Brinsley Schwarz

Brinsley Schwarz were a 1970s English pub rock band, named after their guitarist Brinsley Schwarz. With Nick Lowe on bass and vocals, keyboardist Bob Andrews and drummer Billy Rankin, the band evolved from the 1960s pop band Kippington Lodge. They were later augmented by Ian Gomm on guitar and vocals. Nick Lowe (bass, guitars, vocals) and Brinsley Schwarz (guitar, piano, vocals) originally met at Woodbridge School where they played in school bands with Barry Landerman (keyboards, vocals) and Phil Hall (guitar). In 1964, whilst still at school, they toured RAF bases in Germany as “Sounds 4+1”. On leaving school, Schwarz formed “Three’s A Crowd” with Pete Whale (drums) and Dave Cottam (bass). Landerman joined in 1967 and they renamed themselves “Kippington Lodge”. Their first two singles, produced by Mark Wirtz, in a close-harmony pop style, both flopped. Cottam left, and Schwarz invited Lowe to join. Landerman then left to join Vanity Fare, Bob Andrews joined on keyboards, and finally, Whale was replaced by Billy Rankin on drums. Although the next three singles also failed, they had a residency as support band at The Marquee. The band’s style was changing from pop into “a folk-rock band with psychedelic pretentions”. In 1969 they renamed the band after their guitarist, and performed their new music under this name, whilst continuing to play pop as Kippington Lodge. One of the band’s first managers, John Schofield, was at the time the lover of Hattie Jacques (who would occasionally make bacon sandwiches for the band members when they visited Schofield’s home). In the early part of their career the band shared a communal home in a large old house in Beaconsfield and these premises were used as a rehearsal space by The Band, who came to the UK as part of the Warner Brothers tour. The Band borrowed Brinsley Schwarz’s instruments to rehearse.

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