JOHN ROBB of MEMBRANES – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE” 
with JOHN ROBB of MEMBRANES

membranes photo by harry staffford

Membranes photo. John Robb right of frame. Courtesy of Harry Stafford.

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

Author of the UK post punk almanac “Death To Trad Rock” which chronicles the music & fanzine scene from 1982 – 1987, and the equivalent to Michael Azzerad’s seminal “This Band Could Be Your Life”, John Robb was best placed to write about the scene at which he was at the heart with his band Membranes.

The bands around which the book pivots have all had storming 2015’s so far, some 30 years after those politically charged Thatcherite days, when we find ourselves in much the same mire and crying out for some acerbic comment and meaningful music.

These include The Wolfhounds, resurgent and going strong; Yeah Yeah Noh who have released a brilliant album “Automatically Saturday” on post punk stalwart label Cherry Red and The Nightingales who for my money have released the album of the year to date with “Mind Over Matter” on John Robb’s own label Louder Than War.

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Fittingly, it is that it could all be surpassed by the return of Robb’s own original Blackpool punk muckers (The) Membranes, whose new album “Dark Matter / Dark Energy”, their first in 26 years, is out next Monday 22nd June but which has already been picking up rave reviews.

Our guest today, choosing their “song for ewe” is the inimitable JOHN ROBB!

membranes album

I met John in 1997 circa his second cult band GoldBlade. After Toby Amies had left MTV Alternative Nation to head to the States I had recommended that John be his replacement. He seemed best placed, an outspoken bon viveur with a hotline to the best bands, and with his respendent bog brush hair and brothel creepers he was definitely a striking figure, his scary exterior like someone in the front row at a Cramps gig but his loveable warmth like the lux interior of a sofa. MTV passed on Robb to my great lament, Alternative Nation went video only to save costs and then disappeared forever, but I had been left with the memory of a man I much admired, a true musical maverick.

Since then and unsurprisingly given his sharp tongued turn of phrase he’s been the editor of a brilliant and award winning music site Louder Than War, written an ace book on The Stone Roses and after various guises of GoldBlade, it’s with bated breath I (and many others) await the return of Membranes.

I was thrilled when he agreed to share his “song for ewe”, one which reflects his musical eclecticism and catholic taste!

It’s over to John:

“When i was in Uganda 4 years ago I met Albert SSempeke and we got on like a house on ire! he found me a bass and we jammed all night and ended up playing a festival to 5000 people together – magical!”

MEMBRANES ALBUM “DARK MATTER/DARK ENERGY” IS OUT 22 JUNE

https://www.facebook.com/theMembranes

JOHN ROBB’S EXCELLENT MUSIC MAGAZINE SITE, LOUDER THAN WAR is here…

http://louderthanwar.com/

Author: Nick Hutchings

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