As I wrote on this series punk and new wave music had it roots in bands that used to play live pubs. One of those bands were Brinsley Schwarz named by their guitar player. Other members were Bob Andrews on keybords, Billy Rankin on drums an the magnificent Nick Lowe on bass and vocals. On their first records they played a kind of The Band inspired country with a little bluesy and pscychedelic touch. They got a bigger fanbase about playing a laid back country rock in later times. In the mid 1970s they played the backing band on Frankie Millers debut and started a collaboration with Dave Edmunds who produced their last records The New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz which is the best one for me. After this record the band split and the members started solo careers or were found in other bands or as session musicians in the following years. Maybe their biggest legacy was one song written by Nick Lowe and made famous years later by Elvis Costello: What’s so funny but peace love and understanding.
Brinsley Schwarz – Ballad of a has been beauty queen
Brinsley Schwarz – What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding
Brinsley Schwarz – The look that’s in your eye tonight
Although Brinsley Schwarz was named by their guitarist the mastermind of the band was Nick Lowe. He wrote the most songs – especially the ballads and his distinctive voice. He and Ian Gomm (who joined the original set up from the second record) started solo careers – but really successful was just Nick Lowe. According to my opinion he is the connecting piece to the new fresh upcoming music. He signed to the STIFF-label and his single So it goes was the first release of the label. In the following years he made some great records with very good ballads, songs with perfect hooks and he transported the power of Rock ‘n’ Roll into the upcoming punk and new wave era. The story of his collaboration with Dave Edmunds should be told another time.