GUITARIST AND COMPOSER Neil Robert Clark was born in Hamilton, Scotland. He holds dual British and Canadian nationality. In the early 1980’s when the U.K. and his home city of Glasgow were in the midst of the new wave explosion he formed the group Newspeak with future Creation Records head Alan McGee – playing the city’s many music venues alongside contemporaries, Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Bluebells. After a short time this led to a meeting with Blair Cowan and Lloyd Cole and to the formation of the group that was eventually to become Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.
The Commotions 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 strong and Universal Music released a 5 CD box set of their complete recordings in June 2015.
Returning to work with Lloyd Cole as a side musician in support of the singer’s second solo studio album in 1991, recording and touring with Lloyd on additional projects subsequently followed – Neil adding guitar to the albums Love Story, Etc, The Negatives, Music In A Foreign Language and 2006’s Antidepressant. Additionally during this time period he worked with a number of different artists as a side musician and co-writer on numerous projects in Canada, France and the U.S.
As a composer Clark has enjoyed a productive relationship in Ontario with filmmaker and director Terrance Odette, working on two of Odette’s films, Heater and Sleeping Dogs, and scoring the documentary TV series, Photograph. He has also collaborated with Toronto composer and singer David Wall working with him on the scores for episodes of War Story (History Television) and The Nature Of Things (CBC).
In 2008 Neil released an album of largely solo guitar recordings Sundogs, of which long-time collaborator Lloyd Cole had this to say. “Guitar is a tough instrument as the lead (for a whole tune) but he’s got the balance just right on this collection…..there’s just the right amount of harmony and counter rhythm. He’s also become a great engineer – these pieces are beautifully recorded. Needless to say, the paying is deft, soulful and everything else you’d hope it would be. He’s channeling Frissell one minute and Keith the next, but he’s so much his own man that he doesn’t sound even slightly derivative..” The collection, Second Story Sunlight, followed in 2010.
Neil also plays guitar in the power-trio Sleepers, with Alisdair Jones and Ambrose Pottie. Sleepers have released one e.p. and one full length album.
in 2014/15 he studied improvisation and harmony with renowned vibraphonist and educator Gary Burton.
He is currently adding finishing touches to a new batch of recordings with the release of new material planned for May 2016.