Lunar Landscape charts 30-year musical exploration

Chris Barlow
Chris Barlow

Songs about Iggy Pop’s trousers, having children, and a Lune Valley gate will be played out at a launch event for a Lancaster musician’s new solo album.

Chris Barlow has been writing songs in Lancaster since the age of 17, heading up bands including The Manta Rays, Mostly Hums and Hiroshima Twinkie during his 30 year musical exploration.

Chris, 47, has now put together an 18 track acoustic folk album “mopping up” songs he’s written that never got recorded, and topped up by others he has written whilst recording the new collection entitled Lunar Landscape.

He said: “My inspiration comes from unbelievably diverse sources and I write songs all the time and can be a little impatient to have to wait for them to be recorded.

“There’s a song about Jules Verne, one about swinging on the Boontown Gate (a gate in Halton), one about Iggy Pop’s Trousers, one about a break-up, one about band names that never got used, one about having children etc - some are serious and some are down right silly and there is quite a strong Lancaster connection to many of them.”

Chris, who lives in Bolton-le-Sands and is a lecturer at the University of Cumbria, has taken inspiration from the likes of Jonathan Richman, The Violent Femmes, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Phillips, Yo la Tengo, Billy Bragg and Loudon Wainwright, and has worked with many of the Lancaster area’s musicians to create Lunar Landscape.

He’s launching the album at The Golden Lion in Lancaster on Saturday night, April 18, and will be joined by Andy Blackah on mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass and Andrew Montgomery on drums, guitar and bass, for an acoustic set.

He’ll then be joined by Guy Morris, Vicki Sidlow in a “lively” second half with some faster songs and some surprise favourites.

Lunar Landscape was recorded by Mick Armistead at the Lancaster Musicians Co-Op. Entry to the gig is free, from 9pm.