The Membranes were a post-punk band formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in 1977. Fired up by punk rock, 16 year old John Robb has an idea for a band and tries to find like minded people. The idea was to make music that you heard in your head and not in a conventional sense. Robb had already tried to make music with tape recorders, recording drum breaks from AC/DC albums and playing riffs with rubber bands over cigar boxes on a second tape recorder. After a flexi-disc debut, in 1980, they released the debut single “Muscles” in 1982, which was raved over by both the music press and John Peel.
The Membranes were to be the first band to sign to Creation Records (the label that Alan McGee set up) and the label’s first release would have been “Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder”, but Alan McGee had no money for the studio time. Various releases followed on Criminal Damage Records and other labels. In 1985, The Membranes appeared on The Tube and released the “Death To Trad Rock” EP which hit the UK Indie charts. The Membranes went on to do an album with Creation Records but the band left/were sacked from the label after an argument over a gig booking. In 1988, the “Kiss Ass Godhead!” album was released and was far better for the constant touring and tougher sound. It was also one of the first records that Steve Albini recorded. After taking a break in 1990,The Membranes have returned. They regrouped after My Bloody Valentine asked them to play ATP in 2009. The current situation is on going.
In June 2015, the band released an acclaimed album called “Dark Matter/Dark Energy” on Cherry Red records in Europe and Metropolis Records in the USA and South America. The album made many of the year end best album lists for 2015. This double album was built around the “The Universe Explained” concert 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. There is also a dark cartoon being made about the Membranes as a feature film about the universe.
The Membranes played a unique concert in Estonia with a 30 piece choir in Sept 2015 and have been touring the world in 2015/16. They also supported The Stranglers on their UK tour in 2015. In Feb 2016, the band released a joint single with the Sireen choir from Estonia called “The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light” which was recorded at their second session for Marc Riley on his 6music show. In 2016, they will be releasing a remix of the whole of their acclaimed Dark Matter/Dark Energy album with mixes from Einsturzende Neubauten, Bad Seeds, Therapy?, Killing Joke, Phillip Boa, Reverend And The Makers, Keith Levene, The Pop Group, Godflesh, Clint Mansell, Cosey Fanni Tutti and many others.