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Louis Barabbas shows off his strange Mother


Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six's Mother

Louis Barabbas is never one for doing things the normal way, so it'll come as no surprise that his new single, Mother, is a little on the odd side.

But if the musical content of the song is strangely vibrant and vitriolic, the video that accompanies it is a vision of vicious Victoriana.

The short film sees the top-hatted Louis make his beloved Bedlam Six face the noose, something that he says the band didn't mind at all.

"They've been asked to do worse things in their lives - most have done jobs in tele-sales at one time or another.

"Health and safety was obviously an issue but there were rigorous measures taken to ensure their well-being.

"It's a potent image though, isn't it? I've since spoken to other singers and they're very jealous - hanging the band is every front man's dream."

As in touch with his own vision of the world as the video might be, Louis admits it wasn't him who came up with the initial idea, as the director "Brett Gregory was responsible for the whole twisted thing."

"I dread to think of what that man dreams about.

"Personally, I wanted pixies and ponies gambolling through enchanted glades, but it wasn't up to me."

Louis Barabbas
Not only did I get to prance about with a top hat and cane, I also got to wear a dress and lady's bonnet so, of course, I loved every minute
Louis Barabbas

He may not have got his tongue-in-cheek wishes but Louis still says that the video was a joy to produce from start to finish, despite there being some difficult moments in its production.

"Brett and I first spoke on the phone last December, when he outlined his plans for the video.

"We shared the same love for all those wonderful tales of tragic obsession popularised by twitchy Victorian authors.

"Immediately, the whole band was set to work building coffins and crosses, and learning how to tie nooses, while the production company, Serious Feather, got on with the story boards and lighting plans.

"The filming itself took about 26 hours over two night shoots in an old shirt-maker's factory in the Northern Quarter.

"I'm told it's a very popular location for film and TV - the BBC use it loads apparently and it also recently featured in the new Sherlock Holmes movie.

"It was hideously cold on set and the band had a pretty tough time standing on those stools for all that time, but we'd play songs in-between camera setups so morale stayed high.

"As for me, not only did I get to prance about with a top hat and cane, I also got to wear a dress and lady's bonnet so, of course, I loved every minute.

He says he became quite attached top the top hat but that there's no chance it'll make it into his usual on-stage apparel, because "the amount I jump about during gigs, it wouldn't stay on for more than five seconds."

That's not to say it's gone and forgotten completely.

"I just wear it in my relaxation hours, down the supermarket, in the post office, that sort of thing...

"I'm always praying for a sudden fog to descend and a waning gibbous moon to rise - then it's on with the cape, tap tap with the cane and off I go to worry the ladies of the night."

Mother is out on Debt Records on Monday 15 March

The track is available as a free download on Mother's Day (Sunday 14 March). Visitors to the Debt Records website will be able to download the single and have the option of submitting their mother's email address so the label can send it to them too.

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