Originally formed in Blackpool in 1977, all you really need to know about post-punk band The Membranes playing HOPE & GLORY this summer accompanied by a 25 piece choir is that you need to be there for them. Led by the irrepressible John Robb, an attack on your sense is guaranteed.
Notoriously, they would have been the first band to sign to Primal Scream and Oasis’ former label Creation Records but label boss Alan McGee had no money for the studio.
Critically acclaimed ‘Songs Of Love And Fury’ album was their breakthrough album in the USA and sharing a house in West Didsbury (in the garden of which Dinosaur Jr recorded their Freak Scene video), The Membranes created a scene. The resulting Kiss Ass Godhead album was far better for the constant touring. It was also one of the first records that Steve Albini recorded and the band spent time in his cellar in Chicago recording some of the tracks. The band were surprised to find that Albini had all their records.
2015 album Dark Matter/Dark Energy was built around one of their gigs where they got Higgs Boson scientists to explain the universe before the Membranes played a set to finish. The album was launched by a gig at the top of Blackpool Tower – the first time a band has played at the top of the famous building. The album was critically acclaimed with the website The Quietus calling it ‘one of the albums of the year’ and the NME calling it ‘an extraordinary comeback’
In Feb 2016 the band released a joint single with the Sireen choir from Estonia which was recorded at their second session for Marc Riley on his 6music show.
The band have also released a remix of the whole of their acclaimed Dark Matter/Dark Energy album with mixes from Manic Street Preachers, Bad Seeds, Therapy, Killing Joke, Reverend And The Makers, Keith Levene, and many more.
Be sure not to miss the band at HOPE & GLORY.