The Barcodes - Live! in Session for The BBC...

The Barcodes are joined by Nick Newall, for this great live recording for the BBC at Ipswich Jazz Club.....

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The Barcodes

 Live!  In Session for the BBC – Note music – NCD 1013 –

Mark: A must have!

A safe start to the album with a title borrowed from Blind Willie Mc Tell, ‘Statesboro’ Blues’, on which Bob Haddrell on keyboard and Nick Newall, a special guest for that evening, on the sax  alternate solos, which foretells that this quartet is on fine form this fated 17th of September 2006.

This great evening of blues was brought to life by BBC recording. For ‘Parchaman Farm’, the brilliant Bob gives another flavour demonstrating his talents, a true magician of the black and white keys, fabulously seconded by Alan Glen and his six-strings and Dino Coccia on drums. A few gems from the harmonica are slipped in here and there, just in time to continue with a great version of‘Sweet Lovin’ Mama’ from the illustrious Johnny Guitar Watson, who would have undoubtedly appreciated Dino Coccia on drums whilst Alan Glen was throwing himself on the harmonica. It’s spicy, it’s furious, it’s dynamite bursting your eardrums with countless colours, it’s like a beautiful fireworks display.

But the Barcodes’ talent is also knowing when to switch tempos and  dive in a raging blues and going seamlessly into a slow track, perfect for those special evenings with the love of your life: ‘Crazy Life’ and its saxophone solo makes you believe you’re in the deepest of cellars listening to the best sound in slow blues around. Another track, co-written by Alan Glen, ‘Halfway To Nowhere’ and a faster pace which increases the temperature before the quartet follows up with another two beautiful pieces, ‘That’s Alright’ then ‘Comin’ Home Baby’ in which Nick Newall does marvels with the flute to then make space for the excellent Alan Glen, playing a brilliant solo with his six-string on one of the best cover version of ‘7th son’ I have ever heard. It is then followed by a  more mellow, more ‘London Club’ atmosphere with ‘Outskirts of Town’ when Alan Glen shows us how he can make his six-string shiver before rushing off again to treat us to a medley by Jimmy Smith and T Bone Walker and a superb combination: ‘Back at the Chicken Shack + T Bone Shuffle’.

You think you’ve heard the best of what this trio and their ‘special guest’ can offer? How wrong you are, check out this unbelievable version of ‘Checkin’ On My Baby’ during which Bob Haddrell on keyboard and Nick Newall playing the flute make you shiver with pleasure and then, wait for it, it’s Alan Glen’s turn to get you to going with ‘Be Cool’, one of his compositions and its terribly choppy and swinging rhythms. The following two tracks, written by Dino Coccia, are superb and prove you can be an (excellent) drummer and have the gift of writing.

The evening of the 17th of September ends the same way it started on a fast pace, just so you know you should have been there and that not only you shouldn’t miss their CD but especially you have to go to their next concerts.

This CD is the consecration of a group you can’t afford to ignore! An absolute must!

 Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer - French Blues Magazine

 Translated by: Nathalie Harrap

BLUES & RHYTHM - November 2007

THE BARCOOES: Live! In Session For The BBC -
Note NCD 1013 2 (78:02)

Recorded for BBC Radio Suffolk in September 2006, this finds the London based trio augmented by Nick Newall on sax and flute. 'Recorded at Ipswich Jazz Club' it says on the cover, which these days is slightly unusual, but a listen to the CD reveals all: this is the old-fashioned kind of blues that was quite acceptable at such institutions many years ago, very British-sounding and quite strongly influenced by the likes of Georgie Fame and the ever-hip Mose Allison. Bob Haddrell on vocals and a variety of keyboards including the Hammond organ, Alan Glen on vocals, guitar and harmonica (both jazz and blues styled) and Dino Coccia can certainly play and the taste and refinement of this CD is light years away from the bluster and volume of many contemporary UK blues acts.

Norman Darwen

BLUES MATTERS - April 2008

THE BARCOOES: Live! In Session For The BBC -
Note NCD 1013 2 (78:02)

l was rather taken with the last Barcodes album, "With Friends Like These ", so l was quite Iooking forward to getting an earful of their new album -especially being a live one! But be come away a wee bit disappointed. Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the music on offer, but it all seems terribly polite, not something l tend to associate wth live albums. To be fair, it was recorded at the Ipswich Jazz Club, a venue where they probably frown upon acts of wild abandon. It may also explain why this is very jazz oriented, despite the plethora of Blues classics sprinkled across the album. Kicking off with a one-two punch of Blind Willie McTell's 'Statesboro Blues' snd Mose Allison's 'Parchman Farm', it sets you up for what you think will be a night of hot Blues, but then things get very '70s jazz. In its favour, it's a fabulous sound, with only the percusion sometimes sounding a bit dry. Guitarist Alan Glen aiso displays a jazzy approach to his playing, which makes the occasional dip into slide guitar a welcome departure. It’s actually reminiscent of some of John Mayall's more jazz oriented work. There is no doubt that The Barcodes are a very accomplished band but, unlike their studio work, it didn't have me reaching for the replay button.

Stuart A Hamilton - BLUES MATTERS

BLUES IN BRITAIN - November 2007

Barcodes – Live! In Session for the BBC

Live! In Session ..., The Barcode fourth aIbum for note, was recorded last year at Ipswich Jazz club for Stephen Foster's Radio Suffolk show. The trio of Bob Haddrell (vocals, organ, piano, bass pedals), Alan Glen (vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion) and Dino Coccia drums, percussion) were joined by saxophonist/flautist Nick Newell, an associate for a number of years.

 The band essay ten covers from the 1920s (Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" which opens the set) to the 1960s, with Mose Allison represented by "Parchman Farm" and "I Don't worry About AThing". Five band originals from their three studio albums are here also. "Crazy life" was one of the high spots on their debut set. Their last outing, the guest-laden With Friends Like These ... is represented by "Halfway To Nowhere", Glen stepping up to the mic for this one, the Kenny Burrell styled instrumental "The Snitch" and "Undercover Lover". And Glen's "Be Cool" could be the band's motto, for cool, laid back, relaxed, understated, swinging, jazzy blues is their trademark. Consummate musicianship is evident throughout; with their collective years of experience The Barcodes make it sound so easy. Former Zoot Money sideman Newell fits in perfectly and is given plenty of space to Shine.

 atings: 8 - Jon Taylor

BLUES IN THE SOUTH - September 2007

This is the fourth CD produced by this superb bluesy/ jazzy principally three but occasionally four piece band. This one, as the title implies, was recorded live at the Ipswich Jazz Club in the Manor Ballroom on the 17th of September 2006. The producer of the CD, Stephen Foster, is the host of a programme on BBC Radio Suffolk, and what a great job he and the boys in the band have done! Now if you like your blues traditional, or you're a fan of the stuff at the rock-blues end of the spectrum, this is not for you. On the other hand, if you're a fan of keyboard and jazzy guitar-led blues music with a tinge of after-hours sound and a laid-back smoky feel, then this is certainly up your street. Alan Glen is an accomplished guitar player with a nice, light, jazzy  touch extended here (which I don't recall having heard before) with some exemplary slide playing. Bob Haddrell is a keyboard man par excellence who not only supports Glen’s guitar, vocal and occasional harp playing with drive and verve but also manages, using bass pedals on his keyboard setup,  to lay down a rhythmic bass accompaniment which is nothing short of terrific. Dino Coccia, drums and percussion lays down a steady beat with some lovely little rolls and turnarounds, and even gets a solo - well it was a live gig! A word too about Nick Newall, who adds some tasty tenor and flute to some of the tracks; super! The music here includes a nice version of ‘Statesborough Blues’ (although I doubt that Blind Willie McTell  would recognise it) through Willie Dixon’s ''7th Son' and Jimmy Smith’s ‘Back At The Chicken Shack’ , to two pieces by Mose Allison whose work has clearly had an enormous influence on the band. Live albums are sometimes a dire substitute for the studio recorded stuff. Not so here. This one is strongly recommended and I for one, who has still to hear the band in the flesh, can't wait to have that pleasure. Fifteen tracks all recorded live and not a duff one amongst them; don't come much better than that.


Ian McKenzie