Born in Hamilton, Scotland, Neil Clark holds dual British and Canadian citizenship. After graduating from Glasgow School of Art he played guitar in many early ’80’s bands in the city, including Newspeak with Alan McGee and Andrew Innes before meeting Lloyd Cole and Blair Cowan through a mutual friend. The three recruited drummer Stephen Irvine and bass player Lawrence Donegan to form 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. As interest in the group remained strong, Universal Music released a 5 CD box set of their complete recordings in June 2015.
Neil returned to work with Lloyd Cole as a side musician in support of the singer’s second solo studio album in 1991 and has remaimed a regular collaborator, in the studio and on the road, since then. He has played guitar on the albums Bad Vibes, Love Story, Etc, The Negatives, Music In A Foreign Language, Antidepressant, 2019’s Guesswork, and 2023’s, On Pain. He has also contributed a number of co-writes over the years, including well known Commotions songs, Are You Ready To Heartbroken and Rattlesnakes. Additionally he has worked with a number of artists as a side musician and co-writer on many projects in the U.K., Canada, France and the U.S. – including, The Bathers, Mae Moore, Axelle Renoir, The Negatives, Sleepers, and Clark/Jones/Pottie.
As a composer for film and television Clark has enjoyed a productive relationship in Canada with filmmaker and director Terrance Odette, working on two of Odette’s films, Heater and Sleeping Dogs, and scoring the documentary TV series, Photograph.
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..”.
In 2015 he studied improvisation and harmony at Berklee Online with renowned vibraphonist and educator Gary Burton.
Recent recording projects include: Guesswork (2019) and On Pain (2023) with Lloyd Cole and Tiny Lungs by Lake & Sea, a songwriting collaboration with Torontonian singer/songwriter, Theresa McKay.
- 2023: Lloyd Cole – On Pain
- 2022: Lake & Sea – Tiny Lungs
- 2019: Lloyd Cole – Guesswork
- 2018: John Paul Kleiner – Inter City (producer; player; mastering)
- 2017: Theresa McKay – Nightswimmer (mastering)
- 2016: CLARK | JONES | POTTIE – Frisell
- 2016: Neil Clark – I Only Just Got Here
- 2011: Sleepers – Sleepers 2
- 2010: Sleepers – Sleepers 1
- 2008: Neil Clark – Sundogs
- 2007: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Live @ the BBC
- 2007: Lloyd Cole Live @ the BBC
- 2006: Lloyd Cole – Antidepressant
- 2004: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Rattlesnakes Deluxe Edition
- 2004: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Singles
- 2003: Lloyd Cole – Music In A Foreign Language
- 2002: Lloyd Cole – Etc
- 2001: Lloyd Cole and the Negatives
- 1998: John Bottomley – Raggle Taggle
- 1998: Axelle Renoir – Rose
- 1996: Lloyd Cole – Love Story
- 1995: Mae Moore – Dragonfly
- 1994: Axelle Renoir – Magnums et Matinees Dansantes
- 1993: Lloyd Cole – Bad Vibes
- 1993: The Bathers – Lagoon Blues
- 1991: Bloomsday – Fortuny
- 1990: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – ’84 – ’89
- 1987: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Mainstream
- 1986: Absolute Beginners Soundtrack
- 1985: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Easy Pieces
- 1984: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Rattlesnakes