The Phoenix Experiment Archive
The Dark will Sharpen the Light…
The Phoenix Experiment are a psychedelic / electronic rock band from the United Kingdom.
Initially started as a studio project by Mike Bee and Craig Harman following the end of the 66, their first single was the hard-hitting driven blues track ‘Cut you Down’ released on the ‘now defunct’ Outlier Records Label in 2012.
The Phoenix Experiment have 1 official release ‘Black Knight Satellite’, this was followed by a number of self-released, or fan club only, tracks which received brilliant reviews focusing on the bands distinctive, sometimes disturbing themes and subject matter, eclectic mix of styles, energy and incredible live performances.
Influenced by a wide range of musical genres including psychedelic rock, electronica, blues, Africana and industrial, the band has seen a number of different line-ups grace the stage with Mike & Craig remaining ever-present.
Operating a revolving door policy for other talented musicians from Warrington and beyond helped maintain the elusive aura and mystery around the group, aided by only a handful of local appearances including a famous performance at Warrington Music Festival in 2013 where TPE performed just one 20 minute song ‘Fire Up The Sun’ to an incredible home crowd.
Mike recently said of The Phoenix Experiment:
After the break-up of the 66, I wanted to explore some of the other musical ideas and themes I was looking into. I went from gigging 5 nights a week with the 66 to hiding underground for about 2/3 years while I ‘defragmented myself’ and hid in the studio, bar some well planned private hedonistic festivals and select shows.
Ultimately, I wanted to create something that couldn’t die. What better than a Phoenix rising from the ashes. It doesn’t matter who’s involved, if they come or go, because as long as Myself and Craig are still breathing, it exists.
The Phoenix Experiment isn’t a band in the traditional sense, it’s more a gallery of ideas, an on-going project. A lot of our tracks didn’t have an official release. I just needed to create and get them out there for my own self-therapy so many were just released on YouTube (stolen and distributed) or via our fan email list [where I’d send the tracks directly] There’s a lot of material that’s never seen the light of day, something I aim to remedy with this website!
Cut you Down by The Phoenix Experiment – Debut Release
Living in a Dream by The Phoenix Experiment (unreleased)
Dark Cosmos by The Phoenix Experiment (unreleased)
[Mike Bee is currently axe-man in Manchester’s best band, the imperious Purple Heart Parade. His hotrod rock riffs bleed with cosmic blues to provide the 21st century with its own psych rock hero. With all his time currently occupied this means his previous endeavour with The Phoenix Experiment is sadly on hiatus, but this hasn’t stopped our Stratocaster overlord from sharing six tracks from his secret stash…
These six tracks* are a collection of blistering guitar riffs that burst to make radiant dance-rock where the choruses are huge, the groove is overpowering and the eyes are on the heavens. The word that keeps springing to mind “fire”, not only does his guitar spit fire, but his lyrics and imagery focus on this element. A trip with this guitar maven is a joyride in Fireball XL5; spaceman supremo Steve Zodiac strung out on sizzling shit. Strap in…
In May last year, a particularly ferocious, dark and dirty piece of psychedelic blues appeared on YouTube, performed by a mysterious outfit named ‘The Phoenix Experiment’. “Cut You Down” became available as a free download, as were subsequent tracks released throughout the year, “Ashes / Children of the Light,” “The Rise of the Phet Dragon” and “Dark Cosmos.” It transpired, through an even more enigmatic Facebook page, under the pseudonym Phoenix Lodge, being offered for our listening and viewing pleasure were the most D.I.Y of D.I.Y songs, written, recorded and released, on occasions, within hours of completion. Some investigation and a live appearance at The Warrington Festival, exposed the Phoenix Experiment revolving around ex members of The 66, Mike Bee being the driving force. Intrigued and enamoured by the material offered, Mudkiss arranged to meet with Mike at ‘Odder Bar’ on Oxford Road in Manchester, hoping to discover exactly who, and perhaps more pertinently, what constitutes The Phoenix Experiment.
Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Can you introduce yourself? When and where was The Phoenix Experiment born?
Thank you 🙂 My name is Mike Bee, singer and guitarist of TPE. the rest of the Phoenican order go under the names of Craig Harman, Paul Glover, Ian Wilson, and Joe Kaveney. TPE was born on the island of Tenerife, in March of this year. It was then smuggled through customs and constructed in Warrington, in the north west of England.
Tell us about the beginning / Why the name The Phoenix Experiment?
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Mudkiss interview lifting the lid on the enigmatic Phoenix Experiment. One of my favourite chat’s so far with the relaxed, amusing although intense Mike Bee.
ROCK band The Phoenix Experiment launch their EP tomorrow, Friday, in Friars Court.
The psychedelic and electronic rock band formed from the ashes of The 66, are set to return to the town after almost eight months in the recording studio mastering their sound after a performance at last year’s Warrington Music Festival.
Mel Smith – Photographer / Reviewer at Mudkiss Fanzine “]
It’s a slot worth waiting for, and what you call something a bit special, with expert playing all round and frontman Mike, giving us all manner of guitar hero expressions amongst the smoky atmospheric stage lights. They certainly command the stage, leaving us all a bit awe struck! They should be the headliners – headliners I say…………but then I am bias, I love them!