The Membranes (UK punk band)

~ Group


UK punk/alt band from Blackpool

Annotation last modified on 2006-04-07 15:47 UTC.


The Membranes are a post-punk band formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in 1977, 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. Their first single proper, "Muscles", was a single of the week in the UK music press and a big club hit in New York being played in the Danceteria by the likes of the Beastie Boys eventual DJ Mojo and other cutting edge New York DJs. Kelly left after "Muscles", to be replaced by Steve Farmery on guitar for the follow-up Pin Stripe Hype EP. The band pioneered the avant noise scene of Big Black and Sonic Youth for several years with their critically acclaimed "Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder" single and Death To Trad Rock EP and their debut Gift Of Life album. They were the first band to be signed to Alan McGee's Creation label but the deal fell though 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.

After The Membranes, Robb went on to form Sensurround and later Goldblade.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1983 Crack House The Membranes 1
1985 The Gift of Life The Membranes 4 1
1986 Giant The Membranes 1
1986 Songs of Love and Fury The Membranes 1
1988 Kiss Ass Godhead! The Membranes 3
To Slay the Rock-Pig The Membranes 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 Pulp Beating 1984 and All That The Membranes 1
1987 Back Catalogue: The Virgin Mary versus Peter Sellers The Membranes 5 1
1993 Wrong Place at the Wrong Time The Membranes 1
1997 The Best of The Membranes The Membranes 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1980 Fléxible Membrane The Membranes 1
1982 Muscles The Membranes 2
1984 Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder The Membranes 5 1
1986 Everything's Brilliant The Membranes 2
1987 Time-Warp 1991 (Long Live Trad Rock) The Membranes 1
1991 Big Decision (Slight Return) / Everybody's Goin' Triple Bad Acid Yeah! The Membranes / That Petrol Emotion 1
2009 Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder Sárandón / The Membranes 1
2012 If You Enter the Arena You’ve Got to Be Prepared to Deal With the Lions / B.O.O.T.S. / Everything’s Brilliant Membranes 1
2015 Do the Supernova Membranes 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1982 Pin Stripe Hype E.P. The Membranes 2
1985 Death to Trad Rock The Membranes 1

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