The Membranes have announced details of their biggest London show to date. The reformed post-punk legends are set to play the Islington Town Hall on 5 October.
The Membranes will be augmented by a 20-piece choir. An impressive supporting line-up features ex-Crass frontman Steve Ignorant, John Peel faves The Cravats and noisy indie-poppers The Wolfhounds.
Fronted by the irrepressible figure of John Robb, the highly influential Membranes reformed in 2009 at the request of My Bloody Valentine, who were the curating that year’s edition of the now defunct All Tomorrow’s Parties. Which is pretty apt, really, when you stop to consider how much of an impact they had on Kevin Shields’ sonic warriors.
Their brand of sonic terrorism also left its mark on the likes of Jesus And Mary Chain, Steve Albini, Sonic Youth and just about any other band that can sculpt beauty from a morass of sonic onslaughts and punishing volume. The Membranes were also the first band to be signed to Alan McGee’s Creation Records, though the deal fell through when the label failed to pick up the studio tab for the now revered single, ‘Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder’.
Following their reunion, The Membranes achieved what so few bands can – a comeback album in the shape of Dark Matter/Dark Energy that no only matched but also surpassed what had gone on before.
Subsequent gigs have seen them support punk veterans The Stranglers and Killing Joke as well as playing tours in Estonia, Portugal and the UK with the 30-piece BIMM choir. They’ve also graced festivals such as Glastonbury, Green Man and Bearded Theory.
On top of that, The Membranes have completed a new, as yet untitled new album, which sees the light of day in January.
So what to expect?
“It’s about the beauty and violence of nature,” Robb tells Gigwise. “It’s a very diverse work with dark, brooding choir-driven songs that have been described as sounding like Hieronymus Bosch paintings to discordant wild songs about crows, demon flowers, strange perfumes, voluptuous petals, voluminous oceans and treacherous seasons.”
We'll find out more soon enough.
Ticketing details are available on The Membranes' Facebook event page.