Kris Barras isn’t one to shy away from a challenge….
As a former Mixed Martial Artist, the singer and guitarist has fought in front of 8000 people, lived it up in Las Vegas, dealt with bankruptcy, suffered a deep and personal loss, unleashed southern-fried blues fury on stages across Europe and been voted one of the best 13 Blues Guitarists in the World Right Now in 2017… Barras picked up the guitar and took up martial arts as a child. After playing in bands throughout his teens he became disillusioned. He had toured the east coast of the USA twice and recorded an album in Philadelphia, but struggled to get to the next level. By his early 20s, offers for fights were coming thick and fast. Music took a backseat as he travelled the world to compete in tournaments, winning 14 out of 17 fights and even settling to live in Las Vegas and Thailand. “People used to think I was crazy to be fighting in cages, risking damage to my hands,” he says. “Truth is though, I always enjoyed it and found that the fighting world offered me more opportunities than the music industry. I got to fight in front of 8000 people in Asia, I would’ve much rather have played to them instead of getting punched in the face.” That drive is at the heart of new album, The Divine and Dirty, his first album to be released on Provogue/Mascot Label Group on 23rd March 2018. Just as the title refers to the good and the bad within us all, the album encapsulate everything Barras has been through to this point The Divine and Dirty wears its heritage proudly. Songs such as I Don’t Owe Nobody Nothing, Propane and She’s More Than Enough shows the breadth of influences that stretches back to Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Howlin’ Wolf and Free. But there’s a modern energy to it as well that places Kris Barras in a similar mould to current heavyweights such as Rival Sons, Black Stone Cherry and The Cadillac Three He retired from the cage in 2014, feeling like he had achieved everything that he was going to achieve. It had consumed his life for so long, making so many sacrifices that he felt that it was time to move on and concentrate on the coaching side of things, and to start enjoying the music again. Today, he also co-owns two gyms in the West Country of England, and still trains and teaches fighters “Fighting was an adrenaline thing,” he says of his decade-long MMA career. “I got a massive buzz doing it – it was incredible. You’re under incredible amounts of pressure. You put a foot wrong, you don’t just lose, you can lose your teeth. But I thrive on pressure, whether that’s fighting or music.” Everything is primed to propel The Kris Barras Band to even greater heights in 2018. He has the songs, the talent and the ambition to take on the scene’s biggest hitters. And armed with this kind of passion and dedication, they are coming out swinging. Stand back – rock has a new hero. 20 March – Thousand Island, London 23 March - The Wharf, Tavistock 24 March - The Palladium, Bideford 27 March - The Comrades Club, Coulsdon 28 March - Ypres Tavern, Sittingbourne 29 March - The Iron Road, Evesham 30 March - Yardbirds Club, Grimsby 31 March - Aatma, Manchester 04 April – Haven Club, Oxford 05 April - The Face Bar, Reading 06 April - The Warehouse, Harrogate 07 April - The Supporter’s Club, West Hartlepool 08 April – Fuel, Cardiff 13 April - The Musician, Leicester 14 April – HRH Blues O2 Academy, Sheffield 18 May – The Abertillery Blues Rock Festival, Abertillery 15 June – LoveRocks Festival, Ferndown 01 July – Ramblin’ Man Fair, Maidstone