Wigan musician takes audiences on journey through local innerlands

Mark Peters
Mark Peters
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A Wigan musician has been inspired by the borough’s landscapes and history to create his debut solo album.

Guitarist Mark Peters, who played in local band Engineers, is releasing the eight instrumental tracks that make up Innerland next month.

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The music was partly inspired by Mark’s return to his native Winstanley after the best part of 15 years living in Manchester, London and York.

Much of the album was inspired by the contrasts between the area around Wigan and the historic Yorkshire city which was his home for a dozen years.

Mark said: “I was inspired by the atmosphere and the vistas of the places. York was beautiful but it was pretty flat around the centre and I realised that I took for granted the epic aspect of Lancashire and it was important in my music.

“I used to walk up Billinge Hill for the views a lot when I was young and now I walk up to Windy Arbour and I can see across the massive valley.

“There’s also a lot of history here in Wigan but it’s hidden away, like Winstanley Hall which is a grade I listed Tudor building completely sequestered by trees.”

Mark found some of the information for the album on websites and forums where people share almost-forgotten names and stories.

The tracks include Gabriel’s Ladder and Shaley Brow, referring to the road through Billinge and a hill at the top, and Twenty Bridges named after the viaduct in Haigh.

Mark’s guitar is joined on a couple of tracks by harmonica and drums, with the music occasionally nodding at Engineers’ influences such as the early Verve albums and also the likes of Brian Eno and Richard Thompson.

Having sold out a limited cassette run the slightly-expanded album is now available in vinyl, CD and download forms, thanks to the Sonic Cathedral label.

As well as capturing something timeless about the area he lives in , Mark says he also wants to capture the mystique of music in the 1990s, which he says is missing in today’s internet-driven scene.

Innerland, by Mark Peters, is released on April 20. For more information visit www.facebook.com/markpetersofficial.