COMPOSER AND GUITARIST Neil Clark was born in Hamilton, Scotland and lives in Toronto, Canada. He holds dual British and Canadian nationality. As a teenager he studied jazz guitar and theory before enrolling in the Glasgow School of Art drawing and painting degree program. After graduating, he gravitated towards the emerging Glasgow music scene forming a group called Newspeak with Alan McGee and Andrew Innes and playing the city’s many music-friendly clubs alongside contemporaries such as, Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Bluebells. A meeting with Blair Cowan and Lloyd Cole then led to the formation of a group that was to become Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.
The Commotions, with the addition of Stephen Irvine and Lawrence Donegan, enjoyed considerable success, touring extensively and releasing three studio albums – Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces and Mainstream. The band split in 1990, but reunited in 2004 for a number of sold out concerts in the U.K. and Ireland marking the twentieth anniversary of the release of Rattlesnakes. Interest in the group remains to the present day with Universal Music to release a 5 CD box set of the complete recordings in early 2015.
For two years following The Commotions split Neil Clark was one third of the group Bloomsday before he returned to tour with Lloyd Cole in support of the singer’s second studio album, stepping in for guitarist Robert Quine who had played on the recording. This led to further subsequent work with Lloyd Cole – Clark adding guitar to the albums Love Story, Etc, Music In A Foreign Language and 2006’s Antidepressant – and often involved touring with Lloyd as a duo or with his various groups in support of these albums. Additionally during this time period he also worked with a number of different artists on projects in Canada (he relocated to Toronto in 1994), France and the U.S.
Clark has enjoyed a productive relationship in Ontario with filmmaker and director Terrance Odette, contributing compositions and songs to two of Odette’s films, Heater and Sleeping Dogs, and in addition, scoring the documentary TV series, Photograph. He has also recently collaborated with Toronto composer and singer David Wall working on the scores for episodes of War Story (History Televison) and The Beetles Are Coming (an episode of acclaimed CBC series, The Nature of Things).
He continues to develop his library of original recordings, releasing 2008’s, Sundogs and 2010’s, Second Story Sunlight. He also plays guitar in the post-jazz trio Sleepers, with Alisdair Jones and Ambrose Pottie. The group have released two recordings to date, the e.p. Sleepers 1 and the album Sleepers 2.
Neil operates a private consultation practice teaching guitar. Further details can be found in his separate teaching site