The historic recordings contained here on the ‘Blackwing Sessions’ represent a rare and hitherto unreleased insight into early British Synth-pop. They are the primary demo material for what many consider to be a ‘Lost Classic’ from the early 1980s ‘ The Peter Pan Effect’ by Robert Marlow. The tracks where programmed at co producer Eric Radcliffe’s home in Gravesend in kent along with Marlow’s best friend and synth-pop guru Vince Clarke in the spring of 1982. Clarke a man already the founding force in two internationally successful projects Depeche Mode and Yazoo. Clarke was at the top of his trade as an innovative and talented writer, musician and producer so for his best friend Robert Marlow, joining forces with multi- talented Radcliffe who had produced Clarke on 1981’s Depeche Mode premier ‘Speak and Spell’ as well as Yazoo’s eponymous ‘Upstairs at Eric’s’ was going to be a pivotal moment..
Marlow was already, at the tender age of 21 a veteran of several bands to emerge from the Basildon music scene, beginning in 1978 in a “…baptism of fire” as guitarist in ‘The Vandals’, a punk rock band formed by Alison Moyet along with school friends Kim Forey and Susan Paggett.
Marlow was the first of the ‘Basildon Mafia’ to acquire a synthesizer in 1979 and formed ‘The Plan’ with Clarke on guitar and Perry Bamonte (later to find fame with ‘The Cure’) on bass. He then fronted the all electronic line up ‘French Look’ with friend Martin Gore who later joined Clarke in Depeche Mode (along with French Look sound man Dave Gahan) Marlow’s third soiree into the musical pantheon was in ‘Film Noir’ (again with Bamonte) and along with synth player Alan the band opened for Depeche Mode at their triumphant Basildon homecoming on ‘The Speak and Spell Tour’ in 1981.
The music contained on ‘The Blacking Sessions’ did not see the light of day until 1999 when Swedish label Energy Rekords remastered the original ‘Peter Pan Effect’ which had been mysteriously shelved in 1983 by distributer RCA despite the release through Clarke and Radcliffe’s Reset Records of Robert’s four well recieved singles ‘The Face of Dorian Gray’ and I Just Want to Dance’, both released in 1983 the later contained here with alternative Lyrics. 1984 saw the release of the string driven ‘Claudette’ and in 1985 the gloriously camp ‘Calling All Destroyers’. These recordings do not have the polish of the released album as they have been painstakingly restored from the artists own analogue sources, however as a record of a very a British new town phenomenon ‘Robert Marlow – The Blackwing Sessions’ is an important and entertaining document. – Wilcus Stanshall 2012
There are no less than 2 new Robert Marlow CDs in the pipeline holding new tracks. The first one is called “The Future” and is a 7-track mini album holding an exclusive Vince Clarke remix of “No Heart” next to 6 new tracks. The release will be followed a few months later by the remix album “The Future – Remixes” holding remixes by such artists like Diskodiktator, Framework, Cobalt 60/K-Bereit, Eddie Bengtsson (Page /SMPJ), Per Aksel Lundgreen (ex-Apoptygma Berzerk), Kellertechnik, KATelectric and many more.
The first CD will be released on August 8 and is now in pre-order via POPoNAUT. An exclusive show-case concert will be taking place in Cologne at the Blue Shell Club on September 28.
Synth-pop veteran Robert Marlow and his partner in crime Gary Durant are working on the final mix for the new Marlow album “The Future”. The album will be released on the German label Electro-Shock-Records by the end of this year.
The album is the follow-up to 2009’s “Inside/Outside” and brings a mix of 80s synth-pop and melodic electro-pop. A very limited fan-edition with 5 new tracks from the album “The Future” was released on the Depeche Mode-Fan-Exhibition/Meeting in Basildon on Saturday July 23.
You can view a cover-version of Depeche Mode’s track “New Life” as performed by Marlow in Basildon after the jump or in our mobile videoplayer.
Robert Marlow returns helped by Vince Clarke
Vince Clarke seems to be as productive as ever, we just received the news that a new album by his childhood friend Robert Marlow, “Inside/Outside” will be released in October.
Clarke once again helps him arrange and produce the album, which is the first album since “The Peter Pan Effect” that got quite some attention back in 1999 when Swedish label Energy made it available.
Marlow did a number of shows in Sweden during that time, including a small tour with Canadian band Rational Youth.
For those of you not familiar with Marlow’s past, please enjoy this old time classic of his: