Interview: Kieran Brown And Scott Granham of THE BARRICADE BOYS WEST END PARTY at THE HOBBY CENTER

Coming to Houston... the British are invading from musical theater!

By: Jun. 03, 2024
Interview: Kieran Brown And Scott Granham of THE BARRICADE BOYS WEST END PARTY at THE HOBBY CENTER
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Get ready to have your socks knocked off and your heart racing with The Barricade Boys! These four dazzling performers are taking the world by storm with their electrifying show that will have you tapping your feet, belting out your favourite tunes, and grinning from ear to ear.

From the heart-wrenching emotion of Les Misérables to the toe-tapping harmonies of the Jersey Boys, The Barricade Boys will take you on a musical journey like no other. Throw in a mix of the greatest pop, rock, swing, and Motown hits of all time, and The Barricade Boys create the ultimate West End party musical mashup! But it’s not just about the music – these four superstar performers will also share hilarious and inspiring stories from their time on stage touring the world and also in some of the biggest shows in the West End, including Wicked, Billy Elliot, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Techincolor Dreamcoat and more. So get ready for a night you’ll never forget, filled with jaw-dropping vocals, sensational dance routines, and more fun than you can shake a stick at.

Brett Cullum: I am joined by half of the four men who make up the Barricade Boys, a UK theatrical singing group coming to the Hobby Center on June 6th and June 7. They are part of the BEYOND BROADWAY series. But you are firmly a UK institution. And actually, you came out of the West End and kinda created a big sensation there. So tell me, how did this group come about?

Scott Garnham: Well, we've been going about nine years together. We get our name because we've all been in a show you might have heard of called Les Miserables.

Brett Cullum: Familiar. Yeah. I am familiar-ish with that show. 

Scott Garnham: Yeah, it's a little fringe French production. And we've all been in that show. And, of course, when you're a gentleman in that show, you spend all your time on the barricade. So we became the Barricade Boys. And we're the best of friends. We wanted to do something for ourselves, so we created a group. We booked a theater in London's West End, and it sold out very quickly, which we were delighted about, and since then, we've been touring the world. And we've been doing America for about a year and a half. We did a great gig at 54 Below and got the most amazing review from you guys, BROADWAY WORLD. It was like our mothers had written the review. So we were delighted.  

Brett Cullum: I was surprised at the genuine glowingness of the review, and the writer came in cold. He didn't know what he was in for, and it sounded like most of the audience didn't know. But everybody came out saying, “This is one of the best shows I've seen!” so I'm really excited to have you guys in Houston and give us something new and different. And that's really what the Beyond Broadway series is about, other than where they have brought in people like Alan Cumming or Patti LuPone, who you may have heard of. 

Scott Garnham: Little bit.

Brett Cullum: I have heard you guys described as Il Divo meets Michael Bubble, and I suppose that infers you are more Broadway and Pop styled. How would you define what your aesthetic is like? What are you really looking for as a group?

Kieran Brown: We really are a mix mash of pretty much everything. That's the one thing about our show that I think you mentioned those kind of people didn't know what to expect when they came to see the Barricade Boys. And we we like that. We kind of thrive on that. It's not. It's not just classical stuff. It's not just musical stuff. It's not just pop stuff. It's really a mix, a mix of everything. There's something for everyone, I think. Scott and Simon, when they came up with the concept of the show, said, ”What would there be in a show that I would want to go and see?” We often meet many of the audience members on the way out, and one of the nicest compliments we get is that we covered kind of everything, every kind of genre of music, and they didn't expect us to sing that or they didn't expect us to do that, or a version of that song like that, in terms of an aesthetic. I don't know. That's probably a question for Scott, but I think we tick a lot of boxes, or I hope.

Scott Garnham: Yeah, no, I think you're right. I mean, as Kieran says, I think sometimes, particularly Broadway shows, that can be an element of particularly four guys that you're gonna come out and you're gonna sing a bunch of ballads from, you know, from the musicals.

And while we do sing a lot of ballads and depart on unique spin on those songs (we always have), the show is called a Broadway party, and there's a reason for that. We wanted people to come and get involved as well. People normally stood up, singing, dancing, and cheering along. We do. You know, medlies from Motown and Mamma Mia, and we sing Bohemian Rhapsody live, which Queen never did. Even so, we're very proud of that! And that, you know, that's always a scary moment in the show because if we don't get those 1st harmonies right, we're like, uh-oh, but touch wood. That's very, very, very rarely happened.

We really are with such good friends, and I hope that comes across in the show that we have a blast doing the show. And hopefully, the audience does, too.

Brett Cullum: Well, I think that's kind of different about you guys is when I think of groups that have come out, like girl groups, guy groups, whether it be Il Divo, or whether it be the Spice Girls or these quartets of people coming in. You hear they are kind of manufactured that the label has brought four people together for this. But you guys were actually friends; I mean, that's a totally different thing. You all have this connection. Right?

Kieran Brown: One of the nicest things about our show is that we take the work very seriously but don't take ourselves too seriously. So we really, we really do have a laugh on stage. We laugh at each other, with the audience, never at the audience that they're always in on the joke. If you know, if there is a joke so that really feels like they are part of what's going on onstage, and you know people make mistakes, not very often, but if we do, but we can kind of laugh them, laugh them off, and have a joke about it, and and and not take it too seriously, but taking the job on the show itself very seriously.

We speak to some of the audience sometimes on the way out after the show, and they just love the fact that we're up there enjoying ourselves and having a laugh with each other, and they feel included. They feel like part of it, which I think is very important.

Brett Cullum: I've heard it described as a party atmosphere, which is a little bit different because usually we go and we see this very serious, this very droll, this very committed artist, or whatever. And then you're fun! It is something unique for you guys cause usually, probably, people take themselves very seriously.

Scott Garnham: You know what? That is absolutely true. We said, Look, and I think Kieran hit the nail on the head. You gotta take the work seriously. People want us to go while those guys can sing, or the cork is tight, or you know, it's a really slick show, and we work hard to ensure that that's the case. But we do have fun as well, because, you know, it's it's we're a long time on tour.

Sometimes, we're in the car for about six hours every day going to the next venue, and when we get out on stage. It's a release, and I think if you're having a good time in my experience, the audience seems to have a good time as well, and sometimes we'll go to a venue like we've never been before, somewhere in the States. And you know, maybe it's half full because, you didn't know who we were, and you know we are building our names still, particularly in America. And then when we go back to that venue, it's packed! That's when we know we're doing a good job as if the word got round. And you know that people like what we do because they bring their friends or spouses. I do think we have shown that there's a little bit for everyone. We're not just going out there like you say, taking ourselves too seriously, talking about all the parts we've played. And this is a song that I did in 1963. It's a party! That's what we're trying to sell.

Kieran Brown: And again, it's ticking the boxes. We've got some of the very best music theater songs in there. We've got some of the greatest rock songs, some of the greatest pop songs ever written, and good songs!  

Brett Cullum: Thank you, guys, for being here. I am absolutely just dying to see this. June 6th and 7th at the Hobby Center. It's a little bit of an earlier show, I think. The Thursday night show starts at 7. The Friday night show starts at 7:30! I love Beyond Broadway shows because they're intimate. You're in the smaller hall. You're in a hall called Zilka Hall, where the audience is just right there. So I think seeing you guys will be an electric event. So I'm definitely all hyped for it. I will be there and cheering you on for sure.

Kieran Brown: We better see you up dancing then, especially at the Mama Mia section.

Brett Cullum: I am a horrible dancer, let me tell you.

Kieran Brown: So am I, don't worry about it.


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