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Barker, Criston

Australian singer-songwriter and bass player, also known as Criston Somerset, who began his musical career with the group Train in 1968.  He was then with the Melbourne based group Ash from 1969-1972 and with them saw his first success with his song “Avignon” which made it to the Australian Top 10.

Playing with various bands he became a member of Island and after relocating to Melbourne in 1975 he formed Freeway and later became a member of Sidewinder with whom he produced “Heartaches” and “Hush”.

He joined the band Air Supply in 1979 and recorded and wrote with them for their 1980 Lost In Love album.   He left the band in 1980 after having been asked by the comedy team of the Dr. Who spoof radio series, Dr. Poo, to write a mini-album for Dr. Poo and the Psychic Koalas which would be called The Universe Is Big.

After going back to performing, he put together the group Apollo Bay who toured with acts that included Joan Armtrading and Elton John and then wanting to concentrate more on the recording side of things he designed and built his own studio called Powerplant which would be used by Michael Hutchence and the Divinyls among others. Here he recorded the original version of “All Fired Up” which would later be a hit for Pat Benatar, and went on to complete solo albums such as his 7th Heaven.

Becoming seriously ill in 1997 and receiving a liver transplant in 1998 he went on to promote organ donor awareness and wrote the fundraising album When Angels Call, which also features the keyboardist Gary Quick who is a lung transplant recipient.

Air Supply Recordings
Old Habits Die Hard (Criston Barker, David Moyse)

Here he is with Ash performing “Avignon”….