He played for the Psychedelic Furs, hung out with an overdosing Phil Lynott, fingered Andy Warhol’s bullet wounds and once tipped a pint of beer over singer Richard Butler. Duncan Kilburn remembers his years of living dangerously

Duncan Kilburn, former Psychedelic Furs member, plays sax onstage for the Sisters of Mercy
Duncan Kilburn, former Psychedelic Furs member, plays sax onstage for the Sisters of Mercy (Image credit: Lesley Palmer)

Around 9pm on 18 November 2023, The Sisters of Mercy’s encore at Newcastle NX began in outlandish and thrilling fashion. 

A lone saxophone player – a rangy man of pensionable age in shades and a flat cap worn backwards – took to the stage. Picked out by a purple spotlight and accompanied by a drone-like backing track, he played something that was part skronk and part Middle Eastern melody. It occupied a rarely explored space between The Last Post, Tara by Roxy Music and free jazz improv.

The Sisters’ crowd fell into a mesmerised and bewildered silence. Even those that twigged that the saxophonist was playing a version of Sandstorm, a Sisters’ instrumental B-side from 1988, still had one major, lingering question.

Who the fuck is that guy?

As the sax player blew the final notes of Sandstorm, the drum intro to Dominion kicked in and was met with its customary eruption of cheers, this time amplified by the recognition that – whoever the sax player might be – his presence was An Event.

The cat in the flat cap retook his place in the purple spotlight for a solo on Dominion and by the time he was on stage again in Nottingham and Manchester – with Lucretia My Reflection added to his repertoire – word was out.

The mystery guest was Duncan Kilburn.

Kilburn is best known as a founder member and the original saxophone player in the Psychedelic Furs. He played on and co-wrote their self-titled debut album and its follow-up Talk Talk Talk before his time in the Furs came to a bad-tempered end in late 1981. He was, therefore, integral to the creation of some of the best British music rock music of the post-punk era.

He is also an important figure in the history of The Sisters of Mercy. Kilburn first met Andrew Eldritch nearly 43 years ago, back when Eldritch was still Andy Taylor, a minor Leeds face with a ramshackle, fledgling version of The Sisters on the go. Kilburn accepted a demo tape that Eldritch handed to him at a Psychedelic Furs soundcheck. “Duncan, bless him, passed it on and was encouraging and that gave us a massive boost,” Eldritch has recalled. “I can’t thank him enough. None of this would have happened without him.”

After the Furs, Kilburn continued to play music but has spent most of the last 40 years as a civilian, working for Reuters and then as a restaurateur, first in Hong Kong and then in Cambodia. He now lives in Adelaide and is working on a heavily fictionalised autobiography called The River Returns

Portrait of British group the Psychedelic Furs as they pose backstage at Tuts, Chicago Illinois, October 8, 1980. Pictured are, from left, Tim Butler, Roger Morris (fore), Vince Ely (rear), Richard Butler (fore), Duncan Kilburn (rear), and John Ashton. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

The Psychedelic Furs, backstage at Tuts, Chicago, October 8, 1980. From left: Tim Butler, Roger Morris (fore), Vince Ely (rear), Richard Butler (fore), Duncan Kilburn (rear), and John Ashton (Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

What was it like playing those concerts with The Sisters? 

Duncan Kilburn: It was great. In terms of the playing, I honestly think it is some of the best work I’ve done in a long time. This project gave me great scope for some creative interpretation. My son, Josh who plays in a band called The Hydes, wrote a piece on synth, and we added a sample of an arghul. That was the backing, which the band incorporated into the drum intro to Dominion. My version of Sandstorm is really an improvisation around the original theme, which is itself sax outtakes from Dominion played backwards. Right up my alley! 

During the first soundcheck in Newcastle, we just plugged it all in and it worked first time. Almost. We also added a coda with a final manic run in the last bar. The following gig [at Nottingham Rock City], we added some solos to an extended version of ‘Lucretia’. The final night at Manchester Academy was quite literally madness. Again, it all worked – the crew are total professionals and Ben Christo (Sisters’ guitarist) was really helpful – and I think Andrew was happy. 

How did it all come about? Rarely do The Sisters have guest musicians on stage…

Being interviewed for your book on the Sisters (Paint My Name In Black and Gold) back in 2018 brought me back in touch with Andrew and somehow the idea of a guest spot came up. It was short notice, and because of the distances involved, I worked out a very narrow window where I could be available. It seems like an insane distance to travel for a few shows, but it is the Sisters, and my oldest son lives in Liverpool.

I almost didn’t make it. I was denied boarding in Doha for the connecting flight to Heathrow. I’d like to say it was because I threw up on the air bridge and demanded to sit with the pilot, but it was over-sold and I was unlucky. I did try the Dolores O’Riordan, “Don’t you know who I am?” They didn’t.

You first met Andrew Eldritch in May 1981.

It seems to have been at Huddersfield Poly where I noticed these guys leaning against the venue's back wall during the soundcheck. Andrew and I talked for a while, and he handed me a demo on a cassette, which we played on the bus and at soundchecks. I liked it a lot. It sounded like early Furs with a drum machine.

Legend has it that I could be a bit irritable on tour but an old roadie once said to me after I was being particularly obnoxious: “Be nice to people on the way up. You’ll need them on the way down.” I must have kept that in mind on that occasion.

For Eldritch this was a key moment in Sisters’ history – he’s always been grateful for such kindnesses of strangers. What was it like for the pair of you to meet up after so long?

Look, he’s a very private person, and I know that he wouldn’t appreciate me talking too much about our relationship. But he’s a great guy, quiet and unassuming off-stage. When I arrived at the soundcheck at Newcastle I was naturally apprehensive.  I put my sax together and blew a couple of notes, and he wandered over and commented on the sound. I didn’t initially recognise him. 

Eldritch loved the version of the Furs with you in the band. Do you see influences or parallels between the two bands?

Richard Butler is one of that era’s great lyric writers. So is Andrew.

Do you look back on your time in the Furs fondly?

There were some touching moments. Hanging out on the stairs of the Ritz with Phil Lynott as he overdosed. Supporting Iggy Pop at the Hammersmith Palais. Sharing a dingy rehearsal studio on Holloway Road in North London with Adam & the Ants, and two years later hanging out with Adam and Roger Taylor from Queen backstage at an Ants gig at The Hollywood Bowl. Touching a shirtless Andy Warhol’s bullet wound scars at The Factory. Being backstage at our gig at Hurrahs with David Bowie, David Byrne, David Johansen, Todd Rundgren and Andy. Just a few highlights. 

But it really became a story of broken childhood relationships and animosity. It needn’t have been, but poor management, a misunderstanding of how the record company system worked, and egos and greed, brought it all crashing down in 1981.

Can you explain how your time in The Furs ended?

We were playing a show in Philadelphia, and I’d asked if good friends of ours, New Math, could support us. They were a great band, had helped us and occasionally looked after us on the road, so it seemed a reasonable request. Columbia agreed, but a few days before, it pulled the band in favour of an act on the label, and I was incensed. I insisted they be reinstated, but Columbia refused, and the band and management didn’t support me. I refused to travel to New York for a show the following night at the Ritz and arranged to travel back to London. In the middle of the night, I got a call from the record company in London, and we came to an arrangement. I would see out the US tour and then a short European tour with U2 and leave in a more orderly fashion after a final show at the Dominion Theatre in London. It was a huge relief to be out of it.

Is it true you tipped a pint of beer over Richard Butler’s head on a ferry?

Yeah. Richard and I laid into each other on a ferry returning from Calais after a particularly chaotic Rockpalast show at the Metropol in Berlin.

Years later, Richard Butler described your departure as “just a stupid argument, basically, that got out of control.” He seemed almost regretful that you left the band. What has your relationship been like with him since then?

Non-existent, and the real tragedy was the effect it had on my relationship with my best mate through school and university, Simon Butler, Richard’s younger brother. Simon was the same age as me, and we met on our first day at High School. He was slightly overweight, wore thick glasses and had a pronounced limp from a poorly healed broken leg. We were best mates until the breakup of the Furs. He was also a very loyal brother.

After the Dominion gig, we didn’t see each other or communicate until a few moments before his death. We were both in the hospital; Simon was having a blood transfusion as a treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and I was having minor surgery. While we were waiting to go into theatre, Simon somehow reached out and sent me a text. We thought it was hilarious that we were both in surgery, and he sent me a picture of him about to have a blood transfusion. He didn’t survive that procedure. It was a great tragedy. 

And with the other members and dramatis personae from those days?

I did the Satellite Paradiso project with John Ashton, and from that, spinoff projects with Frank Coleman, Secret Agent Declassified, for example. It seemed to me that John couldn’t establish any contact until he left the Furs and escaped the Svengali-like grip of Richard Butler. I’m kidding. But it was great to work with him again.

I heard some stories about that final – for you – Furs show at the Dominion. One features a suitcase full of cash, and in the other, you threaten to firebomb the office of the Furs’ manager, Les Mills.

We’d lost a lot of money in Berlin five days earlier and the band was desperately short of cash. It was agreed that the entire takings of the gig - the venue was hired by CBS - would be handed directly to the band to help pay debts for diesel and legal fees we needed to get us out of Germany.

The gig held 2,000 and it was cash on the door, five quid.

After the gig, Les comes into the dressing room with a suitcase. He needs to get it back to his place in the East End. Richard and I volunteer, and we pile into a cab.  When we get to Les’s place we realised we had no cash to pay for the cab. We opened the suitcase – it's not even locked – and out spills 10,000 quid in used fivers.  The driver thinks we’ve done a bank and is mightily impressed. We stuff the suitcase under Les’s bed and get back to the gig without anyone noticing we were missing.

My parents wanted to see the show and Les wouldn’t put them on the guest list. I had told them it was my last gig with the band – and the only one they saw. But I didn’t threaten to firebomb Les’s joint. But I did get them in: I put them in the Royal Box. My mum was very impressed. There was no possibility of refreshments for them, so I had to brave the front of the house to nip out to the pub to buy a six-pack and blag my way back in.

The Furs seemed to have argued all the time about everything. Music included?

Not music, importantly. But there was an issue was around the production of the third album (Forever Now). 

David Bowie was approached and agreed to an executive production role but could only commit to 10 days of studio time. He was doing The Elephant Man and had minimal time in his schedule. And then there was Todd Rundgren, who was keen to do the album. Vince Ely, the Furs drummer, was a big fan. Steve Lillywhite also expressed an interest after hearing President Gas and Forever Now, which were already in the set.

The logic shouted at me: “Go with Bowie at all costs. You’ll never get a better chance!”  But Richard, and therefore Les, went with Todd. There was no real discussion about it.

You seem to have had particular grievances against Columbia, the American record company? The borscht story is always worth retelling…

Well, it is only a recollection and may have been embellished over the years, but my issue was that the tours seemed to be endless. Even when there was an end date it would be extended, and we were exhausted. It seems petty now, but often we’d be playing two shows a night and to me there seemed little point in playing an extra couple of shows for the sake of it. We were invited to lunch at The Russian Tea Room with Columbia and when the issue of further tour dates was mentioned, I up-ended a bowl of borscht onto a white tablecloth and the band followed suit. Columbia was also pushing for a third album and you can’t have it both ways. 

When you were in the band was there a sense the Furs were bigger in the US than Europe and the UK? You played there a lot.

The press was not treating us well in the UK, and it seemed logical to play to where the press and audience were most receptive, and at that time, it was the US. My favourite British review of the band was for our support of Iggy Pop. The review read, “Unfortunately I arrived in time to see the support band.” The band moved to America after I’d left and that’s probably not something I would have been interested in. 

Another Sisters connection: you and the Butler brothers grew up in the same part of ‘stock-broker belt’ Surrey where Eldritch went to school for a while.

I was very good at maths but hated school and wanted to study sculpture at Epsom Art School. My father was mortified and managed to get me on one of the first Computer Science A-level courses in the UK, at Ewell Tech. Ewell was amazing. We had a very active Student Union and an entertainment committee that booked bands every week, including Queen’s fifth gig, Genesis with Peter Gabriel, Soft Machine with Bob Wyatt and the spinoff Kevin Ayers and the Whole World with 15-year-old Mike Oldfield. We’d hang out backstage with Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took. I was sixteen.

I was actually born in Acton in West London. We lived in my grandmother’s house in Isleworth behind the Twickenham rugby stadium. It was a two-up, two-down that my grandparents bought when my grandfather returned from the War in 1918. He’d been injured 19 days before the end. He recuperated in the same hospital - in the same ward – I would spend some time in when I was attacked in a pub in Dorking a couple of nights after finishing recording the first Psychedelic Furs album. 

Is this when your jaw got broken, so you started playing more keyboards?

That’s correct. We had a support gig with Hawkwind and there was no way I could play with my jaws wired together. They gave me a Moog Synthesiser. It sounded great, but to stop it, I had to turn it off.

Was your role also to be the tall, dark and handsome one in the band – the Furs were not uninterested in visual presentation?

Not really.  My job was to bite your head off you if you got in my way. So, I got beaten up a lot. John (Jean-Jacques) Burnel [of The Stranglers] knocked me out practicing martial arts at a party, and I got into a fight with Gary Glitter’s guitarist backstage at the Futurama festival in Leeds.

Yet another Eldritch parallel: both of you are university drop-outs. Oxford and Leeds for him.

After my first year, I was sent down from a Pure Maths course at City University. I got a job in Fleet Street working as a programmer for Reuters. At 21, I was posted to New York and lived at 211 East 51st and walked to work every day at 1212 Avenue of the Americas.

Manhattan in 1976 was a dangerous and edgy place. There used to be a police precinct on the corner of 51st and 3rd, which I walked past every morning. There would often be a sedan parked outside riddled with bullet holes. We were advised not to use the subway. If you got on the uptown express you’d be dumped in Harlem, and in those days, a white man in Harlem in a business suit spelt trouble. 

I lived a relatively sedentary life, mainly hanging out in bars uninspiringly named after the days of the week. Tuesdays was my favourite, where, on a Tuesday, you could catch Woody Allen’s jazz set.

New York is where you learned saxophone.

To while away the time, I bought an alto sax and got lessons from Chips, above Manny’s Music on West 48th Street. I’d studied piano at music school from a young age, read music fluently, and played trombone at school.

Chips was elderly and played clarinet in many of the great Broadway orchestra pits. He was a great teacher, introducing me for the first time to the theory of music and, most importantly, the circle of fifths. I regularly jammed at TJs, a small neighbourhood bar on 2nd Avenue and 51st, and found a genuine love for live performance.

When I returned to the UK at the beginning of ‘77 everything had changed: the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club, Bill Grundy, Seditionaries on the Kings Road. We were off to the races.

But the Furs were never really a punk band? The first version of the band predates punk and most of the major influences were non-punk. The band are more in the Roxy Music art school tradition?

The fledgling Psychedelic Furs had formed from school friends, including two Butler brothers, Richard and Simon, and Roger Morris. I played drums, or drum, as I only had a snare drum which was stolen at our first and only gig. I bought a tenor sax, a Conn Conqueror to add to my alto, and we played anywhere anyone would have us. We played as Radio, RKO, and the Europeans. Tim Butler, the youngest of the Butlers was roped in to play bass, and we had nine drummers in the first year. Not at the same time, to be clear.

Richard had studied Fine Art at Epsom Art School and became interested in Pop Art and Andy Warhol. The Butler household was bohemian, to say the least. George, the father, was a scientist at the National Physical Research Laboratory, and a communist. Joan, the mother, was a well-established and talented still-life artist. We’d rifle through George’s early Bob Dylan and Edith Piaf records collection and blast Iggy Pop and the Stooges through his expensive hi-fi. Richard had met Warhol at a book signing in the early seventies, and we discovered The Velvet Underground through him. The band’s name evolved from Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable and Venus in Furs.

The Furs followed the usual ‘career path’: grinding away, getting whatever gigs they could, burning through members, getting Peel interested, getting a manager, getting spotted by A&R…

John Peel took an early interest in the band and invited us to do a Peel Session at the BBC. It was a huge break. However, our then-drummer, Rod Johnston, didn’t turn up until noon, so when we’d finished a very rushed and chaotic set, I fired him. John Peel explained the situation on air, and John Ashton, then the guitarist from The Unwanted, suggested to Vince Ely, the drummer from that band, that he should apply. Vince agreed, but only if John could join as well, and we took them both. 

We also employed John’s partner Tracy Collier, as our manager. Tracy was a force of nature and upped our work rate, had us out in the sticks, touring up and down the M1. Plus, a residency at The Windsor Castle, followed by a residency at the Music Machine where Ben Kay, Muff Winwood’s PA, saw us and brought us to the attention of CBS, who signed us in late ’79. By this time, Les Mills had forced Tracy out as our manager – no honour amongst thieves!

And you had a choice to make?

I was still working for Reuters, back in Fleet Street and enjoying a stellar career. It was a strangely tricky decision. They offered me a two-year assignment in Rio at the Stock Exchange and when I turned that down – reluctantly – they agreed to keep my job open for a year, anticipating the inevitable crash. So, I went on a five-year sabbatical.

Although you were fired before the Furs’ Forever Now album, you had co-written music for some of the songs on it?

John Ashton and I converted the rear lounge of our tour bus into a studio with a Sony 4-track, drum machine, keyboards, and a practice amp, and we started writing Forever Now on the road. We’d bring tracks to the front of the bus to play to Richard and the rest of the band and during soundchecks to rehearse them up. We’d done President Gas and Forever Now this way, and the system was working, although I never got credit for the songs already written for Forever Now.

Do you think you would have enjoyed the experience of being in the Psychedelic Furs during their big hair/shoulder pads/MTV commercial peak in the later 80s?

No, absolutely not.

You didn’t become a major rock star but your name did carry some weight outside the Furs after your departure…

I flew to LA and spent some time with my girlfriend, whose father managed Liberace. We hung out with Lee at his place in Vegas over Christmas ‘81 and I remember auditioning for a fledgling Entertainment Tonight, a sort of roving UK-based music reporter, but Peter Fillbin, CBS’s West Coast A&R manager, summoned me for a meeting at the Polo Lounge at the Beverley Hills Hotel. He told me to return to London and look up Toni Childs.

We met at Island Records at the rehearsal studio that Toni was managing. She was sitting on the stage, picking out a melody on one string of a guitar and singing. I was hooked. She’d put together Nadia Kapiche with David Rhodes from Peter Gabriel’s band, Martyn Swaine, later of the Waterboys and me. I really had to up my game and focus. We were all salaried to Island Publishing, who had signed her, but Chris Blackwell wouldn’t give her a recording contract. We toured the provinces for a while until she returned to LA. Her debut album, Union, didn’t come out until 1988.

So your 5-year sabbatical came to an end?

The money was running out, and it was time to return to work. I didn’t want to return directly to Reuters, though, and worked for a time at a software house developing box office systems for theatres. It was a great stepping stone, but by 1985, I was back at Reuters via the London Stock Exchange and, in 1988, posted to Hong Kong on permanent assignment.

In 1994, I started a small software house in Hong Kong in partnership with Reuters, and rented office space on Hollywood Road. When the shutters came down on a small Chinese stationary shop selling calligraphy ink and fake money for funerals, I acquired the lease. The Globe opened a few months later. Based loosely on TJs, it became an immediate success. To save rent, I bought a 45-foot sailing boat called ‘Scots Wah Hey’ to live on and moved on board with my wife and young son.

Tell me about a typical night at the Globe when it was really on top form.

We had some very good beers – Stella, Hoegaarden, Leffe – and a local brewer, Crooked Island. Our chef, a young British cook from one of the great London hotels, created culinary triumphs from behind the bar and deep-fried snacks from a couple of domestic fryers out the back. Early evening the yuppy crowd hiking home up the Mid-levels Escalator would quickly fill it up until a lull around 9pm when often the Hong Kong Philharmonic string section would come in after rehearsals, 

I assume you left Hong Kong because you didn’t want to be there after it returned to Chinese rule. But why move to Cambodia?

I’d rowed for years in dragon boat racing at Stanley Beach for the Reuters team, and at a Christmas lunch at the Stanley residence of the Reuters’ managing director, my rowing partner showed me pictures of a French colonial villa he’d bought in Phnom Penh. A week later, I was in Cambodia surveying it. It was perfect for the next Globe.

We sailed out of Hong Kong on 1 April 1997, three months before the colony was to be handed back to China. We moored the boat in El Nido Palawan in the Philippines and arrived in Cambodia on 15 May, my son’s first birthday.

Moving to Cambodia with a young family to start a new business, was that a calculated risk or evidence of a mile-wide reckless streak? 

The truth of it was that one of our software house clients was an owner of the FCC – the Foreign Correspondence Club – in Cambodia and they were doing extremely well catering to the UN crowd, NGO workers, entrepreneurs and expat hangers-on. We needed somewhere to invest our growing cash pile and I wanted a bigger room, so I could build a stage.

We engaged a Russian builder to strengthen the building and replace the ground and first floors. The construction complete, the fit-out commenced in July just as a coup unravelled the very minimum level of law and order that existed in Cambo, as it became affectionately known. We were forced to evacuate to Saigon. We returned to find the airport destroyed and the few commercial buildings on the way into the city scarred with rocket-propelled grenade holes in their glass walls. The Globe though was intact. We opened the day Princess Diana died, and things went downhill from there.

After 5 years of struggle, it was SARS that finally closed us. We tried to open similar venues in Saigon and Da Nang, but the police closed us down before we opened. The staff bought out the Hong Kong Globe, which is still going today. It’s in a different, larger building but the painting of my son as an angel blowing a south easterly still hangs on the wall.

You are now working on a highly fictionalised autobiography, The River Returns. In it, River Bennet is you; The Gumbies are the Furs; Ricky Cook is the singer.

Yes, I’ve chosen a fictionalised format in the perilous hope of avoiding lawsuits and assassination attempts but it is loosely based on real events. I met my business partner on a flight to Hong Kong when I was opening the first Globe. Mark Parr is a dwarf, a circus owner and a thoroughly great guy and features throughout the narrative as Oscar Ray. In fact, I owe him a huge debt of gratitude and probably a large sum of money.  

So, the book draws on a few years of meeting some very crazy people and avoiding serious injury and prison, although I did spend a night in the notorious T3, which features in the book. My character River Bennet is a sort of allegory for the mighty Tonle Sap River, one of a few in the world which travels in two directions.

The River Returns is the first of a trilogy following River and Oscar from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in the footsteps of that 20th-century literary giant André Malraux. He, with his wife Clara, was responsible in the 1920s for stealing antiquities from Angkor Wat. The map and the postcard central to the plot in the first book take the pair up to the north of Cambodia in the second book, The Map, to track down what appears to be stolen relics hidden as Malraux and his wife attempted to escape.

My interest in Malraux stems from the movie Malraux, tu m’etonnes! by Michèle Rosier in which I was cast as the editor of a rival newspaper in Phnom Penh in 1920. I accompany my wife to a meeting with Malraux and Clara, and promptly get killed in a hunting accident! Even then, most of my scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, and I am sadly uncredited.  But you can see me in the scene arriving on a rickshaw and bidding her a final au revoir. They shut down Phnom Penh for a week to recreate 1920s Indochina, and I got to hang out with the cast and crew for a couple of days.

Joanna Walters of The Observer stumbled across you in Phnom Penh in 2000. Her article mentions grenades, a machine gun being held to your wife’s head, heroin for sale in chemists, the under-age sex trade, and Lancashire hotpot. I’m assuming life in the Wild East was far hairier and scarier than being in a rock band.

Her article paints a very accurate picture of the madness that was Cambodia in 2000.

You didn’t object to being described as "balding, frayed… and strangling Walk On The Wild Side"?

I don’t really care what journos say about me. I just wanted them to say something so that people were curious and come looking for the venue, which they did. I was working out a set for Friday and Saturday with a few players who were in town. I think Jim Cruickshank from the Cruel Sea was there. Anyway, we trying to work up a Velvets tribute, and as I don’t sing, I probably was murdering Walk On The Wild Side. You should never invite journalists to a rehearsal. It’s the old sausages and laws issue – you don’t want to see either being made.

The article was the front page of The Observer travel pull out and had a great picture from the NME, of me somewhere in the States, backstage with my sax, on a pay phone. Classic. Never found it since. Several people thought it was my obituary.  

You’ve been in Adelaide for 20 years now.

I work with young people helping them play together as a band and I teach a bit of media. I’m not a teacher but it’s very rewarding to give kids access to very expensive equipment and see what they come up with.

And you don’t miss your Years of Living Dangerously? 

I prefer to call them The Years of Living Stupidly. And no, not at all.


Mark Andrews is from Warwickshire and lived and worked in the UK, Egypt and Belgium. His first book, Paint My Name In Black And Gold: The Rise Of The Sisters Of Mercy, is the definitive account of the early years of one of alt.rock's most original and influential bands. Mark has previously written for Louder about the Sisters of Mercy, as well as The Scientists, Gang Of Four (one of the last interviews with Andy Gill), The Mission, the Cramps, the Bad Seeds and more. He has also written for the Middle East Times, Bangkok Metro, Flanders Today and The Quietus.