Manchester Dirt-Swing outfit Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six team up with their hero to create a new live album at the Dancehouse Theatre on Saturday 5th February, 2011.
It has been a busy year for the Manchester band, releasing the album “Found Drowned” in February, followed by the controversial single “Mother” (later included in Drowned In Sound’s top singles of 2010). They also played shows with rock behemoths Motörhead, jazz legends Sun Ra’s Arkestra and musical inspirations The Blockheads, before gaining national notoriety with their seedy lounge version of Take That’s “Relight My Fire”, commissioned by the BBC.
But all that is nothing compared to what they have planned. Not content to mark the release of their new record with a conventional gig, they have instead asked one of their musical heros, the anarchic John Otway, to join them for a special live recording session in The Dancehouse Theatre – a stage more famous for ballet than rock & roll.
“I first saw John Otway when I was sixteen,” says Barabbas, “he tore open his shirt, head-butted the microphone and put his head through the ceiling… to say he inspired me would be a criminally gross understatement – he was THE reason why I became a performer… I’m absolutely thrilled to finally be sharing a stage with him.”
This isn’t just a dream project for Louis though; the band are also keen to use the event as a gesture of thanks to their fanbase. Last year, members of the mailing list were asked what songs they’d like the band to play at the show and the band have since been busy rehearsing up old material and obscure covers. They have also announced that everyone present at the Dancehouse show will get their name added to the record’s liner notes and receive a free signed copy of the album upon release.
“The cyclical nature of it all is very appealing to me” says Louis, “this new record sums up the band in a way that our past releases don’t… I feel like it’s got a lot of truth in it. The decision to mark its release with a show in an old fashioned theatre, scripted in part by the audience and doubling as the next release, seemed very apt – a snapshot of The Bedlam Six on the first date of a Europe-wide tour at the beginning of a new decade. To then add to that mix a performance by the man who got me started in this business is the final piece of the puzzle – it just makes the whole thing perfect. One thing is certain: it’ll be a hard show for us to top!”
Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six with special guest John Otway will take place at The Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester on Saturday 5th February, 2011. Tickets are £10 on the door and £8 advance. The show begins at 8pm. “Get Religion!” will be on general release from Monday 7th February.