The Barratts are a five piece Indie rock band hailing from Northampton and consist of James Faulkner on Lead Vocals, Kyle Homer on Lead Guitar, Brandon Essom on Bass guitar, Will Smith on guitar and Evan Bridgstock on drums.
The band are presently unsigned by a record company, but I don’t envisage this being a long term situation given that they are managed by Toura Toura Ltd; the agents responsible for a whole host of QnA tours for the likes of such legendary music figureheads as Alan McGee, Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays and Joe Talbot from the band Idles.
The Bands debut EP ‘Open Wounds and Windows’ was independantly released in June 2016 to a sell out show at The Northampton Roadmender.
Over time The Barratts have become increasingly popular, and their fan base has flourished with people deeming their songwriting to be “charming” and their live performances “captivating”.
The Barratts have said that their ultimate goal is to become the “Flagship of the Indie Scene“. Having already attracted the attention of Fred Perry Subculture among other revered names in Indie culture, this goal could well be now realistically within their reach more so than ever before.
The Barratts latest single Lights out in London is out now and the band have told us that they have another single due for release in the Spring and which will be promoted by their upcoming Spring Tour. The Barratts will be accompanied on their tour by the band Left Hand Lane as well as other local support bands. See below for further details.
Hello and welcome! Please tell us a little bit about yourselves. Who are you, what’s your role within the band and how did you all meet/form?
Kyle: My name’s Kyle and I play guitar in The Barratts. James and I met at school, drawn together by a love of the same bands – The Beatles, Oasis, The Jam, Kasabian, etc. We decided we wanted to start a band, and things went from there. We met Brandon through our previous Bass player, and shortly after found our drummer Evan. Last year Will joined us on bass, completing our lineup.
James: I’m James & I’m the frontman, for better or worse. I think we just met at that perfect age where music becomes more important than ever before – and that feeling never goes away, does it? It’s sent our lives down an exciting path, not always easy, but I don’t think we’d change it for the world.
Who/What are your musical influences? What sort of genre would you consider your music to be?
Kyle: As we have been together for several years, I feel like our sound has gradually arrived at what it is now. If you had to define it I’d say Indie Rock. The Strokes have had a huge effect on us. I think aesthetically, as a five piece, they are perhaps our closest influence. We have also been heavily influenced by bands like Peace and Palma Violets. Indie from the 2010s was often a bit limp and lacking in power, but both bands had great energy. Obviously we are heavily influenced by the founding fathers of Indie: The Smiths, Joy Division, Stone Roses etc.
James: I generally say Indie Rock to people too, but I think there’s something missing from that label. We have always looked up to certain bands which come to define their era & depict ordinary life in sincere, vivid, funny or Romantic ways; and in that sense I think it’s important to talk about the British knack for that. Perhaps we’re so stiff and guarded as a nation that when emotions break loose through music, or any art, it’s not only therapeutic and refreshing, but coming from a place of desperate sincerity.
What’s your favourite song of yours and why?
Kyle: Personally, The Garrison is one of my favourites. We often close our set with it, and as one of our more dance-based songs, it always gets people moving.
James: At the minute, I really enjoy playing Creatures of Habit, it’s an energetic triple-jump through the feeling of fleeting desires, and the crowds seem to ask us about it a lot.
What do you consider the best lyric you’ve ever written to be?
Kyle: James is probably best qualified to say, but mine is probably: “The clockwork marches on and wants us gone, but who wakes up to wind it, every night and day?”
James: That’s a cruel question, but after getting three 21st birthday cards with that line written in I wouldn’t agree! I have always been fond of “It’s hardly Waterloo, yet me & you elope to shopping centres” from Lights Out in London, I’ll go with that for now.
What’s your favourite song of all time by any other band/artist and why?
Kyle: I think Changes by David Bowie. It’s possibly the perfect pop tune.
James: I think I’m going to have to choose Eleanor Rigby, just because I remember hearing it as a child & it changing my whole perception of music. It seems like a song we’ve all always known, that’s been plucked fully formed out of the sky. (P.S. I’m fun at parties.)
What are you listening to at the moment?
Kyle: There’s a lot of great Indie bands around at the moment. Bad Sounds and Easy Life are two of my favourites. Outside of Indie, Loyle Carner released a great album earlier in the year that I can’t stop listening to.
James: I agree with 6Music in saying that Fontaines D.C. made the album of the year. It’s been a few years since a debut that’s been so profound and yet so raucous. As far as new acts go, I’ve also been listening to acts like Sports Team & Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. I’ll keep it current, but my Spotify artist of the decade was The Kinks.
What’s going on with you at the moment? Do you have any gigs planed or upcoming events?
Kyle: We are played at ‘An Evening with Shaun Ryder’ in Manchester recently and we’ve also played with him in Hull. He’s got some amazing stories. We have also been doing some nights with Alan McGee, which has been surreal but great. Both of them are proper gents. We also have a tour booked up for spring 2020, which we are excited about.
James: We’re also planning our next release to coincide with the tour, which is looking as if it might end up as a double single or even an EP. It will be great to put out a more expanded body of work, & we get so excited every time a release approaches!
What’s been the best gig you’ve played so far and what would be your dream gig to play?
Kyle: I’d say our last hometown show in Northampton at the Roadmender. So much effort went into promoting it, and everything came together on the night.
James: Definitely, we loved that night. But then the Germans were an amazing crowd too, back in March! A dream show.. How real does it have to be? I’d love to play in Aldwych tube station where they film all the period dramas, but I don’t think we’d afford that.
Who would you most like to share a stage with (past or present)?
Kyle: Alex Turner would be my pick. He’s been at the top for 15 years now. Always reinventing himself and evolving with the music he makes.
James: I think I’d have to go with either Arcade Fire or Florence. Their performances are so breathtakingly real, and to me they are voices of reason on quite a frightening rock.
What’s the best thing and worst thing about being in a band?
Kyle: The best thing is travelling around with your best mates, playing music together and seeing how people react towards it. The worst thing is the upward struggle of getting narrow minded people to try new bands and go to independent venues.
James: Absolutely, we love to write but it’s something special to take it out to the public with your best mates, meeting music fans and bands all over. The worst thing is probably the amount of villas you have to promise relatives, while you’re already mentally coming to terms with living in an airing cupboard one day.
What three words best sum you up as a band?
James: …Noisy Travelling Dreamers?
Kyle : Loud, Classic, Indie
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Finally, we’d like to say a massive thank you to The Barratts for taking time out and for Talking to The Songbird
*all photographs courtesy of Mark James Allen