Review: Demon Barbers XL, the Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Friday

The Demon Barbers

The Demon Barbers - Credit: Archant

It was fun with a capital “F” as music and dance came together for a great night of entertainment at the Apex.

The Demon Barbers XL show was bursting full of life and vitality with the audience often left open-mouthed with the combined break dancing and hip hop skills of the troupe.

Added to that the foot tapping folk/rock/funk music of the seven musicians on stage it was a night to remember for a near full house auditorium.

The only slight downside to the evening, as the band showcased their latest album release “Disco at the Tavern”, was the sound system. It left lead singer and frontman Damien Barber often drowned out by the rest of the band.

Nevertheless it failed to distract from a great evening’s entertainment.


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You kind of got a prelude to the fare that was to be on offer inside the venue as folk fans gathered outside and watched on as Morris Men and other dance groups got into their stride.

Renowned for their no holds barred approach to their live shows the Demon Barbers have now gathered a strong following.

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Since winning Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2009 they have been immersed in the development of their folk and hip hop dance extravaganza and have had successful UK tours, including high profile shows at Glastonbury Festival and five-star reviews for their two-week run at Edinburgh Fringe.

They are currently on a busy schedule of gigs round the country and are due back in the area at the Cambridge Folk Festival, on August 2.

They stopped off in Suffolk as part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival for their unique show which featured a raft of songs and melodies including “Ranzo”, “Rambling Roller”, “The Swimming Song”, “Come Blow Your Horn You Hunter”, “Friend of the Devil”, “The Chemical Workers Song, “Sally Free and Easy”, “Bonny Labouring Boy” and many, many more.

But the undoubted highlight of the 90-minute show was the sword dance which left the audience gasping in wonder.

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