Mark Loughman: A Mancunian In America
He was a musician in 90s Manchester's, he's opened for Sting and busked his way across the States; meet an indie rocker with a love for Bowie who's album includes guests from Josh Homme and Matt Sorum.
Words: Phil Weller
Mark Loughman snarls his lyrics with a typically sharp Mancunian acidity Leave A Light On. Despite his relocation to Los Angeles in 2000, for a musician who spent the 90s performing in Happy Mondays, Soda and Elbow as well as opening up for Sting in ’98, his Manchester heritage still burns brightly in his music after some 18 years of growing accustomed to American sunshine instead of the oft rain choked grey of our city - indeed he even has a song called Manc Grey Sky.
Leave A Light On starts with just his rasping, reminiscent vocals and a thinly overdriven, chugging guitar. When it kicks in it becomes a song full of flavour and energy. There’s elements of 90s Manc indie, punk and a dash of glam rock too. A fiery, rhythmic song takes the song to higher planes later on and is, in all, a simple but punchy and accessible rock song deftly decorated with little melodic embellishments and touches of class that exemplify Loughman’s decades of experience.
“l got of the plane at New York JFK with just a bag and a guitar,” the singer/guitarist says of his migration to the States. “l had a limited amount of cash so all I could do was start busking. l wanted to see a bit more of America and to see some musically historic places so I headed out to Nashville and then on to Memphis.
“The main criteria was to earn enough busking for my food and lodging. l got a couple of paying gigs here and there but nothing kept me in one place. After brief stints in New Orleans and Texas, I landed in the home I’d always missed, LA. While in Hollywood I managed to get a couple of gigs with the Charlatans and Reeves Gabrels but it felt like just the playing of music alone wouldn’t be enough to sustain a decent existence. That’s when I swapped the guitar for a soldering iron and became a tech.
“After a few years on that side of the industry I began to miss playing so I was encouraged back into the studio and the Mark Loughman album was born. My two albums are a mix of 70s glam, punk and indie rock influenced by Bolan, Bowie and McCartney and was exiting enough to attract some local guests. Amongst the artists who featured on the album are Josh Homme (Leave The Goons Outside) and Matt Sorum/Gilby Clark (This Is Your Last Song).”
Latest album, Bleeding Aura, also features the track, She’s Every Single Bit of Lovely, which is marked by a bright, snappy chord progression, mixing elements of The Charlatans with his love for Bowie and McCartney, his voice even having hints of Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale to it.
Bleeding Aura is out now and is streaming on all the usual platforms.
For more info head to http://markloughman.com