isle man


No-Man is a British duo formed in 1987 as No Man Is An Island (Except The Isle Of Man) by Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson (also of Porcupine Tree). The band has so far produced six studio albums and a number of singles/outtakes collections (most notably, 2006's career retrospective, All The Blue Changes). Originally a sample-based proto-Trip hop/Ambient/Electro-Pop styled music, No-Man's sound has become more organic, diverse and band-oriented in subsequent years. The band has been lauded "Conceivably the most important English group since The Smiths" by Melody Maker music newspaper.


The name No-Man was adopted in 1990 and first used on the self-released June 1990 single release, "Colours" (a cover of the 1960s Donovan Leich song). The single achieved Melody Maker and Sounds "Singles Of The Week" accolades and was re-released by Liverpool-based label Probe Plus in October, 1990.

Between 1991 and 1994, No-Man were managed by Talk Talk's manager Keith Aspden. During this period, the band received highly positive UK music media support (including more Singles Of The Week in Melody Maker, Sounds and Irish music paper, Hot Press), had 2 indie top 20 hits ("Days In The Trees" and "Ocean Song"), had a Billboard Top 40 dance hit (the US only single, "Taking It Like A Man", at #34) and had high profile contracts with One Little Indian, Hit & Run Publishing and Epic/Sony. Subsequently, mirroring the evolution of artists such as Talk Talk, David Sylvian, Radiohead, Scott Walker and Kate Bush, with each successive release, the band has moved further away from its more conventional Pop/Rock roots.

Since the mid-1990s, No-Man has released material via Snapper Music, Third Stone/Adasam and internet label, Burning Shed.

Amongst the many artists and guest musicians the band has worked with are electronic artists Roger Eno, Faultline, Scanner, Muslimgauze and The Shamen, Jazz musicians Ian Carr and Theo Travis, King Crimson personnel Robert Fripp, Pat Mastelotto and Mel Collins, and ex-Japan members Steve Jansen, Richard Barbieri and Mick Karn. In 2003 Tim Bowness sang two duets with Italian singer-songwriter Alice on her album Viaggio In Italia.

Drawing from a diverse mix of Singer-songwriter, Post Rock, Minimalist, Progressive rock, Jazz, and Contemporary Ambient sources for inspiration, No-Man's sound is distinctive, yet difficult to categorise.

Current status

The band's most recent studio album, Schoolyard Ghosts, was released on May 12th, 2008, receiving some of the most favourable reviews of the band's career and was described as "truly sublime" by Classic rock magazine. Guest musicians included Pat Mastelotto, Theo Travis, Gavin Harrison, Bruce Kaphan (ex-American Music Club) and The London Session Orchestra (arranged by Dave Stewart).

In May 27, 2008, it was announced that No-Man's music will be featured in the forthcoming film by award-winning student film-maker Dan Faltz, Weak Species. The film is based on the writings of Dennis Cooper.

No-Man played its first full performance in fifteen years at London's Bush Hall on August 29th, 2008. The performance was recorded and is intended to be released as part of a prospective No-Man DVD. This performance was followed by two more concerts in Zoetermeer (The Netherlands) and Duesseldorf (Germany) on the 3rd and 4th September respectively. The Zoetermeer concert was No-Man's first concert outside of the UK.


The line-up for the 2008 mini-tour was as follows:

The London gig also featured a guest appearance of original violin player Ben Coleman on the song Things Change. Although there are speculations about the band playing a small European tour in 2009, as of September 2008 it hasn't been confirmed in any way.


Studio Albums


Singles and EPs

  • "Colours" (1990)
  • "Days In The Trees" (1991)
  • "Ocean Song" (1992)
  • "Sweetheart Raw" (1993) - Mail Order Only
  • "Only Baby" (1993)
  • "Painting Paradise" (1993)
  • "Taking It Like a Man" (1994) - US Only
  • "Housewives Hooked On Heroin" (1996)
  • "Dry Cleaning Ray" (1997) - Vinyl Only Release
  • "Carolina Skeletons" (1998)
  • "All That You Are" (2003)
  • "The Break-Up for Real" (Download only) (2007)

Charting songs

Song Chart Position
"Taking It Like A Man" Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play #34


External links

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