Material Girls and Boys looking forward to Madonna’s Confessions shows at Tokyo Dome this week may soon get the chance to “strike a pose” on their own. Television producers are putting together a Madonna special as part of 15 Films, what they say is a new style of show that will “take the short film genre to another level.” Each week the one-hour program will present 15 different takes on the life of a celebrity that will be “surprising, original, funny, intelligent, diverse, sexy and provocative, but free of empty spectacle: comedy skits, lifestyle features and fluff,” according to the producers. “One might be grainy, black and white, and look like a 1920s silent film, the next full color and filmic, the next a hip-hop music video, then a computer animation.” If you think you are the No. 1 Madonna fan in Japan, they invite you to apply to audition for this flagship program.
Contact Risa Morimoto of Zig Zag Productions: firstname.lastname@example.org AV
From practicing underneath a staircase to Glastonbury and
Summer Sonic in five years, this trio isnt complaining
|Little Barrie played
a June showcase in Harajuku
courtesy of Hostess
With Jack Whites White Stripes having
written the book on how to retool the blues-rock tradition
for the third millennium, youd think there was nothing
left to say on the matter.
But across the pond, a trio of lads were toiling in obscurity
in the northern English city of Nottingham, re-envisioning
blues-rock in their own, less consciously artistic way. I
was looking for a band, recalls drummer/vocalist Wayne
Fullwood in an interview in Shibuya of his chance meeting
at a bar with band namesake Barrie Cadogan (who is indeed
little). It was hard to find like-minded people who
were committed. We started chatting about music, listening
to each others songs, and thought we wanted to be in
a band together.
With Cadogan returning to blues-rock through a backwards path
in time from indie rockers like the Stone Roses to Jimi Hendrix
and Chuck Berry, and Fullwood steeped in the soul music his
mum was crazy about, the pair had a fairly definite sense
of what they wanted to do. The initial idea was to do
something that was like a combination of Chuck Berry and James
Brown, but in an English way, Cadogan ventures. It
became a lot more than that.
While Fullwood had never drummed, he ended up behind the kit,
and Cadogan, previously not a singer, stepped out in front
of the mic. I only started singing out of desperation,
really, cuz you could never find someone who would do
it right. I thought I would give it a go because at least
then the music would be self-sufficient.
Starting in 1999, Cadogan and Fullwood began feverishly jamming
together in a hallway underneath a staircase and recording
demos in Fullwoods bedroom. But in need of a bassist
and broader horizons, they soon relocated to London. Nottingham
is a cool city and has a great nightlife, says Cadogan.
But to get recognized by the music industry is really
hard. The only venues are for established acts that can pull
in over 1,000 people, and all the other places are dance clubs.
The move would prove fortuitous, bringing the group not only
a bassist in the form of the understated Lewis Wharton, but
also a record contract with indie imprint Pias Recordings,
whose association with Japanese distributor Hostess would
bring them to Japan for a Harajuku showcase, and get them
a slot on this years Summer Sonic bill.
Their full-length debut, this springs We Are Little
Barrie, shows a great debt not only to early R&B but also
to the subsequent electric blues-rock tradition of the 60s.
Move On So Easy, which the three say has special
meaning as one of their earliest songs, launches in a fusillade
of distortion-drenched guitar, bass and drums that recalls
Hendrixs interaction with drummer Mitch Mitchell and
bassist Noel Redding.
Its an impression of strength Little Barrie backed up
in person in their dates at Harajukus Astro Hall in
June. With Fullwoods drum kit center stage and his keening
vocals providing counterpoint to Cadogans dryer singing
and crisp guitar work (he was chosen as backup guitarist for
Morrisseys tour last year), this is a band that, despite
its name, has two frontmen, with bassist Wharton playing the
cool, subdued foil.
Thanks to a minor hit in Japan and a busy summer that has
taken around the world with stops at Glastonbury and next
weeks Summer Sonic, Cadogan, Fullwood and Wharton have
finally been able to give up their day jobs as, respectively,
guitar teacher, eBay trader and clothing designer.
And despite a grueling schedule that has seen them perform
24 dates in 25 nights on one recent tour, theyre thankful.
Were not complaining, concludes Fullwood.
Some people dont make it that far and stop doing
music because its too difficult.
Little Barrie play Summer Sonic Aug
14. See concert listings for details. The new CD & DVD
Japan edition of the album We Are Little Barrie SP is out
now on Genuine/Pias/Hostess.
with METROPOLIS readers at http://forum.japantoday.com