STAGES: The Cabana ..National Radio

James Bar Bowen

James Bar Bowen
/ Nov

James Bar Bowen


Acoustic folk-punk singer songwriter

Original songs to make you laugh, cry and rage

I am an acoustic folk-punk singer-songwriter, guitarist and story-teller. I have performed my songs all over the world (as far away as New Zealand, as near to home as my living room in the North of England). I play mostly my own self-penned songs, and also run songwriting and performance workshops. As a political songwriter, I engage with many big political issues (migration, racism, climate change, gentrification, economic injustice) as well as more personal and individual perspectives on life, love and language. I perform with passion, humour, fury and a wry smile, always seeking to engage audiences old and new.



In recent times (2016-2017), I have played hundreds of squats, radical bars, pubs and clubs as well as squatted trailer parks and anti-fascist benefit and anarchofolk gigs and festivals across England, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and the Balkans. In June 2014 I toured the USA (Maryland, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California) with Ryan Harvey (though this was cut short by a car accident in Eastern California), and March/April 2016, I gigged in New York City, Delaware, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, USA (along with Johnny Campbell and numerous other great musicians).  Mostly based and performing in Western Europe, I am always on the lookout for interesting and unusual gig opportunities.

I run songwriting and performance workshops, believing wholeheartedly in a DIY ethic coupled with a strong professional attitude as a way to develop a new, independent and original music beyond the confines of the throwaway pop cultures so prevalent in the mainstream.

I have a number of DIY-recorded albums, most recently a split 8-track EP (2017, with Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Jacopo de Nicola), “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” (2012), “Heresy and Hearsay” (2011), and EPs “Brass Tracks” (2012), “A Normal Day” (2010) (as well as radical teatowels and other fairly traded, non-plastic ‘merch’). I am currently in the process of recording a new album of songs old and new with a whole range of great musicians, which should be finished by the end of the summer 2018.

I have performed with many luminaries of the radical folk, DIY and punk scenes and I am always looking for new and interesting places to play for new and interesting audiences.

“His songs and performance are original, relevant, sarcastic, political, optimistic, poetic, multilingual and sometimes even beautiful”

“Winner of the Raise Your Banners Festival of Political Song songwriting competition in 2009 (with Never Never Land), Bar continues to write from a variety of perspectives, some narrative, some lyrical, some deadly serious and political and some light-hearted.”

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