From her early days working in amongst the London comedy scene of the early 80’s alongside the likes of Paul Merton, Jo Brand and Julian Clary, to her position now as one of the greatest living interpreters of song, Barb Jungr has devoted her life to entertainment. Her new album, Bob, Brel and Me, a piece of work she considers the best she’s ever recorded may also be her last with Barb declaring “I may not make another”.
Comprising songs from Bob Dylan, to whose work she has been drawn throughout her career; Jacques Brel, with brand new translations by Robb Johnson revealing some lyrics that will have you ushering grandma from the room, and her own compositions, written in collaboration with Mike Lindup, Jonathan Cooper and Jamie Safir. The track No-one Could Ever Wear your Shoes, has particular poignancy, an older track co-written with her much-missed musical partner, Michael Parker.
Mentioned in the same breath as Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, Barb Jungr’s ability to make others’ songs her own has brought her rave reviews around the world. Bob, Brel and Me continues to bring new life and meaning to tracks already considered classics: Bob Dylan’s This Wheels on Fire is given a sinister, brooding make-over, whilst Buckets of Rain becomes a towering prayer to love; Brel’s Jacky is given a venomous sense of humour (and the odd naughty word!) whilst his The Cathedral becomes one of Barb’s most heart-wrenching performances; her own tracks include the introspective Incurable Romantic and Rise and Shine, whose lyrics “Rise and Shine/the morning after wine”, offer a glimpse at Barb’s irresistible sense of mischief.
Appropriately, given she was the first female recipient of the Perrier award in 1987, Barb Jungr returns to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe to perform a solo show based on the tracks from her new album. As one of the festival’s biggest supporters and one of the most highly anticipated performers at this year’s festival, tickets are sure to fly out.