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Nick Barker

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Nick Barker is an Australian singer songwriter known for his evocative lyrics. Starting out with Melbourne punk band The Wreckery, Barker then formed his own rock/power pop band Nick Barker and The Reptiles in the late 1980s. Signed to Mushroom Records’ prestigious ‘White Label’ imprint (created by Michael Gudinski as a condition imposed to get the signatures of Hunters & Collectors into his Mushroom stable), The Reptiles put out two albums (1989s Goin’ To Pieces and 1991s After The Show) and one rare EP, Loose, tracks from which are still often heard as fill music on TV Sports programs such as ‘Wide World of Sports.’

After a period of hiatus and overseas travel, Barker returned to Melbourne, disbanded the Reptiles, and pursued a solo career via labels within the Mushroom Records group (almost all the Reptiles’ original material had been penned almost entirely by him). Barker moved into indie territory with his acclaimed solo albums Happy Man (1994), Damn Mermaids (1996), and Annie Get Your Guru (1999).

A prolific live touring performer, Barker has often performed solo and acoustic (or else accompanied by only a keyboardist or harmonica player) and has an excellent reputation for a charismatic stage presence, crowd interaction and banter. This led to the 2001 release of a live and acoustic album entitled Returned Service, with acoustic tracks culled from a number of live shows in different Australian cities. This was his first release outside the Mushroom Records umbrella, and coincided with the full sale of the Mushroom business to Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd by Michael Gudinski - a number of other prominent artists defected from Mushroom at this time including sometime Barker collaborator Paul Kelly.

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