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Damien Barber took the bold decision to become a professional folk musician at the end of the 1980s. He had strong folk credentials: raised in rural Norfolk and a regular (since the age of 5) at a folk club where Walter Pardon was resident, his other influences includ Harry Cox, Sam Larner, Tony Hall and Peter Bellamy and his live performances and albums clearly marked him out as a committed traditionalist.
It came as something of a surprise, therefore, when he put forward the idea of forming an electric folk group at the end of the 90s. They took their name from Peter Bellamy’s affectionate nickname for Damien and became The Demon Barbers. Peter, another avowed traditionalist, had always had severe doubts about folk-rock, but in this case, he would have found no conflict: what the Demon Barbers played (and continue to play) was electric folk, part of a process of embracing relevant and appropriate new developments, in much the same way as folk music had over the years accepted and subsumed the concertina and the Spanish guitar.