About The Speed Of Sound:

Original underground independent music veterans THE SPEED OF SOUND formed in Manchester UK, in 1989 with a pre-history dating directly back to the day Andy Warhol died in 1987.

The decades dwelling deep below the ‘music industry radar’ allowed the evolution of their own distinctly identifiable sound, improbably described by different people watching the same gig as simultaneously “like The Stranglers” and “like Jefferson Airplane”. With dual male and female lead vocalists, it is as though Debbie Harry and Lou Reed were fronting The Who and Television at the same time, combining the power of punk with the floating harmonies of The Byrds. Appropriately the natural beauty and order of the alphabet placesThe Speed Of Sound between Sonic Youth and Dusty Springfield.

Since their first release in 1989, The Speed Of Sound have continuously produced hard edged music with optimism and lyrical bite, with a DIY ethos derived from punk and a lust for experimentation taken from psychedelia. It’s been an existence far outside the major label world, retaining their fierce independence, all the while without access to any of the unseen big-wheel connections possessed by many that are keen to describe themselves as independent.  

The band gravitated together from within the Manchester underground scene and have been doing their thing for over three decades with a shifting collective lineup that has, other than the addition of keyboards, remained unchanged since 2018. Ever changing, ever evolving ,and always forward looking, The Speed Of SOund have been a hub for local and international independent artists, collaborating on multiple recording projects and hosting gigs for visiting acts from across the UK and further beyond, many on their first Manchester appearance.  

Gigging across the length of the UK and also in mainland Europe, among other unusual venues The Speed Of Sound have performed in an art gallery, a library, in the parlour of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell and have been introduced on stage by Andy Kershaw (who, among other, things MC’d Live Aid).  In line with the band’s prominent social conscience, their 2018 double A-side single was released in support of Manchester Women’s Aid, for which the video was filmed in the former home of Emmeline Pankhurst; in the birth place of the Suffragette movement.

In addition to their own label ‘Be Records’ The Speed Of Sound found a fitting match in Big Stir Records of Burbank California and began releasing via them in 2019.  The band’s multimedia and activist stances, together with their restless artistic experimentalism and mastery of the pop-rock form, are all on display on their ambitious and 5th album Museum Of Tomorrow. There is more on the way.

So what exactly IS Future Retro Modernist music?

The historic and current line up of The Speed Of Sound :

Current members of the The Speed Of Sound:

John Armstrong: Songwriting, guitars and vocals

Ann-Marie Crowley: Guitars and vocals

Kevin Roache – Bass guitar.

John Broadhurst – Drums

Henry Armstyrong: Keyboards

All website content is copyright: John Armstrong/The Speed Of Sound – 1989-2023