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All The Madmen

Mark Wilkins formed The Astronauts in 1977 in Welwyn Garden City on the backend of the punk explosion. After a history of lineup changes bested only by The Fall, chief songwriter Mark battled on with his impossible to pigeonhole sound and his blusteringly brilliant anarchist lyrical perspective. The Astronauts dabble in punk, post-punk, electronica, psychedelic rock, indie, jazz and folk without flinching but really it's Mark's lyrics that will get you hooked. Mark was a DIY hero, inventive and uncompromising. The Astronauts' general aversion to being hip always kept them as one of the UK's best kept musical secrets.

Mark passed away in July 2022 after a period of illness, and he and his musical genius will be badly missed. Always moving forward with new ideas, he had just finished recording his vocals for a new album which will be released by the band on Grow Your Own Records in 2023.

Photographer unknown.

The Astronauts Facebook page

Obituary of Mark Wilkins in The Hippies Now Wear Black

Obituary of Mark Wilkins in The Guardian

Welwyn Hatfield Times - Celebrating the life of Welwyn Garden City punk rock icon Mark Astronaut