Barb Jungr Brings Pizza Express Live To Birmingham
Considered to be the finest cabaret singer in recent times, Barb Jungr is renowned for her unique vocal style, interpretation of song and radical approach to arrangements.
Across her 40-year, award-winning career, she has been celebrated for combining immaculate vocal technique, impassioned performance, piercing insight and beautifully unexpected musical arrangements to reinterpret European and American popular songs for which The New York Times described as ”revelatory”.
As a live performer, Barb is funny, and hilarious. Originally emerging from the alternative cabaret scene of the 1970s and ‘80s, and cutting her teeth alongside the likes of Julian Clary, Alexei Sayle and Arnold Brown, Barb’s ability to deliver engaging shows, maximising the environment in and out of the performance space, is second to none.
We caught up with her as she brings all that jazz to the city at Pizza Express Live on the 30th March.
So why Pizza Express and why Birmingham?
I haven’t played in Birmingham for so long I can’t remember when I was last there so this is really exciting for me. It’s a major music city and a jazz city and I am keen to come and sing with these fabulous musicians. It’s great that Pizza Express Live is really moving outwards from London – brilliant actually.
How are audiences different?
Well, they are and they aren’t – over the world I’ve found people generally respond to stories and beauty, and that’s a given in most music.
For ‘Shelter From The Storm’, your twentieth album, you’ve tapped into New York’s dynamic jazz scene. Will we hear some of that at the Live show? What is your process for selecting the repertoire for performing and your forthcoming album?
Well the next album which I am working on now, and is for release in early autumn, is the result of making long lists and listening to songs and waiting for songs to come knock on my door. Then it’s a hard slog arranging them. And I’ve been writing because there are some of my own new songs on there, And that’s exhilarating in a different way, And we go about arranging those as though they were written by somebody else so that we keep the flavour the same across the whole album.
What do you feel you’re bringing to the type of music you perform/record?
Well for myself I bring the joy in the songs I choose. And we work hard on the arrangements so that hopefully even songs people know they hear again, differently.
What you’d tell a young Barb Jungr who’s starting out about the business you’re in?
I don’t think I would tell her anything, except perhaps don’t get married! Love and go free, I’d probably say. No seriously, I’d say don’t be despondent. Time is a great tree. Climb it slowly.