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THE DIFFIDENT FECUND ALBUM

This summer the character that is Mr Richard Barry has compiled for us, the general public, an exuberant mix of folk-rock with diligent vocals to create the self-professed Diffident Fecund Album. He is not alone in this endeavour, with support he describes as “three hirsute reprobates” in the form of Cleg, Joel and Phil frolicking on guitar, bass and percussion respectively. Input from fellow Debt Records artists Honeyfeet and The Bedlam Six surmise the variety offered by the musicians involved. Numerous phone-in skits can be heard involving the “album comment desk”, where individuals provide various erroneous hints on improving his artwork and questionable weather reports describing “sustained periods of doubt”. This is just one of many depictions throughout an album filled with the humorous oddity of its creator.

Regarding the music, melodies flow with a variety of tempos across the tracks whilst the vocals maintain an underlying nonchalant comic feeling. The Bo Diddly riff rings out on ‘Rags to Ditches’ and, elsewhere, fast-paced ukulele strings keep a jive-like momentum that would be equally at home in a 20s New York speakeasy. As the band name suggests, the focus of the album is on the singer-songwriter, with The Chaps providing an unadorned but integral backdrop. But Richard is not purely a solo artist, having worked on acclaimed collaborations with fellow Debt Records artists Louis Barabbas and Alabaster Deplume on the musical Dead At The Café Styx.

His talents are not confined to music as he writes articles published on his website, provides numerous voiceovers, performs local comedy sketches and is the quizmaster for the renowned Fuel Pub Quiz in Withington, at which he regularly threatens phone cheats with “defenestration”. Richard Barry is not an artist, he is a brand, and with so many talents across such a wide spectrum this well-spoken Welshman will continue to regale and delight for some time yet.