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

21st October 2021

THE MAP PROJECT PART 2.....
Finally, 4 years including a pandemic later, the Map Project Part 2 is completed. The order has been placed for CDs so I’ll hopefully have those ready to post out by the end of November.
I’ll keep you posted. 😁


19th August 2021

Hi Everyone, Hope some of you can make it to se us at this fabulous venue on Thursday and support the return of LIVE MUSIC! We'll be playing a number of classic Iona tunes plus lots more!


5th May 2021

Dave & Sally have a gig!!!! A few more to be announced soon!


20th November 2021

A SONG FOR GOOD FRIDAY......



18th February 2021

IT’S THE PSALM 119 session 4 🎶🎻🎹


13th February 2021

PSALM 119. Session 3.
Thanks so much to those of you who’ve messaged. I love hearing from folk scattered across the globe! So good to connect in this way. I hope you enjoy the music but even more , are encouraged to read and meditate on the words of this amazing psalm.



6th February 2021



PSALM 119. Session 2
If you’re on my mailing list or have subscribed to my YouTube channel, you might have seen this. If not, here’s the late night Psalm 119 session 2.
🎶🎹🎵🎻


20th March 2021

Working on new music with Dave Bainbridge!


29th January 2021

LATE NIGHT PSALM SINGING🎶🎵
This is the first in a series of musical
meditations on Psalm 119 with violinist Natasha Petrovic 😁🎻



17th January 2021

Hi Everyone, Dave here. Great progress on my forthcoming solo album this past week, which features Iona alumni Frank van Essen and Troy Donockley. Keep up to date on progress by signing up to my mailing list at




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