Given Little Barrie fans have been waiting for nigh on four years for the band's follow up to Stand Your Ground, it's a good job new album King of the Waves doesn't disappoint.
Co-produced by the legendary Edwyn Collins, the band's third album is a glorious slab of stripped back rock 'n' roll which sees the sonic trio demonstrate a musical palate that offers a unique nod in the direction of soul, punk, mod and the blues, while remaining true to the spirit that has established them as musicians' musicians.
The quality of their playing is largely unrivalled in modern music, with the likes of Morrissey, Primal Scream, Johnny Marr, Amorphous Androgynous, Bryan Ferry and Paul Weller all having enlisted their services over the years in one guise or another.
In Japan the band have a following that's not dissimilar to Beatlemania and with King of the Waves having been critically lauded on its release on July 4, an upturn in their popularity on British shores should be forthcoming.
Little Barrie's sound is one that deserves to be heard, with guitarist and vocalist Barrie Cadogan one of the best in the business and perfectly complemented by bassist/vocals Lewis Wharton and Virgil Howe who joined in 2008 on drums.
Taking time out from a busy touring schedule to promote their new album, Pompey fan Lewis was happy to regale us with tales of a youth spent on the Fratton Park terraces.
Coming from Pompey I'm not really going to support anyone else. It's a very football orientated city. I mean some of the kids at school supported bigger clubs that you actually got to see on the telly every week and would wear their kits in games lessons, but come Saturday most of them would be down Fratton Park. I think as we got older most of them stopped supporting the glory teams. My Uncle Pete used to take me to as many games as he could in the mid-eighties with my cousin Jon and we'd make our way right to the front by the halfway line in the North Stand so we could see as much as possible. This was before all seater-stadiums so everyone was standing. I remember on big games we couldn't always get to the front and then you'd be at the mercy of the sea of swaying people, with big pushes one way or another. I went under a few times...a bit scary when you're ten. But mostly it was the highlight of my week.
We either won or lost...or maybe drew
I'm pretty sure it was 3-2 but I don't actually remember who to. Actually, you know what, I'm not even sure about the score. This was a few years before I was going regularly so I must have been about 7 or 8. I'd never been to anything like it before in my life; it was the first time I'd ever been in a group of people that big or that loud before. I think I was a bit freaked out, it wasn't until a few years later when I was going often and knew all the songs that I had the best of times.
An unlikely looking hero, not the most athletic looking footballer in the world and the moustache wasn't to everyone's taste. The song went "he's fat, he's round, he's worth a million pound...Mickey Quinn, Mickey Quinn" - if he'd just scored. If he was having a bad day the million got substituted with "about a pound" but generally he always seemed to save the day and he scored a lot. If he was on the bench for some reason and we weren't doing too well the million pound version of that song was sung until he was brought on and more often than not he came to the rescue. Most of that era team were heroes to me though, Noel Blake, Vince Hilaire, Paul Mariner. Paul Walsh deserves a mention too from a later period, he was class.
Diego Maradona, circa '86
At the time I just could not believe that you could cheat like that and get away with it! I'd seen handballs before but never something so bad, so blatant and it was at the World Cup! Even after the match I just thought 'look you can see it in slow motion on the news, why don't they replay the match?' Of course that never happened and it took me a while to accept it. Maradona ruined my summer holidays in '86.
1982 World Cup
The first thing I remember about football really was colouring in a World Cup wall chart. My dad was a good footballer when he was at school but was never really into watching it. My mum has always been into football though and got me into following the World Cup with her in '82. Like most kids, during the first World Cup I watched I was wholeheartedly sure that England would win and it totally crushed me when we went out. The wall chart came down and I went back to my lego.
Going pro wasn't an option
The less said about it the better. Let's just say turning pro was never on the cards. I lasted two friendly matches and thought better of my decision to blag my way into a mate's team, even though I'd never even got close to getting in the school team. It was taken way too seriously for me, although the biggest factor in me jacking it in was that it finally dawned on me that I was s**t at football.
England 87-90 home shirt
I didn't have that many kits when I was younger apart from that England shirt, but I made up for it a few years back when I got obsessed with collecting old shirts while we were making our second album Stand Your Ground. I was running back and forward from playbacks at the mixing desk and the computer to bid on shirts on ebay. It got a bit out of control but I've sold most of them off now, made a bit of money on some of them too. I've still got most of the 80s Pompey shirts and the 84-89 Barcelona shirt (my all-time favorite) and some nice 80s adidas Flamengo shirts.
Well officially it was the Star Wars soundtrack. I had quite a few albums before Nevermind too but I suppose that was the one that made me want to put my first band together. Paul Weller's solo albums had a pretty big effect on me too, he was my route into a lot of soul and sixties bands that I hadn't heard before. It's weird thinking back to then, now that we've played on 22 Dreams. He's been a champion of our stuff from the first album, lovely bloke.