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Mark & The Clouds at the Alleycat Bar, Denmark Street, London: Marco & Shin (photo by Yuki Shimizu)

Mark & The Clouds in Italy, November 2017. From left: Javier Ayensa, Marco Magnani, John O'Sullivan & Shin Okajima. (photo by Julia Everett)


MARK & THE CLOUDS

Mark & the Clouds is a London-based band fronted by singer/guitarist/songwriter Marco Magnani (formerly in Instant Flight + The Crazy World of Arthur Brown + Smokers + Avvoltoi ) whose  idea to gather various friends to record new tunes led to the release of the first album "Blue Skies Opening" (CD,Vinyl & Digital) by Mega Dodo Records on 30th June 2014. The list of names on the record includes: Ian Button on drums (Ex Death In Vegas, now Papernut Cambridge), John O’Sullivan on Bass/Guitar/backing vocals (also in Instant Flight + The Snakes + Limozine), Shin Okajima on drums (he formed The Smokers with Marco in 1994), Fabio Mongelli on backing vocals (singer/guitarist in The Lysergics), Tiberio Ventura on drums (previously with Marco in Italian cult band Avvoltoi) , Fabio Serrone on guitar & bass (guitarist in Mixed Company and JJ King & The Coolers), Javier H.Ayensa on guitar (his first album as J.H.A. Band, had Marco on bass), Ray Fontana on keyboards, Michele Rossiello on bass(Atomic Workers + That's All Folks), Joe Hammond on trombone & Tom Hammond on trumpet. Drummer James Ovens, previously with Marco in Instant Flight, performed with Mark & The Clouds at the Alleycat Club on two occasions. Their second album "Cumulus" released in 2017 by Mega Dodo on CD & Vinyl, had a different line-up: Marco Magnani(vocals & guitars), John O'Sullivan(bass & backing vocals), Shin Okajima(drums), Javier H. Ayensa(rhythm guitars) and the occasional help of  Lucie Rejchrtova' on keyboards, Joe Hammond on trombone & Tom Hammond on trumpet.  Keyboardist Charles Bennett joined them for their "Live at the Half Moon, Putney"(2015), released by Mega Dodo Records as a limited double CD of "Cumulus" as CD2.  Several good reviews have been written on their albums, including Shindig Magazine, Terrascope, Bliss/Aquamarine, Strange Brew, Heyday Records, Expose' Online, Aural Innovations, Code 7 Records Distribution, Record Collector magazine (U.K.), Wild Thing (Greece), Clearspot Distribution, Carry Munter's New Underground Music (Holland), Blow Up Magazine, Rumore(Italy) and many others. They had a lot of Radio play, including BBC, the Smart Set by DJ Marrs Bonefire,"Ice Cream Man Power Pop & more" by DJ Wayne Lundqvist Ford(Sweden), Radio Scotland by DJ Mark Waters, Monies New Indie Radio(USA), Lenn Johnston Parallel Universe(USA), Radio Citta' Fujiko & Radio Citta' del Capo(Bologna) and many others.
They played several gigs in London(What's Cooking, Betsey Trotwood, Dublin Castle, Country Soul Sessions, Camden Proud Gallery, David Bash "I.P.O" London, Alleycat Club), Billion Dollar Fest(Barcelona), Cortile Cafe'(Bologna), Sidro Club(Cesena) and more venues. They had a regular monthly "Unplugged" performance at the Aces & Eights, London, between 2017 & 2019.
Mark & The Clouds Live shows are often stripped down to an effective 3piece with Marco(guitar),John(bass)and Shin(drums) with occasional guests. This solid nucleus of 3 recorded a lot of new material between 2019 and 2020 which gives them material for more than just a new album.