The Kris Barras Band 

The Divine And Dirty

(Provogue/Mascot Label Group)

This outfit comprises Kris Barras on guitar and vocals, Josiah J Manning on keys, Elliott Blackler on bass plus drummer Will Beavis and production here is by Manning. Barras says that he has been heartened by the reaction of fans across Europe to his material and his band’s performances. The guitarslinger scene is a tad overcrowded at present, so success surely depends upon the quality and appeal of the songs. Kris has a colourful history, so hardly lacks inspiration.

Opening track Kick Me Down is taken at a steady and solemn pace, like music opening a film. What hit this listener on this cut is the vocal similarity to the great Jon Amor. This is heavy stuff but melodic and has an almost regal vibe. It’s a proper song too, with a middle eight. The backing vocals sound rich and point to some work thereon. At 2:45 wild guitar breaks out in traditional snarly fashion. The band clearly know exactly what they are doing.

Next up, Hail Mary exhibits more deft singing giving way to a springheeled rocker with a twist of Rory G. The bass takes an excursion up the neck en route to the catchy chorus. The guitar is busy and the main vocal focussed. On to I Don’t Owe Nobody Nothing which would make an English teacher wince but is a greasy tread of a number prompting clapping. Sounds like a setlist must? The title Propane made me laugh as I used to do a Clapton parody extolling the benefits of camping gas to the J J Cale tune. Barras’ song of this name is a punchy and rather haunting mid-paced belter with a fine vocal and peppered with guitar motifs and a radio-friendly sound, helped along by cool Hammond. Kris sounds a bit like Bryan Adams here..and how radio-friendly is he?

Wrong Place, Wrong Time is snakey funk and brisk changes; Lovers or Losers is a purposeful slower piece with a Southern Rock slant and well-handled. She’s More Than Enough is a nimble dance of a tune and a tale of a desirable girl. Stitch Me Up
Delivers piano-fuelled barroom rock and has that Bryan Adams touch once more, I bet he would love this act!

Hold On For Tomorrow is very much my thing slow, moody, personal-sounding. Great raspy singing and it sounds heartfelt. If you like early Rod, get a listen to this song, it’s excellent. Blood On Your Hands has an energetic roll to it and is my pick on this collection, the ensemble sounding very together and a memorable lyric. Needs a trumpet solo, imho. Finally in this programme we get Watching Over Me touches on Barras’ love and regard for his late father.

This album leaves one main thought with the listener – are they playing anywhere near me?

Pete Sargeant



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(Many thanks to the Mascot crew)

The Kris Barras Band's new album 'The Divine and Dirty' is released on Friday 23rd March 2018 on Provogue/Mascot Label Group.

For tour dates and other information, head across to the band's official website here: http://bit.ly/2D1EiHk

 

Kris Barras Band