Phil Barker

Phil's Gear Page > Songwriter, musician Iona / 1997-present
Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass
Photos by Janien Kommer, Mike Anders, Joe del Tufo, Lutz Diehl, Monica Duffels & Henk Oosting (henkoosting.com)
B orn in Perivale, London in 1970, I first wanted to learn to play drums. However, after watching Mark King (Level 42), I soon dropped the idea of drums and decided to learn bass. I was really into Genesis and It Bites in my teens, but no one in my area was playing that kind of 'muso' stuff, so I had to settle for playing in Goth bands (in one band the singer wore make-up and women's underwear on stage!).

In 1988, I began playing in Jazz Funk bands. I thought "now's my chance" and, with Status Bass in hand and Trace-Elliot amp, I began slapping and popping uncontrollably for about 2 years (one band I played with at that time was called 'Pigs in the Parlour').

In 1991, I joined the Saltmine Band (Christian) which later became Funky Beehive. After 18 months of bad jokes, no money and packing up at midnight in the rain in Reading, my Christian charity had depleted.

In 1993, I began working with Sal Solo of Classix Nouveau, spending a lot of time touring America and Europe. At that time I learnt some valuable lessons on how to be a good Catholic, how to shave your head, and how not to eat food with dead animals in it. Sal always insisted that the band was paid cash (local currency) after every gig which is a rare and excellent thing. I also recorded 2 albums with Sal Solo.

In 1994, I met producer Andy Piercy and began working on various projects with him and session guitarist Dave Clifton. It was also at this time that I met my long time sparring partner and pal Terl Bryant and we began working as a rythmn section both live and on recordings together.

In August 95 I'd been depping for session ace Phil Spalding (Robbie Williams, Seal, Mick Jagger, Mike Oldfield) in the band 'Chief Seattle'. Terl asked me if I could fill in for an gig at the Borderline, London, standing in for Tim Harries (who had replaced Nick Beggs). I was not at all familiar with Iona's music. Terl's advice was not to play anything FUNKY because Dave would hate me. I had to learn about 20 songs for the gig as the set list hadn't been finalised (no change there!). Listening over and over to the songs I realised just how intricate and well thought out they were. The gig must have gone pretty well because Simon (the manager of the band at the time) told me "well done, anyone would have thought you'd been in the band for years". A few months later, and I was on tour with the band for what was the most influential time. The album 'Journey Into The Morn' was released, and was very busy with the longest UK and US tours ever. We all got on famously, especially after we nearly got killed on the road twice in 2 days!

In 1997 I took over the job permanently from Tim and we (Iona) recorded the live double album 'Heavens Bright Sun'.

I count Dave, Troy, Terl, Jo and Frank as some of my most valued friends.

As well as working with Iona, I have also had the privilege of working with the following:

Faith Hill, Robin Mark, Matt Redman, Don Moen, Paul Wilbur, Andy Piercy, Eoghan Heaslip, Dave Clifton, Geraldine Latty, Chris Eaton, Barry & Batya Segal, Kim Hill, The Woodthieves, Caroline Bonnet, Paul Mills, Chris Norton, Tim Hughes, Noel Richards, Ricky Valance, Paul Field, The New Scottish Orchestra, oh and Paul Naylor.

I have played on at least 60 albums so here is short selected Discography (sorry to anyone I haven't mentioned, please don't take it personally).

I live in Surrey with my wife Claire and our children, Francesca and Madeleine. I do not have my own studio, but I am currently working on my solo project, brewing beer in the understairs cupboard!
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Discography (10)

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News:

11th September 2020

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11th September 2020

Dave will be including some Iona material and a couple of things from the new Book of Iona box set!

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28th August 2020

Sally Minnear and Dave Bainbridge will be performing 3 Iona songs on Saturday at this great online festival!

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28th August 2020

Expect a number of Iona tunes in Dave's solo set on 12th September!

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9th September 2020

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14th November 2020

The Book of Iona is in stock and shipping starts today!!! It looks amazing. You can order from

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17th August 2020

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30th August 2020

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28th August 2020

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3rd August 2020

Such an amazing song, and so great playing this again. Enjoy...

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28th August 2020

Undercover photos taken at a secret factory location somewhere in the heart of England

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25th July 2020

Thought you might enjoy this little jam I put together today. Still going strong and playing! Hope our Iona clan is safe & healthy and still enjoying our personal music projects as well as the revived Iona back catalog... Stay safe & healthy everyone and hope you like this. Much love - Frank

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13th July 2020

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30th July 2020

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23rd June 2020

ONE MORE FOR THE MAP PROJECT ......
One of the treasures of our lockdown has been creating and recording music with Natasha Petrovic de Maio. We met for the first time back in March on the Kintsugi Hope Tour when it seemed like we were a music match made in heaven. Today we finished recording an 11 minute song called “ Finding My Way Back” which will be the finale track of the MAP PROJECT coming soon......
In the meantime, lots of wonderful Iona memorabilia and archive to enjoy 😀

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4th June 2020

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9th July 2020

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20th May 2020

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11th May 2020

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26th May 2020

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5th May 2020

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10th May 2020

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3rd May 2020

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30th April 2020

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28th April 2020

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6th May 2020

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20th April 2020

Hi Everyone, hope you can make it to Dave Bainbridge's first live online gig tomorrow night!!

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13th May 2020

This is one of the new recordings of Iona tracks that will be on The Book of Iona box set. Pre-order now from

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18th April 2020

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18th April 2020

Hope you can join Dave Bainbridge for his first online live gig this coming Tuesday!

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