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 Mike Anders, Lutz Diehl, Joe del Tufo, Janien Kommer, Henk Oosting (henkoosting.com) & Monica Duffels
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!
Comments (0)
Discography (10)

View All
News:

6th December 2016

Hi, Jo here with a clip of the first parable song from the MAP Project: Two Brothers
You can hear and download the full song (plus all the earlier releases) at

View Details



4th December 2016

Vitamins, a song and prayers for healing all gratefully received. Miracles witnessed. There was no electricity and it was dark and damp but we are the light of the world and we bring hope. ✨.
Thankyou for your prayerful support πŸ™. Greatly appreciated.

View Details



2nd December 2016

WELCOME TO MY HOME!
This disused industrial warehouse has become home to about 1000 people. They are cold, hungry and. hopeless. They have no medical care. So much is needed. We tried to organise fun and games for 100 kids. It was chaos. But there were smiles and hugs and laughter.

View Details



5th December 2016

INSIDE.....
a refugee camp in Greece. Outside it was snowing. Inside , music played, children danced and sang, people told their stories. For those of you who still think there are no women and children in these camps, here are some photos from tonight.

View Details



2nd December 2016

SONG WRITING IN DONEGAL.....
A quick visit out west today to pick up a guitar from Donegal guitar makers , Emerald Guitars. They are kindly loaning me one of their resilient resin guitars for my trip to the refugee camps in Greece.
I wrote a song too πŸ˜„
Another one for the MAP project !
And it really looked like the photos. What a beautiful day 🌀✨

View Details



22nd November 2016

Hi Everyone, Dave here. Tomorrow is my son Luca's 19th birthday. It would be a brilliant surprise for him if there was a big influx of orders for the lovely cards he has designed (all are hand made by him). This new venture is huge for him. Being autistic, his chances of ever being employed are close to zero, but this home based work around his own idea and enthusiasm (taking photos of our cats) will really help with his self esteem and self confidence. And a huge thanks to those who have already bought sets of the cards from around the globe!
The two β€˜cat’ cards feature one of our 3 rescue cats, the very handsome Colin! Luca has also created some lovely Christmas cards with his own illustrations! These are available directly from us on the Iona web store in sets of 2, 4 or 10. Go to

View Details



16th November 2016

MAPPING UNCHARTED TERRITORY!
Me and my guitar are joining a team to go to a refugee camp of around 60,000 Syrian people near Thessaloniki , Greece, in 10 days time.
Look at these images. Imagine this had happened to your home and your life had become that of a refugee, living in the squalor of a camp in winter.
I'd been asking God which parable song I was to write next. The Good Samaritan came to mind...... But it would be hypocritical of me to write the song and not live the story. I'll keep you updated on the journey.

View Details



7th November 2016

MORE MAPPING....
Miracles and Parables.
Back to England tomorrow for another video shoot for the next MAP project songs. And, making a start on recording another song called Hunger( about the miracle of food multiplication ! )
MAP project musicians on these tracks are
Terl Bryant. Drums/ percussion
Phil Barker. Bass
Graeme Flowers. Flugelhorn
Andy Baker. Guitar
Alex Priest. Cello
And me, Jo Hogg. Vocals and piano.
And behind the camera, Louis Bryant πŸ‘.

View Details



5th November 2016

HORSE AND RIDER
Trust, freedom, grace....
A few images from the video for this track off Uncountable Stars.
( for general release in Dec)

View Details



16th November 2016

Dave here - here's a great Christmas present idea! Over the years, many of you have very kindly supported our son Luca (who is autistic) by buying the Songs for Luca & Songs for Luca 2 albums. Money from the sales of these CDs continues to go directly towards helping Luca. Luca will be 19 this month and he and Debbie still do work together. Lately, Luca has become very keen on taking photos, especially of our cats, this has led to Luca deciding to make some cards which we very much hope you like and consider buying to support him in his new enterprise. Luca has created 4 card designs - two Christmas ones and 2 featuring great photos he's taken of none other than Colin the cat! You can check them out at
(The Songs for Luca cds are also still in stock should you wish to add one of those!)

View Details



20th October 2016

Rainbows and reflections.....
Downhill beach and cliffs North Coast, Ireland.
Just a couple of miles from where St Columba's first parish was located.
What a beautiful morning πŸ˜„

View Details



16th October 2016

A QUICK UPDATE.
What's coming next on the MAP project??

View Details



15th October 2016

Hi, Jo here.
Here's 'Thirstl' - - second song from the M.A.P Project (Miracles And Parables) - let me know what you think!
You can download the track for whatever price you decide from the link above.

View Details



6th October 2016

MAKING MOVIES....
Well, more of a song video really!
HORSE AND RIDER from album Uncountable Stars.
Jim Crone, band photographer for the Woven Cord artwork. Now Jim is more into cinematography than photography.
Keep an eye out for the video release soon πŸŽΆπŸ‡πŸ˜„

View Details



7th October 2016

MORE MAPPING!!
In the studio to mix the first of the parable songs called TWO BROTHERS!
Judging by Tre's expression, it could be challenging πŸ˜™!

View Details



7th November 2016

MORE REFLECTIONS!
I just love them. Moments from this evening on the River Bann, Co. Antrim. ( Jo)

View Details



18th September 2016

Just a wee song for the morning 🎢🎢
Wishing you a blessed weekend.
Jo

View Details



18th September 2016

Miracles and Parables......
Psalm 107:2
"All of you, set free by God.... Tell the world how He freed you from oppression..... Some of you wandered lost for years.... Hungry and thirsty.... On the brink of exhaustion..."
Here's some artwork for The MAP project. And here's the link to the first song release/ video.
Jo.

View Details



22nd September 2016

Hi, Jo here.

Here's 'The General' - first song from the M.A.P Project (Miracles And Parables) - let me know what you think!
You may download the track for whatever price you decide here:

View Details



6th September 2016

View Details



9th September 2016

Celestial Fire band UK tour starts Friday 9th September in York! Playing music from my solo albums and Iona music (including one track NEVER before played live!). Please share the video! View all the other Celestial Fire tour promo videos at
Thanks (Dave)!

View Details



1st September 2016

HARVEST TIME.....
In just 6 weeks, from green to golden, our field is ready. πŸ™
John ch. 4:35.... "Open your eyes and take a good look around. The fields are ready. It's harvest time!"

View Details



31st August 2016

The Celestial Fire band tour starts a week on Friday in York! It will be an evening of epic and emotive orchestral, progressive Celtic rock, featuring a stellar line up:
Sally Minnear (Lord of the Dance/daughter of Kerry Minnear from Gentle Giant) vocals, vocal loops, percussion, keyboard, whistle, violin,
Frank van Essen (Iona, Barbara Dickson) drums, percussion, violin, vocals,
Dave Brons (Solo artist, Guitar Hour presenter) guitars, mandolin, vocals,
Simon Fitzpatrick (Carl Palmer Band, Jennifer Batten) bass, Chapman stick, Moog bass and myself,
Dave Bainbridge (Iona, Strawbs, Jack Bruce, Buddy Guy) guitars, keyboards, bouzouki.

The set list will be featuring music from my solo albums Celestial Fire and Veil of Gossamer, plus some Iona music.

Here are some quotes from the last gigs we did:

β€œThe brilliant and brand new Celestial Fire band...a spectacular evening of high emotion and genius talent!!” Rowena

β€œWhat a gig! Beautiful music, played by amazing musicians. Dave, Dave, Frank, Sally and Simon... I salute you all.” Aaron

β€œIt was brilliant! Dave is almost like Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman rolled into one! Sally Minnear is a lovely singer. It was one of the best gigs I've ever seen/heard.” Alan

β€œAn absolutely epic evening watching the Celestial Fire band play the most intricately beautiful music. Incredible musicians. Unmissable.” Russ

Hope some of you can make it along! Please share the leaflet with anyone you think might be interested in coming and support the cause of live music!

Thanks!
Dave

View Details



28th August 2016

JO's MAP PROJECT.....
Hi folks. Here's a short video message to answer some of your questions about the MAP ( Miracles and Parables)project. The first song video will be released next week so keep an eye out for that.
Bye for now.
Jo.

View Details



29th September 2016

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC......
Somewhere in a wee cottage in the hills of Donegal I'm strumming along to some traditional fiddle playing. The fiddler is 15 year old Cianan, my youngest son's golfing buddy. Thought you might enjoy πŸŽ»πŸ˜„

View Details



24th August 2016

Just a few weeks now before the Celestial Fire band will be on tour in the UK! Featuring Dave Bainbridge, Frank van Essen, Sally Minnear, Simon Fitzpatrick and Dave Brons and playing material from Dave Bainbridge's solo albums plus some Iona songs, this will be an evening of, as one listener put it from the last tour dates: "A spectacular evening of high emotion and genius talent". Tickets available now - we really hope some of you can make it along. Please share the leaflet with anyone you think might like to come!

View Details



26th August 2016

ANOTHER SONG FROM THE RIVER.....
Recorded on one of Iona's live albums. Apologies for the tree intrusion..... A hazard of going with the flow 😳

View Details



23rd July 2016

BACK IN COLMCILLE LAND....
Revisiting some Donegal locations ....
Inspiration for some of our songs from the past... Irish Day, Edge of the World, Beyond these Shores, Divine Presence, Wave after Wave, Here I Stand, Vision of Naran, Kells Theme, .....
Psalm 139 , the narrative ........
Hope you're enjoying Gods beautiful presence wherever you are.

View Details



19th July 2016

Iona co-founders Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald will soon reunite and join Adrian Snell for a special 30th Anniversary Recording of 'Alpha & Omega'; the 1986 album that brought them and Joanne Hogg together for the very first time! A crowdfunding campaign for the project is currently live at and will run its course until August 30th, 2016. Contributors will have exclusive access to never before heard live recordings from 30 years ago, study guides for the music and personal Β΄meet & greetsΒ΄ with Snell, which include unique online choir-coachings.

Current updates include an interview with Dave B about the working on the project 30 years ago and meeting up with David and Joanne. Check it out: !

View Details



11th July 2016

WHITE HORSE.....
HARVEST FIELD..
Our field isn't quite ready for harvest ...... But it will be soon πŸ™
I was reminded of the song Today.
"Today the grass is greener
Than I have ever seen
Today the sky is bluer
Than it has ever been.....
Of course, this is barley, not grass.... But still, very green πŸ˜„
Blessings
( Jo )

View Details





> More News on Facebook
More Band Bios: