Live Review: Membranes in Manchester: O2 Ritz May 5, 2018

In a travesty of  fluorescent and audacious soundscape, effervescently tainted by flashing outbursts of frenzied and vibrant polychromatic textures and insights, the Membranes ended a salacious, Punk inflated festival with Visionary front man John Robb sending the rotation of the planet off its axis. As the earth spiraled out of control, the Membranes reinvented attitude, backed by a 20 piece choir adding depth and spirit to the already punk majesty. 

The packed venue welcomed a host of others playing support for the Membranes, as I walked into the nearly sold out show  in time to catch The Cravats, an ingenious band with a melodic intent and a flair for the unusual. The congregation at the venue including the editor of Louder Than War, Nigel Carr and several of my fellow writers, David Harris, Daniel Marks, and Wayne Carey, all agreed the band was titanically  over the top. Followed by Evil Blizzard, a devilish array of madness , contoured by costume and sonic overtness, and The Lovely Eggs, the essence of female punk at its best, took off right before  the Membranes encapsulated the crowd with their Dark Energy and their Dark Matter... bubbling with their Super Nova, and songs from their current release. 

I've had the extreme privilege of witnessing the ravishing ecstasy of the Membranes gig in New York, but inviting a chorus was a stroke of prophetic genius. The young choir opened up the hard core punk group to a new innocent phenomena in glamour and a revolution of a newfound essence was manipulated for me, like the invention of pink tinted sunglasses.

Aside from the beautifully executed fashion in which John Robb influences the powers of darkness, turning them into the quintessence of light, he is also one of the most powerful influences in all of England and globally as well. He is the creator of one of the most influential music and pop-culture magazines in the world, "Louder Than War", (#41 worldwide), the author of several books including: Stone Roses and the  Resurrection of British Pop,  Punk Rock: An Oral History, and his new book soon to come out, "The Art of Darkness".  He is an actor, a television personality, an explosive journalist, and has interviewed every punk artist on the planet. 

A quote from singer/songwriter and recording artist Sam Stevens, who was present at the gig: "he's special...very special and continuing an important music tradition that's vital to Brits and the wider world....he's a force of nature that the music world is all the better for".  

Some other audience reactions: "John Robb didn't stand still for a minute"..   "explosive performance"...... "A historic festival"...  "so much energy, unbelievable".....furthermore the OMG's were contagiously thrown around the entire evening....


Twitter @membranes1

Twitter @JohnRobb77

Written by Eileen Shapiro

I work with Jimmy Star and am a NY Times best selling author and rock star journalist....currently write for Get Out Mag, PureM, Classic Pop, Huffington Post, and several others....I write pop culture interviews with well established talent and up and coming great talent...look forward to working with you....



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