Meet the MMA fighter who's on his way to becoming a blues-rock star

As a former MMA cage fighter, Kris Barras will undoubtedly save a fortune on security on this tour.

By Mick Burgess
Monday, 11 February, 2019, 14:21
Former MMA fighter Kris Barras is enjoyed a second career as a blues guitarist. All pics: Mick Burgess.

Anyone daft enough to bustle their way onto his stage will soon find themselves on the receiving end of a Kimura armlock - or worse.

How a fighter became a touring blues musician makes for a fascinating story, but one that could have come to an abrupt end at any time, with one wrong move causing lifelong damage to his fingers - vital for any guitarist.

Kris Barras and his band on stage at The Cluny in Newcastle.

Fortunately for Devon-born Barras he came through his earlier career relatively unscathed, and he cut an imposing figure on stage at The Cluny in nNewcastle on Friday night.

Such was the demand for tickets, that the show had to be upgraded from Cluny 2 to the bigger room, which is always something that an artist likes to hear.

Rock 'n' Roll Runnin’ Thru My Veins and Kick Me Down do just what they say on the tin - they rock hard with a strong bluesy vein running right down the middle.

His cover of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll was an absolute barnstormer driven by Josiah J Manning`s furious honky tonk piano.

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Former MMA fighter Kris Barras is building a reputation as one of the UK's best blues-rock guitarists.

The beautiful, laid back Propane featured a chorus that would surely be all over FM radio in The States and Hail Mary showed Barras knows how to pen a top tune or two.

Barras is no novelty act, a sportsman wandering into the music world for a bit of fun, to live out their rock star dreams.

He is the real deal. Not only does he possess the required gruff powerhouse blues voice, but his guitar smokes with intensity, whether on the dirty, gritty blues riffs, the sleazy slide work or the screaming solos, Barras has it covered.

Such is his rising reputation, Barras is also a member of the Supersonic Blues Machine alongside ZZ Top`s Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather of Toto and Warren Haynes, guitarist in the Allman Brothers Band. If that`s not a glowing endorsement of his talents then nothing is.

Expect to see Barras in a much, much bigger venue very soon.