The Membranes formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in 1977, with the initial line-up being John Robb (bass guitar), Mark Tilton (guitar), Martyn Critchley (vocals) and Martin Kelly (drums). Critchley soon left, with Robb and Tilton taking on vocals, and Kelly moving to keyboards, with “Coofy Sid” (Coulthart) taking over on drums.
Their first release was the ‘Flexible Membrane’ flexi-disc in 1980, and over the next 11 years they would go on to release six studio albums.
They were the first band to be signed to Alan McGee’s Creation label but the deal fell through when McGee could not afford to pay their studio bill for the ‘Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder’ single. The band relocated to Manchester in 1983, and ‘Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder’ was issued on the Criminal Damage label, which met with a positive critical response but distribution problems limited its impact.
The band initially called it a day in 1990, but in 2009, founder member John Robb and Nick Brown (who had been in the band since 1982) recruited Peter Byrchmore and Rob Haynes and The Membranes were reborn after My Bloody Valentine asked them to play their ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ festival.
After a 26 year break they released their best received album – ‘Dark Matter/Dark Energy’ in 2015 which has great reviews across the world. The band has received lots of radio play of BBC 6Music and recorded 2 session for the Marc Riley show as wells played from Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, Tom Robinson on 6music, John Kennedy on XFM and Jim Gellatly on Amazing Radio and lots of radio play in Europe.
The Membranes entire early discography is now available in one box set, entitled ‘Everyone’s Going Triple Bad Acid. Yeah!: The Complete Recordings 1980-1993’. It includes their five albums recorded for various labels across the 1980’s (on Criminal Damage, Creation, Constrictor, In Tape, etc.) as well as all their singles, B-sides, EPs and extra tracks. It boasts a mere 99 tracks, most of which appear on CD for the first time, from their contribution to the ‘Blackpool Rox EP’ in 1980 right through to their final recordings for the band’s original incarnation in the early 1990’s.
More info on the band HERE.
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