John Robb

Manchester

Friday 24th May 2019

Name, where are you from?
John Robb from Membranes.

Describe your style in three words?
dark-matter post punk.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Joy Division in Blackpool 1979 - it was one of those nights when you and a very small group of people got to see the future...

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Sex Pistols 1976 first TV appearance on So It Goes with Jordan with the whips and attitude. IDLES for redefining and taking the whole thing further forwards.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
Punk because it empowered us and said we could make music without anyone’s permission.

Post-punk because we were that generation who misinterpreted punk and created music on their own terms and rules.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Hieronymus Bosch because his dark and wild paintings are often mentioned in descriptions of our music!

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
Blackpool Empress Ballroom...last of the old school grand venues with an amazing musical history from the Rolling Stones 1964 riot to the Stone Roses' classic gig to the Prodigy, White Stripes and many more...northern grandeur in my hometown!

Your greatest hero or heroine in music?
I was always more interested in the non-heroes...all great art is made by the outsiders and the vulnerable who just say no! Siouxsie for being iconic and fearless and my current favourites Glove for creating their own musical world and defying convention...


John Robb is respected as both a musician, fronting Membranes and Goldblade, and as a music writer and expert on the counterculture of Manchester.

Inspired by Buzzcocks Spiral Scratch EP, Membranes formed in Blackpool in 1977. Membranes' new album (out 7th June 2019), 'What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away' is a double album, using the band’s own 20-piece choir to juxtapose their trademark post-punk power across sixteen songs about the beauty and violence of nature. The album features guest appearances from the likes of Chris Packham, Shirley Collins, and Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny, Theatre of Hate).

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