this time around, Shadow finds Cadogan, bassist Lewis Wharton, and drummer Virgil Howe navigating the seedy back alleys of the blues.

“It’s got quite a different feel than King Of The Waves“, Cadogan says of Shadow. “It’s darker. We wanted to explore different sounds, and create different layers.”

In addition to being available digitally and on CD, Shadow has also been pressed on vinyl – a format the trio knows a thing or two about. They’ve certainly earned a rep for writing music best-suited for your turntable, and hell, Lewis Wharton has even referred to Little Barrie as a couple of ‘record collectors who formed a band’.

“It’s warmer, with a CD you’re not getting the whole sound”, Cadogan says of the vintage format. “You get more depth with vinyl I think.”

“There is a guy we know, Lewis Durham, who’s in a band called Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, and he has old vintage recording equipment, and a vinyl cutting machine”, Cadogan shares. “A couple years ago he had an art installation at a gallery in Soho, and you could cut a record then and there. We went in once as Little Barrie and recorded two songs. We cut straight to vinyl, and I’ve still got the acetate. It’s never been released actually”, he teases, “but we’ll do something with that at some point.”

“It’s really interesting”, he goes on, “when you are recording straight to vinyl, there is no mixing there. It’s just capturing the moment. You can’t do anything after, that’s it, the record is being cut as you’re playing. Although there’s pressure because you can’t fix a mistake, it actually gets the best out of you, that pressure, that limitation in a way.”

Get the best out of your turntable and pick up Shadow here, and if you happen to be in bloody England this month, be sure to see Little Barrie live.

“We haven’t really played these songs out much in the UK, so it will be nice to go out there and play some places we’ve been before, but do something new”, Cadogan concludes. “The U.S. tour has really got us fired up.” | Shadow