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Worker Bee: Meet John Robb, legendary journalist, author and musician

Dive into the universe of John Robb: journalist, author, musician and eco-advocate
John Robb

Meet John Robb: musician, author, and journalist.

As a musician, John is best known for his work with the influential post-punk band Membranes.

Check ’em out here:

Beyond his musical skills, John has carved out a prominent role as the boss of Louder Than War, a respected music publication that has become a staple in the industry for its independent reviews and writing.

You can have a read of it here

He was the first person to coin the phrase ‘Britpop’ and was the first UK-based journalist to interview Nirvana.

He has also got a flair for the longer form, with best-selling books such as “The Art Of Darkness – The History of Goth,” “The Stone Roses and The Resurrection of British Pop,” and “Punk Rock: An Oral History.”

You can get a copy of The Art Of Darkness – The History of Goth by clicking here

More recently, he has taken on a pivotal role as head of the Green Britain Academy, spearheading initiatives to promote environmental consciousness and sustainability.

Through the academy, he has championed the creation of green and eco courses, leveraging his platform to inspire positive change in society.

You can find out more about that by clicking here

If you’re a fan of Noel G’s solo stuff, you may have spotted him as the barman recently in Noel’s music video for Council Skies filmed at New Century Hall and a few other familiar spots in the city.

Check that out here:


Worker Bee: Meet… John Robb, musician, author and journalist 

John Robb

What got you started in your field of work?

Punk rock.

It was like teenagers at the time were ready and waiting for an excuse to escape.

We were the classic misfits and outsiders and the music became our soundtrack but more exciting was the idea that you could make your music and culture.

It was liberating and it was empowering and you didn’t need a three-year college course to qualify.

You just did it.

Who has been the biggest influence on your work?

No one specific but a whole raft of different people and ideas whether coming from music, film or writing.

The whole point was to find your voice though and not to be a combination of other voices.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

Surviving on my terms.

It’s easy to cave in and I don’t blame anyone for doing it but to me, there is no point.

You have to follow your instinct and your muse.

What does your typical day involve?

I get up and stretch for half an hour.

Stuff my face. Then write. Then admin.

Perhaps pop into HOME to do some phone calls and emails and then to the Y Club gym to lift weights then later on go and see a band.

That’s a Manchester day but I’m on tour a lot, either with my band, Membranes, or my current spoken word tour so there is a lot of travel and a lot of trains.

And how do you relax on your days off?

No such thing.

What is the best advice you have been given or can give?

Follow your instinct.

If things hadn’t worked out, what else could you have seen yourself doing?

Ha ha, well maybe things didn’t work out and this is what I am doing?

Tell us one thing about yourself people might be surprised to hear

I’m an animal lover. Vegan power!

Red or Blue?


If you could change one thing about Manchester, what would it be?

Growing up in Blackpool,  I miss the beach.

And finally, what do you love most about Manchester?

The people, the way it’s never finished and keeps changing.

The way it’s a progressive and ambitious city with a constantly great soundtrack.

You can catch John Robb on his 22-date speaking tour: ‘Do you believe in the power of Rock and Roll?‘ which will see him touch on everything from his recently released book ‘The Art Of Darkness – The History of Goth’ to his experience being the first person to interview Nirvana, his coining of the term ‘Britpop’ and his adventures on the post-punk frontline.

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