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Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six relight their firewater
Louis Barabbas

Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six's Relight My Fire

Vaudeville folk rockers Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six have turned Relight My Fire into an ode to whiskey in their video for their version of the track.

The promo was filmed after hours in a South Manchester bar.

Frontman Louis Barabbas said the idea for it came from the fact that writer "Dan Hartman isn't particularly explicit in his lyrics."

Their version of the song made famous by Take That was recorded to celebrate BBC Radio Manchester's 40th birthday.

The video, shot in Withington bar Fuel, sees Louis taking the role of a barfly drinker, huddled around his glass of whiskey as if he is in love with it.

He explained that he thought such a relationship was just as valid a reading of the song as a traditional love story would be.

I'm a lyrics man and to me, those words are a cry for help... not a cry for baby oil
Louis Barabbas

"The question is, how do you know it wasn't always about that? Dan Hartman isn't particularly explicit in his lyrics.

"It's a love of sorts isn't it? Some would argue that you can trust a love of that variety more than the conventional kind that peppers our story-telling culture.

"Both will eventually let you down, but it's a far more honest process of liver-pickling as opposed to heart-wrenching.

"I think drunks are too frequently overlooked by the mainstream, many of them have a far more heightened sense of self than more respected members of society.

"A lonely man in a crowded bar quietly carving out a universe for himself is a deeply touching thing to me."

'Never really a grand scheme'

Not that Louis can profess to being lonely on the night of the shoot, as it saw the bar taken over with Bedlam Six members and their friends, creating a party atmosphere in the process.

Louis Barabbas and friends
The video features the Bedlam Six and their friends

Some of those involved, including Louis, had been filming Becca & the Broken Biscuits' Train Driver video earlier in the day and the singer said his band's film simply slipped onto the back of that shoot to continue the fun.

"It was never really a grand scheme. I enjoy making music videos and Joe the director was working on Becca's promo, so I just asked if he'd be up for doing something with The Bedlam Six after he'd finished.

"It was a very relaxed shoot; our last one - for Mother - was meticulously planned out and there had been a lot of hard work and preparation involving building props and storyboarding.

"This one was just us doing what we always do between tours - drinking and spending time with our mates."

'A cry for help'

The release of the video comes at a time when the band who have the biggest hit with it thus far are in the headlines and Louis said he'd "be lying if I didn't admit that the thought of jumping on the back of Take That's reunion hype hadn't crossed my mind."

That said, the Bedlam Six's version is very different to the one the boy band did with Lulu back in 1993.

Louis said that their take on it came from being inspired by Dan Hartman's lyrics.

"When we were originally commissioned to record it, my first thought was that we'd just knock out a bog standard spoof - after all, what else can a rock band do with disco?

"Then when I got hold of the lyrics I realised there was so much character potential that Take That - or their management - just hadn't bothered about.

"Jiggling about in leather chaps surrounded by oiled up nymphets may be some people's idea of a good time but those days are behind me.

"I think that if you're going to cover someone else's material - no matter how trivially - there has to be a different spin on it.

"Take That treated the song as a hit-maker because that's what they do - and they do it very well - but I'm a lyrics man and to me, those words are a cry for help... not a cry for baby oil."

Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six's Relight My Fire is available as a free download on the Debt Records

The band headline BBC Introducing in Manchester Live at the Ruby Lounge on Friday 26 November. Entry is free.

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