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John Robb

John Robb

Former frontman with the great Membranes, Robb has interviewed everyone from Primal Scream to Nirvana for publications such as SOUNDS. He is the author of THE NINETIES: WHAT THE F**K WAS ALL THAT ABOUT?!, acclaimed biographies on the Charlatans and the Stone Roses, and the new THE NORTH WILL RISE AGAIN... AN ORAL HISTORY OF MANCHESTER MUSIC (Aurum Press).

 

List of articles in the library by artist

808 State: Electro Therapy

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, March 1991

808 STATE are one of the few genuine 'pop groups' of the underground scene. Not for them a bunch of hairy '60s riffs or ideologies, ...

808 State, Björk, N-Joi: 808 State, N-Joi: G-Mex, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, March 1991

THE RETURN to G-Mex, the core combat zone of the Manchester thing, could have been disturbing. Like, is there a thing going on anymore? The ...

808 State, Happy Mondays: Step Right On Up: Happy Mondays/808 State: G-Mex, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, March 1990

With rave rock shifting into top gear, 8000 watch its spiritual fathers Happy Mondays go mad in Manchester G-Mex. John Robb witnesses one of the ...

Adam & The Ants: Adam Ant: Seawick Park, Clacton-on-Sea

Live Review by John Robb, Rock's Backpages, October 2011

THERE HAVE BEEN a lot of comebacks recently, some great, some not so. They've ranged from the "oh not them again" to the more exciting ...

Ed Ball

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, February 1990

Are The Times just one man and a good scam or is Ed Ball really the "Salman Rushdie of Manchester"? John Robb tries to find ...

Blink 182 have arrived! Watch out Britain!

Interview by John Robb, Kerrang!, 2000

Blink 182 are taking no prisoners. We compare tattoos with America's finest ...

Bodines,The, The Fall, Happy Mondays: The Fall/The Bodines/Happy Mondays: International, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, May 1987

STRANGE HOW, these days, any gathering of vaguely well known groups always makes you think of charity and polished consciences. But tonight seemed to be ...

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, February 1990

CARTER (THE Unstoppable Sex Machine) are a belch from the past – recalling a time when bands laced their songs with ‘realism’. ...

Nick Cave, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Nick Cave: The Return of the Prodigal Son

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, April 1990

Throughout the turmoil of the ‘80s, Nick Cave was on some sort of slow development course. From the pithy pop blunders of Boys Next Door ...

Charlatans, The (UK): The Charlatans

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, 1990

NOTE: This was the band’s first interview in the national music press. ...

Charlatans, The (UK): The Charlatans: Now for the Big Time

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, November 1990

Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and the Inspirals have all been tipped to break the States, but THE CHARLATANS may have the best chance of all. ...

The Chemical Brothers: Chemistry Set: the Chemical Brothers

Interview by John Robb, Loaded, 1995

WHEN THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS come to town, DJ'ing takes on a whole new dimension. The duo play the decks like two fucked-up guitar gods. Lanky ...

Cornershop: Popkomm, Cologne

Live Review by John Robb, Bizarre, 1997

AFTER BEING ALL at sea, playing a shambolic punk rock lo fi rush that never seemed to suit them (and I should know I fell ...

The Darkness Descends

Report and Interview by John Robb, playlouder.com, August 2002

THIS IS A STORY of nudity, skintight cat suits, East Anglian folk tales, a mad dog with bloodshot eyes, well-clipped moustaches, crazed frontmen and hard ...

Dead Kennedys: Catching Up With Jello Biafra

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, June 1990

HARDCORE, FAST-shit guitar or cranked-up pub rock has glued some fairly diverse personalities onto the cranium over the years, from the cretinous dullard through to ...

Deee-Lite: World Clique (Elektra) ****

Review by John Robb, Sounds, September 1990

OUTRAGEOUS, COLOURFUL, Deee-Lite's tacky funky mush is a breathtaking pysche trip at the tail end of a summer that's been disappointing in terms of excess ...

Doughboys: Rising To The Task

Interview by John Robb, Siren, March 1992

PLAYING A melodic hardcore spiel that has typically been compared to Husker Du, Canada's Doughboys have been working the world circuit, almost 1500 gigs into ...

The Fall: Mark E. Smith Extricates Himself

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, February 1990

WHILE THE WORLD WENT MAD FOR MANCHESTER THE FALLKEPT QUIET. NOW THEY’VE RETURNED TO FORM WITH EXTRICATE AND MARK E SMITH’S BACK VENTING HIS SPLEEN ...

Frank Sidebottom: Contact Theatre, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, January 1988

PAUL MCCARTNEY, the famous ex-Beatle and big mate of top bubble head comedian Frank Sidebottom, once said, "The only thing that I ever got from ...

Gumball, Teenage Fanclub: Teenage Fan Club, Gumball: International One, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, November 1990

YOUR DRUMMER looks like some kinda freaked golf player, your bass player looks like an American touring circuit pro, your encore sees half the Fannies ...

The Horrors: The Roundhouse, London

Live Review by John Robb, Rock's Backpages, October 2011

ONLY THOSE WITH tin ears have been "surprised" by The Horrorssonic muscle. On account of their youth and subscription to textbook Goth aesthetics, they were ...

Huggy Bear: Erotic Bleeding: Huggy Bear: Weaponry Listens To Love (Wiiija/Famous Monsters Of Filmland)

Review by John Robb, Melody Maker, December 1994

Forget the Riot Grrrl politics — if you must. Huggy Bear are/were a brilliantly confrontational punk rock band, much-maligned and misunderstood. Much like JOHN ROBB, ...

Inspiral Carpets, Spacemen 3: Spacemen 3/Inspiral Carpets: Asylum, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, September 1987

WOWEEE, TRIPPY BABY — the far-out scene jumped into the time machine, shed all its colour and mind-exploding drugs, and leapt into the 1980s. ...

The Jesus & Mary Chain: The Importance Of Being Angry

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, September 1990

Five years ago The Jesus And Mary Chain were the best pop band in the world, but with little mainstream media attention they've been overtaken ...

The Jesus & Mary Chain: The Jesus and Mary Chain: Like A Virgin

Profile and Interview by John Robb, ZigZag, February 1985

GLASGOW 1984 AND punk is dead (At last, positive punk had become a coral reef of untold disaster, sinking outfits such as Silly Death Cult ...

Killing Joke: The Return of the Joke

Interview by John Robb, playlouder.com, July 2003

"HA HA HA." It's that laugh again. ...

Jon Langford, The Mekons, The Three Johns: The Three Jon Langfords

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, January 1989

With The Three Johns and The Mekons, Jon Langford has spent over ten years fighting against the never-ending Top Of The Pops party. John ...

Lush For Life

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, March 1990

After all the hype surrounding Lush, their new Mad Love EP was bound to come under scrutiny. But, says John Robb, its mixture of cunning ...

Lush: Dear Students (Won't You Come Out To Play?)

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, October 1990

Right now, a thousand acne strewn depressives are bustin' pimples to Lush's cool bedsit beat. But are they the ultimate student band or just the ...

The Quireboys, Yngwie Malmsteen: Yngwie Malmsteen, The Quireboys: Apollo Theatre, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, November 1988

DRENCHED IN wet dreams, the skeletal framed Quireboys are currently making molehills out of rock mountains. This is a tight pant boogie stuffed into way ...

Manic Street Preachers: Look Back In Bangor

Interview by John Robb, Siren, April 1992

THE BEAUTY of contradiction. Incendiary intellectuals tarted up on oxfam glam rags, sensitive made up boyos from the beer swilling valleys, the Manic Street Preachers ...

Massive Attack: Wild At Heart

Profile and Interview by John Robb, Sounds, April 1991

It's taken three years and a war, but MASSIVE have finally risen to the top of the charts. JOHN ROBB listens to their stunning debut ...

The Mekons

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, September 1989

"EUROPOX!" BELCHES the fat fool on the next table. ...

Ministry: Minister of Carnage: Alain Jourgensen

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, June 1990

PERHAPS THE core dude to all things Waxtrax is the mad fucker retro byker figure of Alain Jourgensen. Careering through Ministry's New Order-styled early ...

My Bloody Valentine

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, 1990

GETTING OUT of bed is a tough thang, especially for quilt lizard gang My Bloody Valentine. ...

My Bloody Valentine: This Is My Bloody Valentine

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, December 1988

From Dublin to London via Berlin, My Bloody Valentine have taken the scenic route to success. John Robb retraces their footsteps on the way to ...

Nirvana: Nirva Mind The Bollocks

Interview by John Robb, Siren, August 1992

JESUS H. CHRIST! This is turning into some sort of modern-day fable. Out there, an uncompromised riffola outfit from an arse end of the US, ...

Nirvana: White Heat

Profile and Interview by John Robb, Sounds, October 1989

Natural descendants of Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr, Nirvana are a high energy explosion resulting in a trail of smashed gear and beat anthems. John Robb ...

Northside: Chicken Skin Music: Northside

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, May 1991

A bunch of scallies with names like Dermo, Speg, Cliff, Weg, Woz and Giblet, NORTHSIDE are sitting targets for the brewing Manc backlash. ...

Oasis: Man City Slickers: Oasis: The Haçienda, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Vox, November 1994

Having stormed into the album chart at Number One, Oasis return to Manchester's Haçienda — giving their hometown its greatest night since the height of The ...

Pussy Galore: Six Ways To Skin A Cat

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, November 1988

Pussy Galore are back and the noise freaks are out in force to greet them. John Robb grills head Pussy Jon Spencer about their new ...

Queens Of The Stone Age: Queens of the Stone Age

Interview by John Robb, Bizarre, 2000

"Bizarre magazine. Man, we love that magazine... it’s all tits, shit and midgets, ha! ha! ha!" ...

Rapeman Unmasked!

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, September 1988

Steve Albini, the legendary guitar-abuser and manic singer of Big Black, returns with another fearsome noise – Rapeman. John Robb ventures into their Chicago dungeon ...

Revolting Cocks

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, June 1990

STOMP! STOMP! Stomp! The evil 120 bpm jackbeat clomps across the USA, armed to the rotten teeth with a badass beat, some serious studio talent ...

Slade: A Natter with Noddy Holder

Interview by John Robb, City Life, June 2002

I'M STILL FEELING the noise. Slade are so much part of British culture. They were the quintessential hard rocking band with a neat line in ...

Sonic Youth: Dirt Tracks

Interview by John Robb, Siren, August 1992

JUMPING ON their own bandwagon, Sonic Youth are the old Nirvana, baton carriers of the underground spirit through the late '80s and early '90s, paving ...

Sonic Youth: Young At Art

Interview by John Robb, Melody Maker, August 1991

As they prepare for their appearance at this weekend's Reading Festival, Veteran art rock terrorists talk to Johnny Robb ...

Spacemen 3, Spiritualized: Spacemen 3: Rock'n'Roll Suicide

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, February 1991

The story of SPACEMEN 3 is a cool, rock'n'roll tale of drugs, revolution and eventual destruction. JOHN ROBB meets up with Sonic and Jason on ...

The Specials: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Rock's Backpages, October 2011

THE SPECIALS, of course, not only sound great, they look great. They hit the stage in matching suits. Razor stitched threads that are cut from ...

Spiritualized: Spaced Out

Interview by John Robb, Siren, February 1992

IN A BATTERED armchair collapses a laid back, skin and bone R'n'R trouper with an exquisite record collection and perfect cheekbones. Jason Pierce, ex Spaceman ...

The Stone Roses: Island of Lost Soul: The Stone Roses at Spike Island

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, 1990

Sun, sea water and cement factories. Not your idea of Ibiza perhaps, but according to our resident mad Manc John Robb, this is the start ...

The Stone Roses – At Last!

Retrospective and Interview by John Robb, RAW, December 1995

For a band who have avoided the limelight for most of the decade The Stone Roses are still very big news. This month they tour ...

The Stone Roses: International, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Sounds, July 1987

KING ROCK is still flailing his sweaty head around the world. And Stone Roses are four hip dudes close to his heart, guitars slung low, ...

The Stone Roses: Trunk Call — Romancing The Stone

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, January 1988

Are THE STONE ROSES the likeliest lads in Manchester to step into the huge void left by the implosion of The Smiths? JOHN ROBB reports ...

Tackhead: Tackattack!

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, October 1989

Crazed noise guerillas Tackhead are going for mainstream success with their new LP, Friendly As A Hand Grenade. John Robb grabs at the pieces of ...

Tad: White Noise

Profile and Interview by John Robb, Sounds, October 1989

Watch out! A mean American storm is heading your way in the shape of the shit-stained rock beast, Tad. And teaming up with Nirvana for ...

Teenage Fanclub

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, August 1990

"FUCK, AYE!" The leering Gaelic battle cry is spat out for the twentieth time in a hour by the whippet thin Teenage FC drummer. ...

Television Personalities: The Television Personalities

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, 1989

As the Berlin Wall tumbled under the weight of New Year celebrations, The TV Personalities were treating the revelers to a three-hour set. John Robb ...

That Petrol Emotion: Inflammable Material: That Petrol Emotion

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, October 1988

SHAGGED OUT after a frenzied bout of road fever, That Petrol Emotion have collapsed into the back of their minibus. ...

The Verve: live at Manchester Roadhouse

Live Review by John Robb, Melody Maker, June 1995

YEAH, we know that Richard Ashcroft can talk a good campaign and that The Verve are the nearly men of the great northern rock thing, ...

The Verve: The Road To Wigan Fear

Profile and Interview by John Robb, Siren, May 1992

BOUNCING ONSTAGE in slow mo'...loose limbed lanky frame in shabby oxfam chic....v-necked black 'T'...shaggy barnet and flapping lips...the man is pure Jagger, Richard Ashcroft...the front ...

List of genre pieces

The Haçienda: Club It To Death

Report by John Robb, Siren, May 1992

BRICKS AND mortar. For a building the Haçienda has become one hell of an icon for youth culture, a myth perpetrated by Manchester and Factory ...

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