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Holy Barbarians

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Although the Cult enjoyed huge commercial success after relocating to the west coast of America, by the mid-90s they were facing artistic stalemate. The Holy Barbarians, led by Cult singer Ian Astbury (b. 14 May 1962, Heswall, Cheshire, England), were inaugurated because, ‘I guess I just wanted to go home’. Keen to find fresh, enthusiastic musicians with which to work, he recruited Patrick Sugg (guitar/vocals) from Los Angeles punk band Lucifer Wong. Together they demoed songs in his Los Angeles garage amid Astbury’s famed collection of Beatles and Everton Football Club memorabilia. The line-up was completed with the addition of former Cult drummer Scott Garrett, who in turn recruited his brother, bass player Matt Garrett. Astbury then elected to return home to Liverpool, England, where the band made its base. Their debut album, Cream, was released by Beggars Banquet Records in April 1996. While Astbury’s voice remained distinctive, many ties with Cult records of the past had obviously been cut - in opposition to too many songs led by Billy Duffy’s lead guitar work, the new material had a more rhythmic and contemporary edge. Fittingly, the album’s title was inspired by Astbury’s regular attendance at the famous Cream house venue in Liverpool. By the late 90s Astbury had revived the Cult and put the Holy Barbarians project to bed.

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