Phil Cunningham (rock musician)
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Phil Cunningham in Miami (March 2012)
|Birth name||Philip Cunningham|
|Born||7 December 1974|
Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
|Genres||Synthpop, alternative dance, new wave, electronica|
|Instruments||Guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, programming, electronic drum pads|
|Associated acts||Marion, New Order, Bad Lieutenant, ShadowParty|
Cunningham is a member of the Britpop group Marion, which formed in Macclesfield in 1993. Along with singer Jaime Harding and fellow guitarist Tony Grantham, Cunningham has writing credits for all of the band's songs. After Marion's second album, The Program (recorded with Johnny Marr), frictions within the band began to take their toll; as a result, after heading to America for a fresh start, the band went their separate ways in 1999.
Cunningham joined Electronic as a touring guitarist, working again with Marr and Bernard Sumner from New Order as they promoted their third album Twisted Tenderness. Additionally, he played with LA band Run Run Run, Label and Tailgunner.
Cunningham and Harding resurrected Marion in 2006. Despite releasing an EP of new material and performing well-received live shows, they disbanded again in 2008 as a result of health issues within the band.
In 2011, Marion once again reconvened, with Grantham and bassist Julian Phillips joining Cunningham and Harding, and Jack Mitchell (formerly of Haven) on drums. Their comeback gig was recorded and released as the Alive in Manchester album in April 2012, and the release was accompanied by their first UK tour in over a decade. There are plans for further live shows and a third studio album.
In 2001, Cunningham joined New Order, initially as a touring musician in place of Gillian Gilbert who had stepped back from live commitments to care for her children. At this time New Order were touring Get Ready, their first album in eight years, and were enjoying a renaissance, playing shows in Europe, Japan and the United States. Cunningham remained part of New Order for the 2005 album Waiting for the Sirens' Call, where he made his recording and co-writing debut with the band.
From 2007 to 2011 the band were on hiatus, but Cunningham was once again part of New Order's 2011 reunion concerts, this time with Gilbert also returning to the band. He continues to perform with the band to the present day. Cunningham returned with New Order in 2015 to co-write and record Music Complete, along with new bass player, Tom Chapman.
2014 saw the band announce that they would participate in the annual Tibet House Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, alongside the likes of Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Philip Glass. Sumner, Cunningham and Chapman would be the bands representatives, and they returned in 2017 to perform a memorable set with Iggy Pop and most recently, February 2019, where they performed alongside Joe Duddell and Lenny Kaye, famed for his work with Patti Smith
During a break in New Order activity, Cunningham joined Sumner and Jake Evans (who was part of Marion from 2006 to 2008) to form Bad Lieutenant, which also featured Jack Mitchell, Stephen Morris (New Order) on drums and Alex James (Blur) on bass. Cunningham split the writing duties with Sumner and Evans on the band's debut album, Never Cry Another Tear.
In 2014, Cunningham and fellow New Order member, Tom Chapman, formed ShadowParty alongside Josh Hager and Jeff Friedl of electronica legends, Devo. The band had originated after a meeting between Chapman and Hager in Boston, Massachusetts, and they immediately formed the nucleus of the band, with Cunningham and Friedl completing the line up. July 2018 saw the release of the bands eponymous debut album, released on the Mute label. They collaborated with the likes of Manchester singer, Denise Johnson, best known for her work with Scottish rockers, Primal Scream, Nick McCabe, best known for his time in The Verve and Black Submarine, Jack Mitchell and Iwan Gronow, best known for their work with Johnny Marr, American DJ, Whitney Fierce and English composer, Joe Duddell. The album release saw the band playing at festivals, such as Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion in Wales, North By Northwich, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and the Dot To Dot Festival. They also made their debut headlining tour in the UK in September of the same year, and have recently completed a successful tour of Italy in January, 2019. The band enjoyed a successful tour supporting The Slow Readers Club in March this year too. The band also headlined Glasgow and supported A Certain Ratio in Manchester in May 2019.
with New Order
with Bad Lieutenant
- Never Cry Another Tear (2009)
- ShadowParty (2018)
- After Party E.P (2018)
- The Town Hall Sessions E.P (2019)
- Elizabeth Alker (5 September 2011). "New Order New Gigs". BBC 6 Music. Retrieved 8 October 2011.