It is still an hour before they’re due on, and Gil De Ray are just starting up. Duck walking and pacing forwards and backwards on the stage are the guitarist, known as “Feedback Jack” and the singer who begins the show by telling us he’s “ABAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDD MOTHER FUCKER!”. Despite the slight comical beginning, they were really good, providing the perfect amount of “support” and “act” to the evening, making it a more enjoyable and energetic experience than I was expecting. They have a single out called ‘Little Heart’, check it out. Show them some love, they definitely managed to pick up an otherwise unenthused crowd early in the night.
Arriving onstage nearly half an hour late are Little Barrie. Barrie Cadogan is every bit the rock star, and after a quick Google search, I’d confirmed my suspicions that that is in fact the other guitarist from Primal Scream. How did I know? Well, I hadn’t done my research beforehand (shame on me), apart from having picked up a couple of records over the years of theirs, and not really reading up on them, but watching Cadogan move about the stage is a treat. It’s angular, it’s acrobatic, it’s like a shock wave of excitement and thrill going through his body, and as he throws his torso (and guitar) about and shoots expressionless looks at the rest of the band, he’s at all times in complete control of the absolute destruction of his fretboard, unleashing riff after riff, solo after solo, mesmerising destruction of the barriers between garage rock, blues, funk, psych, prog, jazz…it was exhausting watching him at times, but at all times exciting.
Slightly envious too, as he mainly held a very special custom Fender Jazzmaster with humbuckers and a bigsby, and then switched to a beautiful Gibson 335 with custom black pickups, both stuck through a pedal board I couldn’t get near and what looked like a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Junior stack. Equipment is great, and I love browsing all that stuff, but unless you can use it, and I mean UUUUUUSSSSEEE it, then don’t bother. Cadogan doesn’t really have that problem.
WATCH | Little Barrie - 'Pauline'
Starting with a free form jam, and eventually working its way into song, Little Barrie were tight as hell, even playing tracks from new LP Shadow – 'Fuzzomb', 'Bonneville', 'It Don’t Count' and set highlight 'Realise'. Having not got round to their new record, this was all new to me, but even people that didn’t belong–the two guys who were straight from work in suits, the older gentleman on his own near the front who tweeted his way through the show with enthusiasm in under 140 characters but nothing on his face, and then Barrie himself.
Apart from a wry smile between him and bass player Lewis Wharton at what I think was a missed vocal, they turned up, they rocked the shit out of the 100 Club and then left. The comic relief was provided between songs by their phenomenal drummer,Virgil Howe. I had no setlist to hand, but he basically ended one song with a series of triplets and showmanship across the kit that made everyone in the venue go mad for him. Thanking the crowd at the end, he was genuinely appreciative of the support, and having then turned around, the once half-full club is now rammed.
I’ve given Shadow a listen since, and it really is ace. Live however, you can’t really beat watching these three unforgettable talents share a stage. For a country that’s really struggling to produce a crop of amazing talent in its droves, Little Barrie should be at the forefront of this charge. The only downside? Barrie had a silk shirt on. I think it was silk, it looked shiny. His hair was a bit odd too. I’m clutching at straws…they were shit-hot!!!