Reviewer: John Roberts
Formed just over three years ago by Les Mis alumni Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield, The Barricade Boys are currently embarking on their first major UK & US tour. The premise is simple, take four male performers who have all at one point in their career performed in Les Misérables (the cast rotates depending on who is available), and let them sing a range of numbers from Musical Theatre, Pop and Rock for two hours.
At the performance in Runcorn, the performers include Garnham and Schofield, alongside Kieran Brown and Dougie Carter. All four not only have incredible voices but their personalities blend together just as well as their harmonies, it’s rare to find a chemistry that ignites the stage in the way The Barricade Boys do. These are not only four performers, but four friends who clearly enjoy standing under the spotlight and sharing every note with each other as well as with the audience.
The two hours fly by with medleys that cover everything from Elton John to West Side Story, to numbers from Bruno Mars and Billy Joel, whatever your musical taste is, The Barricade Boys will have certainly found something to whet your appetite. Stand out moments from the show include a glorious Jersey Boys medley that showcases the range of the four performers exquisitely, from Schofield’s unfaltering falsetto, to Garnham and Carter’s tremendous tenor tones and the deep velvety texture of Brown’s Baritone. Brown also impresses with a powerful rendition of Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera. But for this reviewer, it was a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody which really showcases the talent of the boys. Beautifully understated in presentation and sung with as much light and shade as a week in the Maldives, this is pure vocal harmony heaven.
As the tour visits venues of various sizes, the decision to visit the smaller, more “local” venues alongside bigger regional houses means that some decisions in terms of the music have to be made. In some venues, the boys perform alongside a live band and others to pre-recorded backing tracks. It is disappointing to not hear the boys sing alongside a live band, but it is to their credit and professionalism that even when missing that extra live element, the boys still captivate the audience and gain a well-deserved standing ovation. I am sure the residents of Runcorn and other smaller venues would rather they perform at their local theatre minus the live band than not at all.
A night at The Barricade Boys is an evening well spent and the current format, while not original, certainly allows their talent to really shine in this celebration of powerhouse vocals and showmanship.
Reviewed on 22 March 2019 | Image: Contributed