Exposé Online banner

Brinsley Schwarz — Live Favourites
(Mega Dodo BSLP1, 1974/2015, LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-11-06

Live Favourites Cover art

Brinsley Schwarz were a Brit pub band from the early 70s, named after lead guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, but mostly known for their bassist Nick Lowe, who went on to considerable success as a solo artist and producer. They released their first two albums in 1970, two more in 1972, a third in 1973, and their final LP in 1974. They were a well-respected band, but through a series of mishaps, they never received the recognition they so justly deserved. Their final album was produced by Dave Edmunds and after release, they broke up in 1975. Just prior to the release, they performed live at the Top Rank Cardiff on June 19, 1974. They were in rare form that night and through the efforts of Mega Dodo we can now relive that live show. Live Favorites features a mix of cover tunes, originals, and a few tracks that appeared on their final album The New Favorites of … Brinsley Schwarz. On this summer night, the band consisted of Brinsley Schwarz (guitars, alto and tenor sax, vocals), Nick Lowe (bass, vocals), Ian Gomm (guitars, vocals), Bob Andrews (keyboards, alto sax, vocals), and Billy Rankin (drums). The concert is a mix of R&B and blues rock, with one C&W song thrown in for good measure. Of note are Nick Lowe’s bass playing and Bob Andrews outstanding Hammond organ riffing. I note all kinds of comparisons: J. Geils Band, Doug Sahm for the country blues numbers, Buddy Holly, Al Kooper, Dr. John, Brian Auger, and Bruce Springsteen. Most likely you will recognize Nick Lowe's song that became a hit for Elvis Costello, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding.” This live version is superior to Costello’s. The band locked into a groove that night and the crowd loved them! I have not listened to music like this in a long time, so it was a welcome change. The party-song nature of many of the tunes demonstrates why they were so popular as a pub band. This archive recording is well worth investigating.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Brinsley Schwarz

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Autumn's Grey Solace - Ablaze – This may be a Projekt release featuring a female singer and guy playing all the instruments, but if you’re expecting another Dead Can Dance clone think again. Ablaze is a collection of 11 modern and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues