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|Members|| Tim Bowness |
|Past members||Ben Coleman|
Past live members
No-Man are an English art pop duo, formed in 1987 as No Man Is an Island (Except the Isle of Man) by singer Tim Bowness and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson. The band has so far produced seven studio albums and a number of singles/outtakes collections (most notably, 2006's career retrospective, All the Blue Changes). The band was once lauded as "conceivably the most important English group since The Smiths" by Melody Maker music newspaper,and a 2017 article of Drowned in Sound described them as "probably the most underrated band of the last 25 years".
Originally creating a sample-based proto-trip hop/ambient/electropop-styled music, No-Man has pursued a more organic, diverse and band-oriented sound in subsequent years. Drawing from a diverse mix of singer-songwriter, post rock, minimalist, progressive rock, jazz and contemporary ambient sources for inspiration, No-Man's musical style is distinctive yet difficult to categorise.
Steven Wilson originally launched the band in 1986 as a solo project called No Man Is An Island (Except The Isle of Man), recording an instrumental track called "From a Toyshop Window", which blended progressive rock with synth pop. In 1987, he linked up with singer, lyricist and occasional guitarist and keyboard player Tim Bowness, who at the time was singing with Liverpool-based art-pop band, Plenty (not to be confused with the more recent Japanese indie rock band, Plenty).
Bowness and Wilson continued working together on recording sessions for the next two years. Violinist Ben Coleman joined the project after becoming involved with recording sessions in late 1988. The band established a four-piece live line-up in 1989 by adding guitarist Stuart Blagden (who had previously played with Bowness in the Manchester-based band, Still).
No Man Is An Island released their debut single, a waltz time ballad called "The Girl From Missouri", on Plastic Head Records in mid-1989. The band was disappointed with the single and soon disowned it. Subsequent band evolutions saw flirtations with aggressive synth-pop (on the "Swagger" cassette EP) and the departure of Blagden (who would later become a jazz and Latin music player).
By 1990, No Man Is an Island had shortened their name to No-Man and become a voice/violin/guitar-and-tapes trio (with Wilson handling all other instruments and programming in the studio).
The first release under the No-Man name was the self-pressed June 1990 single release, "Colours" (a cover of the 1960s Donovan Leich song with crooned vocals and a dub-loop arrangement anticipating the later arrival of trip hop). The single achieved Melody Maker , Sounds and Channel 4 teletext "Singles of the Week" accolades and was re-released by Liverpool-based label Probe Plus in October, 1990.
The attention which "Colours" had received led to No-Man being signed by Dave Massey to a long-term music publishing songwriting agreement with independent Hit & Run Music Publishing. Massey soon secured a recording contract with the independent label One Little Indian. During this period, the band received highly positive UK music media support (including more Singles of the Week in Melody Maker, Sounds and Irish music paper, Hot Press ) and had 2 indie top 20 hits ("Days in the Trees" and "Ocean Song") plus a Billboard Top 40 dance hit (the US only single, "Taking It Like A Man", at No. 34).
No-Man’s debut mini-album (a compilation of EP tracks called Lovesighs - An Entertainment ) was released in April 1992, and in October of the same year the band toured England with a six-piece line-up including three ex-members of the band Japan – Mick Karn, Steve Jansen and (most significantly) keyboardist Richard Barbieri, who had been recruited by Massey. The band's first full-length album (the more pop-oriented Loveblows & Lovecries - A Confession ) followed in May 1993. By this time, the live band included bass player Silas Maitland and the (unrelated) drummer Chris Maitland. (The latter would join both Wilson and Richard Barbieri in the live lineup of Porcupine Tree).
In 1994 No-Man released their second album Flowermouth . Although the band parted company with violinist Ben Coleman during the sessions, he made a significant contribution towards most of the tracks on the record. No-Man also stopped performing live in 1994, and would not return to the stage until 2006.
Two albums released in 1995 closed the first phase of the band's career - a set of ambient dance reworkings of Flowermouth material called Flowermix and a compilation of the band's more ambient and atmospheric One Little Indian-era B-sides and rarities called Heaven Taste .
With each subsequent release the band moved further away from its more conventional pop and rock roots, mirroring the evolution of artists such as Talk Talk, David Sylvian, Radiohead, Scott Walker and Kate Bush. Since the mid-1990s, No-Man has released a steady stream of albums via Snapper Music and 3rd Stone/Adasam, featuring guests such as Fripp, Barbieri, Jansen, Theo Travis and Pat Mastellotto. The band has maintained a healthy cult following as well as continued critical acclaim.
1996's Wild Opera and its 1997 companion release Dry Cleaning Ray (both released on 3rd Stone Ltd.) explored a combination of darker dance sounds, experimental art-rock and deep trip hop, while maintaining No-Man's particular skill with ballads. An EP of all-new material, Carolina Skeletons, followed in 1998.
In 1999, the band released Speak , a compilation of mostly-unreleased early ambient songs recorded a decade previously but which Bowness and Wilson considered to be of equal merit to the music released on One Little Indian or 3rd Stone Ltd.
Speak's quieter and more atmospheric approach pointed the way towards No-Man's subsequent output. 2001's Returning Jesus (the last album to be released on 3rd Stone Ltd.) resurrected and expanded the eclectic ballad, jazz and progressive rock influences of Flowermouth and brought the band to a new and revived audience, some of whom had come in via the continued success of Wilson's other main project Porcupine Tree.
Signing a new deal with Snapper Music, the band went on to release Together We're Stranger in 2003 - a sombre, moving record with strong tone poem elements detailing (in abstract) the break-up of a relationship and responses to bereavement.
In 2006, No-Man made a rare live performance at the Norwich Garage (part of a Burning Shed label event).
The band released Schoolyard Ghosts on 12 May 2008, receiving some of the most favourable reviews of the band's career (the album was described as "truly sublime" by Classic rock magazine). Guest musicians included Pat Mastelotto, Theo Travis, Gavin Harrison, Colin Edwin, Bruce Kaphan (ex-American Music Club) and The London Session Orchestra (arranged by Dave Stewart).
On 27 May 2008, it was announced that No-Man's music will be featured in the film by award-winning student film-maker Dan Faltz, Weak Species.The film is based on the writings of Dennis Cooper and is currently being considered for expanded feature film treatment.
No-Man played its first full performance in fifteen years at London's Bush Hall on 29 August 2008,.This performance was followed by two more concerts in Zoetermeer (The Netherlands) and Düsseldorf (Germany) on 3 and 4 September respectively. The Zoetermeer concert was No-Man's first concert outside of the UK.
Mixtaped —a double DVD package including a film of the sell-out London performance, a documentary of the group's history and assorted promotional videos—was released in October 2009. 5 in the Classic Rock Presents Prog 2010 critic's poll.Early releases of the DVD ordered from Burning Shed included an audio CD recording of highlights from the Bush Hall show. The DVD was voted No.
On 22 December 2011, the band announced through their Facebook page that a new live recording, titled Love and Endings, recorded at the Leamington Spa Assembly in October 2011 would be released on 27 February 2012.It was followed by a 5-date tour, including first performance in Poland on 26 August 2012.
Wilson announced in late 2018 that he was working with Bowness on a new No-Man album, the band's first full length album of original material since 2008's Schoolyard Ghosts . Wilson described the album as "music that in many ways sees a return to our roots as a synth-pop band, albeit with the conceptual sweep of our more recent albums".In September 2019 the band announced their new album, Love You to Bits, which was released on 22 November 2019.
Guest studio contributors
Current live members
|"Taking It Like a Man"||US Billboard Dance/Club Play||34||1994|
|"Heaven Taste"||UK Vinyl Singles||5||2016|
|"Heaven Taste"||UK Top 100 Physical Singles||8||2016|
Richard Barbieri is an English musician, composer and sound designer. Originally a member of new wave band Japan, more recently he is known as the keyboard player in the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, which he joined in 1993.
Up the Downstair is the second studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, first released in June 1993. It was originally intended to be a double album set including the song "Voyage 34", which was instead released as a single in 1992, and other material that ended up on the Staircase Infinities EP (1994). It is the band's shortest studio album and the only one under 50 minutes in length. In 2005, it was partially re-recorded, fully re-mixed, remastered and re-released along with the Staircase Infinities EP as a double album. The re-release contains a new mix by Steven Wilson, along with recorded drums by Gavin Harrison that replace the electronic drums of the original version. Steven Wilson has stated that the title of the album came from a line in the song "Voyage 34." There is still a title track, however. Another re-release on double vinyl was pressed on 14 August 2008 on Kscope records. This is identical to the 2005 release, except it is printed on coloured vinyl and the Staircase Infinities disc contains the song "Phantoms".
Tim Bowness is an English singer and songwriter primarily known for his work as part of the band No-Man, a long-term project formed in 1987 with Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson.
Burning Shed is an independent record label established in April 2001 by musicians Tim Bowness and Pete Morgan.
Arriving Somewhere... is the first live performance DVD by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. Disc one is a full show from the Deadwing tour filmed by "Studio M" with nine High Def cameras at Park West, Chicago on 11 and 12 October 2005, edited by Lasse Hoile, with the soundtrack mixed in stereo and 5.1 surround sound by Steven Wilson, and mastered by Darcy Proper. Disc two includes live performances on the German television show Rockpalast, a promotional video for "Lazarus", the live films used as the backdrop for three songs, Gavin Harrison's "Cymbal Song", and a photo gallery with over 100 images. The soundtrack to the DVD is available in FLAC and MP3 formats from the band's download store since April 2007. This audio edition is in the top 10 of the "Top Albums of 2007" chart of Rate Your Music website. The DVD was re-released under Kscope record label on 21 April 2008 the same day of the regular release for the DVD-A edition of Lightbulb Sun. In March 2018, Blu-ray and 2CD set was released.
Theo Travis is a British saxophonist, flautist and composer. He is best known for being a member of Soft Machine which he joined in 2006 while the group was still using the "Legacy" suffix and for being a member of Gong from 1999 to 2010.
Flowermouth is the second studio album by British duo No-Man, released in 1994 on the One Little Indian Records label, and subsequently reissued on September, 1999 by 3rd. Stone Ltd, and in a deluxe format by Snapper Music in February 2005.
Together We're Stranger is No-Man's fifth studio album released by the Snapper Music label in 2003.
Returning Jesus is the fourth studio album by British art rock band No-Man, released on the 3rd Stone records in 27 March 2001.
Stephen (James) Bennett is an English musician, writer and film maker born in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. He plays various keyboards, drums and the guitar. He first came to public attention in the band LaHost in the 1980s as part of the New wave of progressive rock who had headlined at the Marquee Club in London.
Nosound is an English/Italian alternative rock band that started in 2002 by Giancarlo Erra. The band is noted for playing music in several different genres including alternative rock, post rock, electronic and ambient music.
Schoolyard Ghosts is the sixth studio album by British art rock band No-Man.
Peter Chilvers is a Cambridgeshire-based British musician and software designer.
Samuel Smiles were an intermittently active English ambient-folk band. Their best known line-up featured singer Tim Bowness.
Darkroom is a British electronic music project created by Andrew "Os" Ostler and Michael Bearpark. Other contributors to the project have been Tim Bowness and Peter Chilvers.
Michael Bearpark is an English scientist and musician.
Insurgentes is the debut full-length solo album released by British musician and record producer Steven Wilson, known for being the founder and frontman of progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. The album was recorded all over the world in studios from Mexico City to Japan and Israel, between January and August 2008, and released in November 2008 as a special deluxe multi disc mail order version, with retail release to follow in February 2009. According to Wilson himself, the album contained "the most experimental song-based music [he had] made." The album is named after the Avenida de los Insurgentes, the longest avenue in Mexico City near which part of it was recorded.
Kscope is an independent record label that is part of Snapper Music, and a sister-label of Peaceville. It is dedicated to artists in the progressive rock genre. The label has released albums by Steven Wilson and his projects Porcupine Tree, No-Man and Blackfield. In 2008 it branched out and has since signed the post-progressive artists Anathema, Lunatic Soul and Ulver, and progressive rock stalwart Ian Anderson to their roster. In 2013, the Steven Wilson release The Raven That Refused To Sing received the Album of the Year award at the Progressive Music Awards.
"Flame" is the only album recorded by the duo of singer/lyricist Tim Bowness (No-Man) and keyboard player Richard Barbieri, released in 1994.
Mixtaped is the first DVD release by British art rock group No-Man, consisting of a double DVD, with a live performance filmed at the London's Bush Hall on 29 August 2008, and a retrospective documentary titled Returning directed by award-winning journalist Richard Smith, amongst other features. The DVD takes its name from a song in Schoolyard Ghosts.