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Shriekback: Reloaded







Something fishy is going on around here.

Shriekback are back.

But then, in spite of umpteen line-up changes, sundry splits and reformations, and at least six different record labels, this is one band that has never really gone away.

Formed in 1981 as a kind of post-punk supergroup featuring ex-Gang Of Four bassist Dave Allen, ex-XTC keyboard player Barry Andrews, and ex-Out On Blue Six guitarist Carl Marsh, Shriekback staked out their own cerebral, groovy territory at the weird end of the new wave. Early songs such as 'Lined Up' and 'My Spine Is The Bassline' defined the 80s alternative dancefloor.

Major labels pricked up their ears and waved their chequebooks: the Jam Science album showed New Order how slinky, bass-driven electronica really should be done. With drummer Martyn Barker on board, Shriekback made Oil And Gold, a zig-zagging monster of an album that roars and purrs like any amount of cats. Carl Marsh left. Shriekback carried on. Big Night Music tapped deeper oil wells, dug new gold mines, and the band toured like there was no tomorrow.

But major labels demand major hits. Shriekback swerved into the commercial zone with Go Bang! - and it didn't quite work. By the early 90s, the band were back in indie territory, where the innate weirdness of Shriekback could dance its mess around unchecked. Now functioning as a loose collective revolving around Barry Andrews, Shriekback embarked upon a series of albums as varied as they are unmistakably Shriek-ish. From the acoustic clatter of Naked Apes And Pond Life to the rumbling, gnomic grooves of the new album, Life In The Loading Bay - released on Killing Joke's original label, Malicious Damage, and on which Barry is joined once more by fellow Shriek-founder Carl Marsh - you always know when Shriekback is in the room.

All of which means it's a good time to get in the room with Barry Andrews and Carl Marsh, and talk Shriekback - past, present, and future...

Well, here we are in the twenty-first century, and here comes Shriekback with a new album. Did you expect that to happen?

Barry Andrews:  Oh yes, it was always going to happen. I think they will probably just keep on now. On and on and on and on...

Carl Marsh: …and on and on and on. Like a rolling stone. An atomically unstable rolling stone with an indefinite half-life.

Back in 1981 when the band first started, if someone had said, 'Better strap in for a long ride. Shriekback will be around for thirty years or more,' what would you have said?

Barry Andrews:  'I can only assume that you, Ghost of Shriekback Future, have got us confused with Shakatak (who, as we know, are impossible to destroy).'

Do you look back at the band's history as a long, strange, trip - or are you happy to let the past take care of itself while you move ahead?

Barry Andrews:  The past is big enough and ugly enough to take care of itself.

Carl Marsh:   'As we roll along this way I am positive beyond doubt that everything will be taken care of for us - that, as you drive, fearful of the wheel, the thing will go along of itself and you won’t go off the road and I can sleep. We give and take and go in the incredibly complicated sweetness zigzagging every side.' Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, quoted on the sleeve of our second album, Care, 1983. Still true.

Shriekback. Off the telly, circa 1984, on authentic wobbly video tape. 'My Spine Is The Bassline' with Carl Marsh on vocals...and some surrealist calisthenics going on in the background.

Do you think of Shriekback as a seamless continuum, or a succession of distinct events? Over the years the band has gone through many line-ups, record labels, and musical tangents - and some of the band's incarnations have been very different to others. Do you regard each stage as a separate experience, or does the whole thing seem to have some sort of unstoppable flow?

Barry Andrews:  Oh, bare seamless continuum blud, every time. It was tempting to think that it had become just a front for my solo stuff during the Malicious Damage period until Carl came back and I realised that this was his project/language/voice too. And the DNA of Mart and Dave is all over it. Shriekback's a Tradition (like coracle making or incest).

Carl Marsh:  I got out of the river and walked a few miles along the bank. The scenery changed, a lot. Then I dived back in. The water tastes the same and is just as refreshing. It’s the same river and it flows on…

Do you feel in some way that you're at the mercy of this thing called Shriekback?

Barry Andrews:  I feel I can do no better than to quote from this old press release I wrote circa 83. It remains true (albeit a tiny bit Drama Queen - and, oddly, Lutheran).

'This is the story of Shriekback. It is not a pretty story, but it has its moments. OUTRAGEOUS DEMANDS: Shriekback is a pop group; a way of life; an ideal to be striven for; an albatross round the neck; a jet plane; a chain gang. It eats money and time; feeds on imagination and hard work. People go without sleep for it. Get sick because of it. Fight with those closest to them in its defence. It repays them by yelling even more outrageous demands. We suspect that it behaves this way because it is a creature dedicated to the extraordinary and that the extraordinary has its own scale of exactions. Or perhaps it’s just a delicate and highly-strung animal which resents being ridden rough-shod by a bunch of herberts through the mud and thickets of the music industry. It doesn’t really matter. Shrieks they say: ‘here we stand; we can do no other. God help us. Amen.'

Carl Marsh:  Amen indeed. I said somewhere else that no-one really leaves Shriekback, except maybe feet-first in a box. The reverse is also true - Shriekback never leaves us. We have the virus and there is no cure.

Shriekback's essential qualities - a certain cerebral strangeness, and the fearsome Groove - are much in evidence on this, the video for the 1985 single 'Nemesis'. This song inspired the name of this very webzine. You see, it's all their fault.

I think there's a certain 'quality of Shriekness' which seems to appear whenever Shriekback people make music. Even if the music itself is very different (there's a yawning musical gulf between Jam Science and Naked Apes And Pond Life, for example), and no matter how different the band's line-up might be from one record to another, it's all instantly recognisable as Shriekback. Is that something you consciously work towards, or does it just happen?

Barry Andrews:  It really does just happen. Though that's probably a tad disingenuous - it's taken a long hard haul to get to a point where it 'just happens'.

Carl Marsh:  Yes...I think that was forged in the early days, certain working methods and an intuitive quality control system - quite intense peer pressure but very supportive at the same time. Everything questioned, but everything moving in the same direction. Wait for it - All Lined Up. I can’t quite nail what makes it sound so unusual, but it does. You can say it’s shit...but it’s our shit.

Barry Andrews:  I do film music and the like for money sometimes, and when, after a day of working on this sort of music (ostensibly not that different), I stick on a work-in-progress from the latest Shriekback album, it's like chalk and cheese. There's no denying the relative depth of it. It's the real deal, I believe, and can't be messed with. Whenever we've tried it has invariably ended in tears. It's taught me to take it quite seriously. I guess another thing to say is that it can't seem to be 'willed' ('come ON - happen, you bastard'). These albums can't - it appears - be hurried along, however much commercial imperatives would make that desirable. God knows I've tried.

Carl Marsh:  Yeah, he’s tried. We wrote some (unused) credits for the Loading Bay sleeve: one of mine was 'Thanks to Barry for allowing me to develop my superpower: deadline bending'. What we’re probably trying to say here, in our shy, though effective, passive-aggressive way, is that when Shriek people get together, magic happens. Well, maybe 'magic' is pushing it, but something weird and unusual that doesn’t happen to a lot of other people.

ShriekbackWhen you were making 'Life In The Loading Bay' did you deliberately try to make a Shriekback-sounding record, or did the quality of Shriekness simply appear in the room?

Carl Marsh:  Well, for Barry I reckon that would sound like a strange question, having embodied Shriekness and carried the torch on his own for way too long. For me, writing my first Shriekback songs since Oil And Gold, it was a bit different. On 'Flowers Of Angst', I thought, yeah, I’m going to stamp out my old territory again, make it more Shriekback than Shriekback - the boys are back in town. Flirting with self-parody, actually, but hey, I needed a kick-start.

Then I found I didn’t need to try. Barry and I really do have a shared language, lyrically and musically - whatever one of us throws in, however off-message or just plain wrong it seems, the other just shrugs and goes with it. So the short answer is, yes, the quality of Shriekness will turn up sooner or later whether you like it or not. After 'Flowers', my next song, 'Semidelicious' was easy - an idea that I’d had for ages and nearly thrown away, but as soon as it got fed into the Shriekback machine, bang, groovy little fucker scrubbed up and pushed out the door, thanks to Barry making me let it go. I’d still be working on it, otherwise.

The post-punk era of the 1980s is a big influence on many of today's bands - and some of the original artists are still out there, still making waves. We've just had new albums from Wire and the Gang Of Four.  It's as if a large chunk of today's music takes its inspirational starting point from a John Peel show from 1982 or thereabouts. Of course, Shriekback can claim impeccable post-punk credentials, too. Do you feel at home amid all this? Do you feel it's time for Shriekback to claim its place at the top table of post-punk?

Barry Andrews:  Hell yeah. It was a very interesting time - a time of many new permissions and fascinating hybrids, and was undoubtedly our defining moment. I can feel a bit left out sometimes when we're not included in those 'sound of an era' lists but, rather like XTC, we never quite fitted in with the cool people. We were always awkwardly tangential to fashion. As an example: Andy Gill's exasperation - voiced in the NME - that we'd called our first album Tench. Which, obviously, was genius. Either you feel that fishy stuff or you don't. The upside of that is that our best stuff doesn't really date - it inhabits its own little timezone.

Carl Marsh:  Funny you should say that. I've just read Simon Reynolds’ book Rip It Up And Start Again (postpunk 1978-1984). Now, with a title like that, you'd think we’d be in there somewhere, don'tcha? But no.

It’s a really great book, detailing a fantastically exciting period of music - the one in which I was musically defined, I suppose - and, at the very least, it makes me want to go and listen to a whole bunch of fantastic records all over again. The Gang Of Four are a kind of backbone to the book. Our Y Records labelmates The Slits, Pigbag, The Pop Group and others are there, of course. Even our later Arista Records labelmates The Thompson Twins and Richard Strange. My Camden neighbours of the time 23 Skidoo and the early Scritti Politti are there. XTC are in there (a bit). The Raincoats and Cabaret Voltaire. PiL, Kleenex. And Prag Vec! I loved 'em. Hundreds of others, all the big influences and quirky marginals. Everyone. But not one single mention of Shriekback. Not even as a footnote. Not even 'after the magnificent Gang Of Four, Dave Allen formed the disappointing Shriekback'. Nothing at all.

How can that be? I’m biased, of course, but I don’t think we’ve been that invisible. Explain, please, Mr Reynolds! Ha, ya got me going there. Whining aside, I think we can say we’ve had an influence, acknowledged or otherwise. So yeah, bring on the kudos. Well, bring on a track in a massively successful 80s-set movie, anyway. Or a cover on Glee (now we’re talking...)

It's a long way from Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, where Shriekback's putative commercial crossover album, Go Bang! was recorded, to the band's present base, making albums in DIY fashion in dear old Swindon. Do you miss the days of major label budgets, big studios, and all the trimmings? Or do you feel relieved in a way, that today's music- making technology means that you can just get on with it, without dealing with the excess baggage of the music biz?

Shriekback, 1988: going for that crossover dance/rock hit with their cover of KC & The Sunshine Band's 'Get Down Tonight', from the Go Bang! album. Much major-label gloss in evidence. Definitely MTV-friendly, but is it Shriekback?

Barry Andrews:  It's interesting you mention Compass Point, because I remember standing on a Bahamian beach one day feeling like we'd really lost our way with the Go Bang! album. Mart and I had fatally compromised our vision to try and - well, make a few bob, essentially. I realised that it was evidently possible to be in a tropical paradise looking out over a turquoise sea, with a caterer and a lairy studio and people treating you like you were important - and still feel totally shite. I was thinking back a year or so before to recording Big Night Music in a basement in Victoria and the sheer delight it was to do. It ain't about the circumstances, kids - don't believe 'em when they tell you it is.

So yeah - DIY in Swinners is fine, just fine. You can concentrate on what's important. And the wonderful new machines mean you can take your time and get it right.

Carl Marsh:  Well, I do miss being in the position where 'doing exactly what I want to do' and 'getting paid' were the same thing. And big recording studios are great - the facility to experiment, to try a different amp, a different mic, a different room. Being able to record with the likes of Hans Zimmer - picked up a few tricks there, for better or worse.

However, when someone is lending you a great deal of money - which is what a record company is doing when they pay those big studio bills and your wages - they’re eventually going to want you to give them something they can sell enough of to pay it back, with a bit on top. That’s the deal. So when there’s a divergence in expectations the whole thing falls down the gap.

The technology now means that you don’t need all that firepower to get the sound, and the immediacy and flexibility is amazing - being able to capture a fleeting idea, send it to a collaborator on the other side of the world, develop it at your own pace, finish it to a releasable standard (whatever that means). If you own the railroad you don’t need the Fat Controller. Of course, you can become the Fat Controller if you’re not careful...but that’s another issue. The Stuff will get out, anyway, whatever the means of transmission.

Do you think that the major labels enabled you to make better albums - or did the demands of the music biz rather get in the way? If you had to choose between Go Bang! and Life In The Loading Bay, which do you think is the most genuinely Shriekback-ish record?

Barry Andrews:  The major label pressure was a pain in the arse quite a lot, to be honest. Not all, but a lot of fairly lightweight people who felt they had the right to fuck around with something deep and strange and serious. It was impertinent and not to be endured. Stressful, all that, though. I resented having to factor that shit in. And, in a face-off between the Bang and the Bay - I think we all know who emerges victorious.

Carl Marsh:  Somewhere in a parallel universe the alter-Shrieks recorded Oil And Gold in a shed and self-released it. Then recorded Life In The Loading Bay with an unlimited budget and a big name producer and put it out on a huge major label. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get review copies, so I can’t comment. File under 'what if?'

ShriekbackWhat's the process of making a Shriekback album like these days? Does it start with a computer, or do you try out song ideas on guitar or keyboard? At what stage do other people get involved? Does there come a point where you say to yourself, 'This one needs some backing vocals. Better ring up Wendy Partridge!' ? Or are the others on board from an early stage?

Barry Andrews:  As always, in the beginning there is... The Groove. It was more fun when Mart provided that, without a doubt - and I hope that he may again someday. In the meantime there are loops - millions of 'em - and every now and again you spot one that has something to say for itself and you hook it out of the tank and subect it to all sorts of unnatural acts.

You go out of focus and add stuff till it has a life of its own which is easy and fun and then there is the 'apple-bobbing' bit (too forceful and it escapes; not forceful enough and you can't grab it) which is worrying and fraught. When it works you get something new and - at least for a week or so - apparently miraculous and a cause for riotous celebration. When it doesn't - which is more often the case - you have yet another tune with no home to go to.

These days it's me doing all that - except, now, when Carl's back in the loop, the process is a lot more of a to-and-fro. Strange to relate, as one who is ambivalent about band democracy, I've really enjoyed that. Other people take you to new and unsuspected places. Wendy is the ninja voice technician - she comes in and makes the noises we would make if we were female and could sing properly. Her instincts are unerring due to prolonged exposure.

Carl Marsh:  Well, when I’m writing with other people or for other projects (in the Happyhead vein, for instance) the starting point might be a groove but could equally be a guitar part, a bassline or a vocal melody. But with Shriekback, as Barry says, it’s The Groove alright, nearly every time. Get inside it, zone out and ride it wherever it takes you. From the very beginning the studio itself has always been used as an instrument, integral to the writing process, so we’ve always really 'made records' rather than 'written songs' - as we make the records we learn to play the songs, if that makes sense. Arse backwards to a singer/songwriter with a guitar or a piano who goes in the studio to put flesh on the bones. Barry ain't Elton John, you dig me?

Ultimately, where is Shriekback's natural habitat - the Bahamas? London? Swindon? On tour somewhere in the USA, or somewhere else entirely? Or maybe all of the above, at different points in Shriek-history?

Carl Marsh:  I think Shriekback was always a London band, really, but looking out rather than in. And informed, as Barry says, by the DNA the different members brought in - Martyn from Liverpool, Dave from Kendal, Barry’s Swindonia of course. Personally I have generally found it hard to function out of London for extended periods. It's mine, you see. I don’t do country particularly well, although I'm told I'm making some progress, with limited grace. In recent years I find myself drawn to the sea. So maybe the obvious solution is to fill a fine vessel with recording kit and set sail - 'bring me that horizon'.

Otherwise, I lived in New York for a few years and that certainly felt like home. I think there's a lot to be said for dropping yourself somewhere new, where things aren't too familiar. Eyes and ears are opened up; sensitivity is increased, or defences are sidestepped, whichever way you see it. Just the sheer difference gives you an angle, even on the most mundane things. I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with Paris for a couple of years - to the point of considering a move, when time, tide and children favour. Chicago's good. So is Leeds. And Berlin. Los Angeles I don’t understand at all - so perhaps that's the very place to go. Stateless, baby, stateless (I feels a lyric comin' on)...


How did Shriekback find its berth on the Malicious Damage label? Did you go looking for a label? Or did Mike Coles come to you and say, 'If you'd like to make a Shriekback album, I'd like to put it out...' ?

Barry Andrews:  I had self financed (and begged donations for) our 2003 album Having A Moment, which had the whole Oil And Gold dream team on it. And I - gasp ! - couldn't seem to get it arrested. Many CDs under the bed is never a great thing for a musician's self esteem and I guess I lamented aloud - and online - enough for someone to take pity. This was Graham Brown whose musical connoisseurship had led him to the aquaintance of Mike Coles (Mr Malicious Damage). To my suprise Mike seemed to think that a Shriekback release might actually be a good thing for his label. A handshake in the pub sealed the deal. By this time though, the tracks which were to become our next album, Cormorant, were well under way and I had lost interest in Having A Moment. We may re-release it though soon. Maybe.

Shriekback songs characteristically have lots of words. Not for Shriekback the four-line verse, the two-line chorus, a quick yeah yeah yeah and repeat to fade. The words are a major element. But where do the words come from? Are they the result of much head-scratching in the early hours, or do they just flow? Do you set out with a clear subject in mind - 'Today I'm going to write a song about THIS' - or do the lyrics come first and the meaning creeps in as the words go down?

Barry Andrews:  I collect words - particularly new formations like, say, 'mission creep' or 'trouser' (meaning to take a bribe). Occasionally you come across something resonant enough to hang a whole song on ('Another Day above the Ground' say, or 'Simpler Machines') and those are joyous times indeed. The important resonant phrase will always proceed from the rhythm, so, once again: obedience to The Groove is all.

Carl Marsh:   If I knew where the words came from I'd go down there right now and pick up a year's worth all in one go, cash and carry. That would save a lot of grief. As it is they turn up a phrase or two at a time and hang out in notebooks. Then they coalesce around riffs and grooves like teenagers round a juke box until their gravitational mass draws in more and something bigger emerges - maybe 'meaning', but often just an instinctive wholeness, balance and sound. Then there’s the technical stuff to do, crafting something coherent out of the raw material.

Sometimes a whole verse or chorus arrives fully formed, complicated structures and rhyme schemes an' all. Then it’s hours of work to match that for another verse. Probably why I’ve written so many songs with only two verses...

Latter-day Shriekback lyrics sometimes express bemused detachment from the everyday world in all its unthinking brashness. It's interesting because I don't get this from earlier lyrics, which if anything oscillated wildly between a kind of manic, out-on-a-limb glee ('Malaria', 'Nemesis', even 'Mercy Dash' or 'My Spine') and a melancholy introspection ('This Big Hush', 'Cradle Song').

  'Feelers', live in lo-rez at the Astoria, London, 1987. Shriekback in manic-but-controlled mode: splurges of guitar and keyboard nailed down by one of Dave Allen's best basslines. I'm in that crowd, somewhere.

Now it seems there's a certain quizzical, raised-eyebrow observation at work - which sometimes goes as far as gritted-teeth disapproval ('Bonehead'). But more often it's almost as if the swirl of human life is a kind of surrealist spectator sport ('Pointless Rivers') which ultimately is something to celebrate ('Hooray For Everything', 'Loving Up The Thing').

Do you feel like an outsider looking in? Is this the result of having been through plenty of on-the-road craziness during Shriekback's touring years, so now you can afford to step aside and wryly observe? Or is it simply a case of getting older and acquiring a certain perspective along the way?

Barry Andrews:  Becoming a grumpy old cunt, you mean? Very likely.

I remember, aged 16, reading a line in one of Orwell's essays which stayed with me, even though I couldn't decide whether it was true at the time or not: 'Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but, on balance, life is suffering and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise'. I don't want to bring anyone down or anything, but I think around middle age you tend to see the inescapable truth of that. On the upside, we're making art about things rather than weeping in Asda, so it's all good.

Carl Marsh:  I nearly wept in Asda the other day. They've stopped selling Red Palm and Canola Oil.

'Manic' and 'out on a limb glee' sums up some of those songs very well. 'Spine' was quite specifically about living right in the moment, cutting out everything between sensation and reaction. 'Malaria' is a visceral beast as well. Some of that is pure youthful energy and the sheer exhilaration of crash-testing the machine. It’s also to do with environment - in the same way that the studio is part of the writing process, so is the rehearsal room and the stage. There’s a world of difference between sitting in front of a computer tweaking drum loops and basslines and standing in front of Dave and Martyn going at full blast, and that difference of course informs the lyrics and vocals.

And yes, there’s undoubtedly a bit of distance and perspective acquired over the years. Less inclination toward bridge burning. More talking, less shouting, I suppose. Although the whole content/style thing has always been prone to flippage - I mean, 'Spine' is a celebration of speed, nerve and instinct, but expressed quite coolly and intellectually. Whilst 'Everything That Rises', for example, is quite a philosophical ‘wry observation’ that quotes Flannery O’Connor and Oshima but in a pretty darn manic way. And 'Flowers of Angst' still flaunts the heritage of shoutiness. Maybe it skips a generation. Go figure, you’ve confused me now.

Twenty-first century Shriekback. Carl Marsh back on vocals for 'Flowers Of Angst', from the album Life In The Loading Bay. You'll never be able to look your local florist in the eye again.

Talking of touring, Shriekback has been a studio-only project for the last few years. Is there a chance for a few gigs at some point? Do you miss performing live? Or, after the band's extensive tours through the 80s and beyond, do you feel it's more a case of been there and done that?

Barry Andrews:  Touring's a young 'uns game I think. And, as you say, we did our share and then some. If we could get the old band together, get well rehearsed and get paid lavishly, then it could happen. But the word 'if' is - for such a little word - doing a lot of work in that sentence.

Carl Marsh:  Hmmm... I left before the band did the really long tours, the Simple Minds supports, for example. So my (almost certainly delusional) memories are of very hip tactical assaults, a month or so at a time so we could keep the edge. And we couldn't possibly have the energy that those guys were recklessly burning all those years ago. But still...I didn’t do that much live work after Shriekback, so I have a slight feeling of unfinished business. And we were so good live - part of it is just the arrogance of wanting to get up there and show 'em how it’s done – 'that’s how you do it, you little turd', as Keef so graciously expresses it, talking about those moments when everything ‘levitates’.

But I can fully understand Barry's reluctance - he's put in a whole lot of unglamorous miles between then and now. It would have to be really, really good and there would have to be a viable framework to hang all the logistical complexities and financial demands on. Not sure if the ‘30th Birthday Greatest Hits Tour’ would do it. But, hey, talk to me, baby...

I saw Lu Edmunds performing with Public Image Limited recently, on a new arrangement of 'The Flowers Of Romance' in which Lu laid into his saz in fine style. And all of a sudden PiL sounded like the acoustic Shrieks! I'm sure Lu himself was well aware of it, but I wondered if anyone else made the connection. Do you ever hear music by another band and think, there's a bit of Shriekback in there. Do you ever hear a little something in someone else's stuff and think, 'We did that first!' ?

Carl Marsh:  I don’t always hear it, but people often point things out to me. I'd never seen The Sopranos, for instance, but I checked that theme tune and honestly thought it was a Barry/Shrieks track. Alabama 3, innit? The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem have noted the influence, thanks very much, gents. Fun Loving Criminals sampled (and credited) us; there's a few other uncredited lifts, I hear. I was playing TV On The Radio just now and I think there’s a flavour in there. All sorts of bits and pieces around and, interestingly, cropping up more frequently rather than less as time goes on. Maybe there's a safe critical distance from the 80s as a whole, so it's alright to forage there now.

And finally...what's next for Shriekback? Is there a master plan for Shriekback's future, or do you prefer to simply wait until it seems the time is right, the omens are good, the ducks are in a row - and then get something new under way?

Barry Andrews:  Dude, always - always - wait for the ducks.

Carl Marsh:  Oh crap, I just shot a dodo. I thought it was a duck.

Shriekback logo

Shriekback: All Linked Up...

It's not easy to follow Shriekback's trail around the web. There is no one place you can go to and find everything about the band. The (very) potted biography I wrote at the top of this page is at least as detailed, and definitely more up to date, than any other piece of Shriekback info I can find online. Just as well I'm here, then, innit. Try these locations for further fragments:

Website - Current Shriekback info based around the Life In The Loading Bay album. Features blogs by Barry and Carl, including Barry's account of how the band was rebooted in the post-major label era. However, aside from that, the site does not contain any info about previous Shriek-activity.

MySpace - The MySpace restyle/relaunch has not been kind to the Shriekback MySpace page: its formatting has been unceremoniously stripped out. But still a possibly useful place to go for the band's old-school biography, and to hear a few randomly selected tunes.

Facebook - The main online location for Shriekback-related news and discussion at present. Good for keeping up with current stuff, but does not give an overview of the band's history.

Shriekback at Malicious Damage - Shriekback's current label, with promo blurb about Life In The Loading Bay and info about other Shriek-product. Bizarrely, the website does not clearly list the three albums Shriekback have recorded for Malicious Damage to date. It's up to you to pick the details out of a big column of promotional text.

Clear Trails: the Shriekback discography - A frighteningly detailed Shriekback discography, which includes compilations, bootlegs, offshoots and re-releases, painstakingly listed by catalogue number and release date. Rather disappontingly, everything stops abruptly in 2007 with the release of the Glory Bumps album.

Shriekback at Last.FM - Most of Shriekback's music is represented here (although not the latest album), plus there's a minimalist biography that stops in 2003.

Shriekback at - Buy Shriekback hard-copy and downloads. New releases, back catalogue, and you'll find a few rarities on offer, too.

Find a review of Life In The Loading Bay here.

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Page credits: Videos wrenched off YouTube; photos from the Shriekback website. Interview and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.
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