Brinsley Schwarz.jpg

Brinsley Ernst Pieter Schwarz (born 25 March 1947, Woodbridge, Suffolk) is an English guitarist and rock musician. He formed a band named Kippington Lodge in 1965, which evolved into the band Brinsley Schwarz, featuring initially Nick Lowe on bass and vocals, keyboardist Bob Andrews and drummer Billy Rankin. They were later augmented by Ian Gomm on guitar and vocals. After the band's demise in 1974, Schwarz briefly joined Ducks Deluxe before going on to achieve success with Graham Parker as Graham Parker & The Rumour. He continued to record and tour with Parker following the splitting up of The Rumour in 1980, notably contributing to Parker's The Mona Lisa's Sister album (1988). Schwarz also played the saxophone on the band's albums from 1972 onwards and on Dr. Feelgood's 1974 debut album, Down by the Jetty, on the live recording of the medley track, "Bonie Maronie" / "Tequila". He produced some Brinsley Schwarz and Graham Parker albums.

Links to Peel

"Thank God for bands like the Faces, Brinsley Schwarz, Lindisfarne and others that give you a good time, unashamedly...."(John Peel, Oz 40, 1972)[1]

Brinsley Schwarz were connected with the London underground scene through their managers, who funded a highly-publicised but unsuccessful debut gig at New York's Fillmore East, a prestigious venue for an unknown British band, and were also backers of the underground paper Friends. In the short term, this "hype" damaged their reputation, and after seeing them at the 1970 Pop Proms, Peel wrote in his Disc & Music Echo column:

I was fully prepared to loathe Brinsley Schwarz as a result of the fairly obscene publicity done around them. In fact they're a good band - although not a great one - and if you can forget the publicity, you might enjoy what they do - I did. It's all down to the music in the end anyway.[2]

The band's music increasingly appealed to Peel as they developed their own version of back-to-the-roots country-rock, and they became a popular live act, playing both clubs and open-air festivals, including the Glastonbury Fayre festival of 1971. The DJ played many of their songs in the early 70's and on his 21 December 1971 show, he described their "Country Girl", released as a single, as one of his all time favourite songs. He played it several times in later years, the last play on a 2001 show.

Brinsley Schwarz did four sessions for Peel's show, and unlike most of their contemporaries were able to adapt to the changes in the 1970s music scene, from country-rock to pub-rock and new wave. One of their session tracks, "(You've Got To Be) Cruel To Be Kind", was later covered by its writer, the band's former bass player Nick Lowe, whose version became a hit in 1979, while Elvis Costello recorded a version of "What's So Funny About Peace, Love And Understanding", another Lowe song, previously released as a single and done in session by Brinsley Schwarz in 1974. Peel wrote the sleevenotes for the 2004 album Cruel To Be Kind, a compilation on Hux Records of the band's BBC recordings.


Two tracks from #4 available on Cruel To Be Kind CD, 2004 (Hux Records HUX052) 1. Recorded: 1970-11-16. Broadcast: 05 December 1970. Repeated: 06 March 1971

  • Seymour I Love You / Funk Angel / The Slow One / Rock And Roll Station

2. Recorded: 1972-11-27. Broadcast: 12 December 1972. Repeated: 20 February 1973

  • Hooked On Love / Thirty Pounder (Do The Cod) / Night Flight / Hello Mamma

3. Recorded: 1974-07-11. Broadcast: 25 July 1974. Repeated: 29 August 1974

  • What's So Funny About Peace Love And Understanding / The Ugly Things / You Ain't Living Till You're Loving / I'll Take Good Care Of You

4. Recorded: 1975-02-06. Broadcast: 20 February 1975. Repeated: 24 April 1975

  • (You've Got To Be) Cruel To Be Kind / We Can Mess Around With Anything But Love / Gimme Back My Love / Everybody


1. Recorded at an unknown venue. Broadcast 13 September 1970.

  • unknown set

2. Recorded at an unknown venue: 1971-03-25. Broadcast: 11 April 1971

  • Crime Of Passion
  • Rock And Roll Station
  • Ju Ju Man
  • The Slow One
  • Motorway Madness
  • Me And My Woman

3. Recorded at the BBC Paris Theatre: 1971-11-18. Broadcast: 21 December 1971

  • Country Girl
  • Dry Land
  • Unknown Number
  • Silver Pistol
  • Range War
  • Egypt
  • Nervous On The Road
  • Rockin' Chair

Other Shows Played


Brinsley Schwarz - Country Girl

  • 07 March 1972: Egypt (LP - Silver Pistol) United Artists
  • 11 April 1972: Dry Land (LP – Silver Pistol) United Artists
  • 26 May 1972: I'm Ahead If I Can Quit While I'm Behind (LP - Greasy Truckers Party) United Artists
  • 04 August 1972: Surrender To The Rhythm (LP - Nervous On The Road) United Artists
  • 08 August 1972: Nervous On The Road (LP - Nervous On The Road) United Artists
  • 08 September 1972: Home In My Hand (LP - Nervous On The Road) United Artists
  • 22 September 1972: Don’t Lose Your Grip On Love (LP - Nervous On The Road) United Artists
  • 11 April 1974: Country Girl (LP - Brinsley Schwarz's Original Golden Greats) United Artists
  • 04 July 1974: unknown (sourced from David Cavanagh's Good Night & Good Riddance book)

See Also

External Links

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