Hove’s Barbara release new single A Perishing of Cherished Things and score a supporting slot with The Divine Comedy on their upcoming tour!
Brothers Henry and John Tydeman aka Barbara have released a string of catchy pop infused anthems, putting them firmly in the McCartney/Hannon camp. From BRB released at the start of 2021, they have shown off their song writing prowess with switching tempos, intricate verses and soaring melodies.
There’s a kind of English whimsy to these tracks, and I mention Macca and Hannon because the roots lie with them. The kind of songs that, although at first might sound a little too poppy, you wouldn’t turn the radio off if they came on, no matter what your musical tastes. Think perennial favourites Mr Blue Sky, Pipes of Peace or indeed Something For The Weekend!
New single A Perishing of Cherished Things is no different. Smart Beatle-esque twists, song characters a la, Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, and an infectious melody that grabs hold and won’t let go. Every time I hear a new Barbara song I know I’m in for a treat. They take you on a musical journey, suck you in, and like a great novel you want to enjoy the ride, right to the final twist the end.
A Perishing of Cherished Things is no different – the tale of Wendy, Alan & Sharon. Get on board, throw away your pop prejudices and enjoy the ride!
What they say:
A masterclass in nuanced, nostalgic pop beamed-in from another era, the track is the Brighton duo’s first release of 2022 and hints to a band with the brightest of futures. Balancing deceptively complex arrangements with a playfully colourful narrative, think Todd Rundgren teaming-up with the Alessi Brothers for a re-imagination of The Beatles’ “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da”
Coupling that maturity of sound with lyricism wisened by mistakes perhaps they’ll never make, latest single “A Perishing of Cherished Things” finds Barbara experiencing something of a mid-life crisis, far before their time has come. As Barbara explain:
“‘Perishing…’ is sort of about a mid-life crisis. Not that we’ve experienced one… yet! Almost no one ends up having the life they imagined for themselves when they were young. We thought it would be nice to have some characters – Wendy and Sharon – and that it might help to tell the story a little better (like Desmond and Molly in ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’). And they’re not particularly unhappy or anything. They’ve got kids and go on lovely holidays. They just sometimes wonder how things might have turned out differently…”
Though told with a technicolour imagination and wry sense of humour, “A Perishing…” is ultimately a song about what-ifs and what-could-have-beens; and those unshakeable feelings that so often come hand-in-hand with ruminations on opportunities passed.
“It’s a sort of low level regret that you can’t quite shake.” Barbara add. “I think everyone feels it from time to time. Because life just isn’t perfect. Not very rock and roll, I know!”
Produced by esteemed Paul Steel (once praised by The Guardian as “the second coming of Brian Wilson”), the track is a lavishly retro sounding record, resplendent with swelling west-coast harmonies, primitive synthesiser sputters, and star-spangled guitar lines straight out of the 1970s.
Read Henry Tyedman’s article on Neil Hannon and The Divine Comedy here.
Barbara head out on the road with The Divine Comedy this Spring:
Mon April 25 2022 – BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall
Tue April 26 2022 – MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
Wed April 27 2022 – EDINBURGH Usher Hall
Fri April 29 2022 – BRIGHTON Dome
Sat April 30 2022 – YORK York Barbican Centre
Sun May 01 2022 – LIVERPOOL Philharmonic Hall
Tue May 03 2022 – LONDON Palladium
Words by Nigel Carr. More writing by Nigel on Louder Than War can be found in his Author’s archive. You can find Nigel on Twitter and Facebook Listen to Nigel’s show on Louder Than War Radio – Wednesdays 9-11 pm!