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 Monica Duffels, Mike Anders, Lutz Diehl, Henk Oosting (henkoosting.com), Joe del Tufo & Janien Kommer
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:

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 β€œ 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 πŸ˜€

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6th May 2020

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13th May 2020

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27th April 2020

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13th April 2020

Pre-orders The Book of Iona AND the all the re-issued Iona studio albums with their their new companion disks, and much more at the new Open Sky Records store!!!

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27th April 2020

Hey everyone, quick update from Dave. Firstly I hope everyone is keeping well and safe. In these times of enforced isolation I've been steadily working away on 'The Book of Iona' Iona box set over the past several weeks and there has been an exciting development!

The original idea was to include one dvd in the box, however we've decided to leave that until the full Iona DVD box set comes out, and instead to include a cd of newly recorded versions of a number of Iona tunes, but not as you've heard them before! This cd, to be titled The Sound World of Iona will be cd 17 in the box! It will include new mainly (but not all) instrumental recordings featuring past Iona band members David Fitzgerald, Nick Beggs, Frank Van Essen Troy Donockley, Terl Bryant, Tim Harries, Martin Nolan, Mike Haughton, Martin Neil and (tbc at the time of writing), Phil Barker. Plus myself, both solo and in collaboration and special guest Sally Minnear. Some tracks are already recorded and others will be completed over the next week or so. I'm very excited about this development and it will really be the icing on the cake for what will be an incredible release, which already includes some great, previously unreleased recordings from the band!

Pre-orders for the box set will be starting very soon!

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16th March 2020

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15th March 2020

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9th March 2020

BEACHY HEAD ..... from Beyond These Shores.

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7th March 2020

This was yesterday !

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11th February 2020

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6th February 2020

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3rd February 2020

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29th January 2020

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21st January 2020

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18th January 2020

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1st December 2019

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29th November 2019

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3rd December 2019

Frank is releasing a new, meditative album soon. Available for pre-order now!

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5th October 2019

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3rd October 2019

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24th September 2019

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20th September 2019

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2nd September 2019

REVISITING SOME ANCIENT WELLS!
A few images from some Donegal sites that have inspired some songs..... like
Ancient Wells, Edge of the World, Here I Stand.....
Tonight I’ll be joining with the musicians of New Irish Arts at the Bangor Mission Convention concert to perform a few songs including The Ancient Wells. Then on Monday I’m travelling to Gartan in Donegal ( birthplace of St Colmkille) to join with Rhema Ministries and Rebecca Friedlander on a Worship/intercession tour of ancient Celtic Christian sites in Ireland. Excited. πŸ˜πŸ™

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17th August 2019

Murlough Bay..... still one of Ireland’s best kept secrets. A special place.

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8th August 2019

A few images from my recent trip to Donegal, including the cover image for new album Avec Toi ( taken by Trevor Cole) for release this week on Bluecoastmusic.com. 🎢😁

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22nd July 2019

Donegal...... just beautiful.
Always inspiring to be here...... πŸŽΆπŸ™

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15th July 2019

DANCING......
I stumbled across this on YouTube today. A song I recorded in 2008 in Nashville for a solo album entitled Personal..... one that went well under the radar and is no longer available.
Also features some lovely low whistle by Troy Donockley 🎢😁

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4th July 2019

Avec Toi...... some songs in French from moi! ( Jo ) 😁 🎢 πŸ‡«πŸ‡· ( including a couple of my Iona favs )

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11th June 2019

Soon in Hardenberg - Dave Bainbridge & Frank Van Essen and band playing SANCTUM & Iona. With sand art by Gert van der Vijver. Come and join us if you can!

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