An award-winning Salford-born performance poet has sold out his show in the city in just three weeks.

The eagerly-anticipated night of comedy and poetry with JB Barrington takes place at Salford Arts Theatre on Saturday 16 May.

There was no need for promoters, agents or ads simply the presence of JB Barrington sold the show.

But who exactly is JB Barrington?

Barrington grew up in Little Hulton, Salford, his dad was a painter and his mum worked at a bingo hall.

He joked: “You could say I came from an artistic and numerical background, no Turner prizes or fields medals though, more gloss-stained overalls and fluorescent dabbers.”

His self-published poetry has taken him on tour with the likes of Reverend and The Makers, Sleaford Mods and Shed Seven.

He was hugely influenced by the lyrics of Paul Weller on Setting Sons, an album his brother bought him for Christmas in 1979.

He added: “I’d be eight years old then and I can remember playing it Christmas Day on my battery-operated Corgi Frisco Disco record player…

“Hearing Little Boys Soldiers and reading the lyric sheet in the LP and the lines, ‘they send you home in a pine overcoat with a letter to your mum, saying find enclosed one son one medal and a note to say he won’.

“Those lines just moved me like nothing before so you could say that was my introduction to the written word, reading lyrics and those lyrics resonated and made me think ‘I want to be able to do that’.”

Barrington has also written commissions for the BBC, Kendal Calling and Salford Arts Theatre.

Suggs from Madness was so impressed by Barrington’s book ‘Woodchip Anaglypta and Nicotined Artex Ceilings’ he took a copy on stage with him at Kendal Calling 2016 and during the headline show he read one of his poems.

As well as performing with both Johnny Vegas and Ricky Tomlinson, he also hosted his own Salford City Radio show and proposed to his fiancé during his own show at Festival No.6.

Barrington described these times as the of the best moments of his career.

He said: “I truly feel honoured by them all.”

Barrington writes to perform, he said: “I write to a rhythm and I write lines that are phonetic, so they work off the tongue, if that makes sense. I tend to start with a line that either moves me or makes me chuckle and work around that.

Sunglasses is a great example because the idea came from a phone conversation, I was having with the brilliant Manchester poet Marvin Cheeseman.

“We were nattering, as you do, about someone we’d seen on social media with sunglasses on indoors and I have just said ‘take them sunglasses off the sun’s outside you tool’ which then, after the call, produced the line ‘you’re confusing **** with cool’, then the rest of the poem just fell out of me, literally within minutes.”

Many people have described his work as a roller-coaster of emotions, covering social issues, economics and loss.

But Barrington simply writes his own truth.


He said: “I think it’s more important to be who you are and in answer to the question I don’t think I necessarily represent anyone or at least not intentionally.

“My work has a strong working-class sentiment both within its themes and its humour but that’s only because of where I’m from and ultimately because of my own working-class upbringing and background.

“If I was middle class I wouldn’t be asked if it was important to represent the bourgeoisie.

“I write about what I know, it’s a fail-safe.”

His book will be out this year along with more shows, keep an eye out for JB Barrington on his Facebook and Twitter page.

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