BoP is a bit like jazz, but better

It’s simple, if you know how to do it

The band

Breathtaking skill, warm co-operation and witty anarchic banter. BoP invites its audience into a world of tenderness, virtuosity and human frailty.

The music

No drums. Just voice, saxophone and a pulsing engine room of double bass and guitar. BoP’s unique interpretations of evocative songs from Dylan to Dowland are spell-binding.

The name

We are all in paradise, if only we knew it. The burden is to accept it.

The back story

Snake and Dave met as little flute players in 1978, and have been best mates ever since. Most of their growing up continues to be done together, sharing highs, lows and occasionally girlfriends. Mark and Dave defined pop obscurity with their band Really, managed by World Music guru Andy Kershaw. All three still enjoy credit as Britain’s foremost Northern Soul band, Snake Davis And The Suspicions (once the Alligator Shoes). Snake and Helen explored the seamier side of European union in the 80s on a tour bus with Joe Cocker. In 2006 Dave put all four in a room together and told them what to do, although they’re still trying to work out what that was.

What exactly is the Burden Of Paradise’s secret? A stylish blend of precisely 47% blues, 35% folk and 18% jazz.

Photos by Gordon Cain