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Bob Follen

November 2019 marks Bob’s 5th year of involvement amongst Louder, as Bob Art Models, the festival’s Artist in Residence.

His portraits are punky and fun and done purely through Bob’s appreciation for the subject matter.

Trained in 3D Design, Bob discovered portrait painting much, much later in life. His first public exhibition was alongside KLF giant, Mr Bill Drummond 20 years ago.

Bob’s Great Uncle on his Mum’s side was Freddie Garrity from Freddie And The Dreamers, and Bob’s Nan on his Dad’s side was childhood friends with both Vera Lynn and Bert Weedon. That explains a lot. A historical name dropper.

Bob is author of the Storm Thorgerson and Pink Floyd tribute picture book “Storm@75”.

Instagram: BobArtModels

Twitter: @bobfollen

Jonathan Barnbrook

Barnbrook Studio is one of the acclaimed graphic design studios in Britain – working on activist, cultural and musical projects. Its founder Jonathan Barnbrook, is most well known for his collaborations with David Bowie’s later albums including the Grammy award winning design for Blackstar.e also works with a number of electronic musicians that interest him. As an activist he has long been associated with Adbusters the international anti-advertising organisation. The studio’s contribution to graphic design was recognised by a major exhibition at the Design Museum, London in 2007. Jonathan Barnbrook is also a musician himself with an ongoing electronic music and visual project ‘Fragile Self‘ with his partner Anil Aykan.

Professor Malcolm Garrett

Professor Malcolm Garrett RDI FISTD

With offices in London and Manchester, Malcolm Garrett is Creative Director at the design consultancy Images&Co, a creative partnership with writer Kasper de Graaf that was first established in 1981, when together they produced the ground-breaking, style magazine ‘New Sounds New Styles’.

Malcolm is widely regarded as a key influence on the development of contemporary British graphic design. As a first generation punk, at art school in Manchester in 1977, he founded the innovative graphic design group Assorted iMaGes, and subsequently created landmark designs for numerous bands throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s

He moved to London in late 1978 to work at the heart of a music and lifestyle industry in regeneration, and in 1983 went on to establish ‘The Bank’, a collective home for designers & artists in what was then a derelict Shoreditch in East London. Developing a distinctive visual style, often described as ‘pop-constructivist’, he worked with musicians such as Buzzcocks, Magazine, Duran Duran, Boy George and Simple Minds over several years, his work evolving in sympathy as the bands themselves evolved.

In 1994 he established the pioneering digital agency, AMX, one of the first in Shoreditch (now known as ‘tech city’), working in publishing, the arts, with numerous corporate clients, and musicians such as Orbital, Oasis, Iron Maiden and Spice Girls.

Recognised with a number of Honorary Professorships and Doctorates, in 2000, he became the first RSA Royal Designer in ‘new media’, in 2015 was one of the first 10 designers in the Design Week ‘Hall of Fame’, and in 2017 he was nominated as one of Creative Review’s 50 ‘Creative Leaders’.

Malcolm is noted for his collaborative and user-focused approach to design, as well as his commitment to design education at all levels. He is an Ambassador for Manchester School of Art, and is a Founder and Artistic Director of the annual Design Manchester festival.  |  T: @malcolmgarrett  |  I: @beingmalcolmgarrett  |  @imagesco  |  @designmcr

Professor Martin James

Martin is Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at Solent University, Southampton and an internationally published music critic. He has worked on the editorial teams of some of the UK’s leading music magazines, as well as contributing to numerous music and lifestyle magazines and UK daily broadsheet newspapers. He has written several critically acclaimed books about music, including French Connections: From Discotheque to Discovery, Moby: Replay and Dave Grohl – Times Like His. The first part of Martin’s definitive biography of The Prodigy, We Eat Rhythm, was published last year. Part two, We Live for the Beats, is due early 2021. State of Bass, an update of his long out-of-print history of the early years of jungle and drum & bass will be published in April 2020 on Velocity Press.

Ralph Dartford

Ralph Dartford hails from Basildon in Essex, and now lives in West Yorkshire, having got there via Australia, Barcelona and Los Angeles. He was the founding member of influential spoken word collective ‘A Firm of Poets’, and his first collection of poetry, Cigarettes, Beer and Love was published by Ossett Observer Presents in 2013. A new collection, Recovery Songs – also touring as a spoken word show – is forthcoming from Valley Press in October 2019.

Rankin Roger Jnr

Matthew ‘Ranking Jnr’ Murphy, the son of Ranking Roger, shot to fame the release of ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ by The Ordinary Boys, peaking at number 3 in the UK charts in 2005. At the same time, Jnr had been touring and recording with The Beat Feature Ranking Roger which saw him perform all over the world from Australia, to Europe, Middle East to India… the list goes on. Currently, Jnr is back in the studio working on new solo and band recordings.

Rankin Roger

On 26 March 2019 Ranking Roger died at the age of 56. He had just completed writing his life story. I Just Can’t Stop It is the story of Ranking Roger’s life in The Beat: one of music’s most influential multicultural bands at the centre of the post-punk, 2-Tone revolution.

“The mid Seventies was one of the most influential periods in the history of British pop music, and Ranking Roger was at the centre of this febrile and explosive clash of cultures – uniquely placed to document the excitement of those times – the heady joy of success, the political turmoil, the inherent racism, as well as the brotherly bond of musicians struggling to make themselves heard within it.”  Sting Join co-author Daniel Rachel to share the life of one of music’s most enigmatic frontmen.

Rhoda Dakar

Rhoda Dakar began her musical career as lead vocalist with all female 2 Tone band, The Bodysnatchers. She went on to record with The Specials and Madness, appearing live with both bands. She is also a respected DJ and will be touring with The Selecter in Autumn 2019 on their 40 Years Of 2Tone Tour as DJ and special guest, playing in Mexico, USA, Europe and finally the UK.

Rhoda is still writing and recording and recently released the second in her LoTek Four EP series, the opening track of which, Comfort Zone, was played this week on BBC 6 Music. Another of the tracks, Welcome To My Themepark, appears on the closing titles of award winning short, Goodnight London, a documentary tackling gentrification.

With a sideline in sleevenotes, Rhoda authored the booklet for the recent re-release of The Beat’s back catalogue. Still a campaigner and local activist, she is a patron of the Music Venue Trust and an ambassador for Tonic Music for Mental Health.

Paul Hanley

Paul Hanley was the drummer in The Fall from 1980-85 and now plays with Brix & The Extricated. His debut book Leave The Capital: A History of Manchester Music in 13 Recordings was nominated for the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.

John Robb

John Robb is a many-faceted creature. Bassist and singer for post-punk mainstays The Membranes, author, journalist, DJ, publisher and talking head, he’s all these things and more

He grew up in Blackpool before punk rock came along and saved his life.

Naively believing that you really could do what you wanted he went on to form the loudest group ever, the Membranes- the highly influential post punk band and were a big influence on the soon to come Sonic Youth and Big Black American scene. Membranes recently reformed and their 2016 Dark matter/Dark Energy is a critically acclaimed ‘masterpiece’ that is their best selling album yet. The band Released their new acclaimed album ‘What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away’ in 2019 recorded with a 20 piece choir. (

He was one of the leading post punk fanzine writers in the UK with ‘Rox’ before  he went on to write for the rock press with Sounds and was the first person to interview Nirvana and coined the expression Britpop and was instrumental in kick starting and documenting the Madchester scene with his writing.

His music and culture website is currently one of the biggest music and culture sites in the UK and he does loads of TV and radio and is currently setting up a multi-media channel for Lush and filming exclusive one hour interviews with people like Green party leader Caroline Lucas, musician Shaun Ryder, comedian Stewart Lee and many others for them (

He also currently writes books and articles, co-runs Louder Than Words and is a political campaigner who chairs committees in Parliament and is an in demand speaker with his spoken word show spawned by the success of his talks of TEDx on punk, zen and the universe and also for his talks of veganism and punk rock and is launching a one man in conversation show called ‘The world accruing to John Robb’ (

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