Pretty Babs seem to have appeared on the scene pretty damn suddenly – and bam, they have an album pretty much ready to drop.
It’s true that they appeared made up of people that I was already very familiar with – Sam Jones on guitar and lead vocals has appeared on these pages loads, and Liam Bainbridge of course played bass in his self-named band (and I’m sure featured with Brad Dear at some point pre-blog days) – and on drums there’s Brad Drury, of course formerly of Ferocious Dog and occasional Star Botherer. So familiar faces in a slightly less familiar setting.
The thing that struck me when I first saw Pretty Babs live was that Sam’s powerful voice has been absolutely crying out for a heavier backing track than he formerly had – either just with his acoustic guitar or band. So taking a step back from the folkier bluesier sound and getting down and dirty with some more grungy rock has been a revelation – so obvious, but it’s easy to say that with hindsight. They’ve clicked though, and landed on a sound that is both engaging and, dare I say, has the potential to be commercially successful too (like I know anything about that, ha!).
So, Graffiti Lights is their debut album – complete with artwork by The Famous Artist Birdy Rose, and I’ve been getting to grips with it for longer than I ought to have before getting this written down. I was going to drop Sam a message and ask why on earth they plumped for Pretty Babs as a name, but decided against it – I really have absolutely no idea! It’s certainly catchy though – it always makes me smile as the canteen ladies at my office in Solihull always call me ‘Bab’ when they hand me a tea or coffee – I think that the Solihull canteen ladies would probably surmise that Sam, Liam and Brad are indeed pretty babs. So maybe that’s it.