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Brinsley Schwarz

Brinsley Schwarz - Nervous On The Road - 1972 - United Artists

Brinsley Schwarz were arguably the greatest band of the "pub rock." movement. They started out overhyped and sadly, finished up underrated. Their last three albums were mot even released Stateside, and they broke up in 1975, without much media interest. Nervous on the Road is an excellent example of the best in "pub rock." A great unassuming, no frills rock & roll album, with some great playing, and good songwriting. Check it out. There was a BS album entitled "Original Golden Greats/Fifteen Thoughts of Brinsley Schwarz," released in 2002 which is well worth buying.


1. It's Been So Long - Gomm
2. Happy Doing What We're Doing - Andrews, Lowe
3. Surrender to the Rhythm - Lowe
4. Don't Lose Your Grip on Love - Lowe
5. Nervous on the Road (But Can't Stay at Home) - Lowe
6. Feel a Little Funky - Lowe
7. I Like It Like That - Kenner, Toussaint
8. Brand New You, Brand New Me - Lowe
9. Home in My Hand - Self
10. Why, Why, Why, Why, Why - Lowe


Bob Andrews - Keyboards, Bass,Vocals
Billy Rankin Drums
Nick Lowe - Nick Lowe - Bass, Vocals, Guitars
Brinsley Schwarz - Guitars, Vocals, Sax
Ian Gomm - Guitar, Vocals


Silver Pistol wrote the blueprint for Brinsley Schwarz's pub rock, but Nervous on the Road perfected the group's sound, helping Brinsley to become the definitive pub rock band in the process. Nervous on the Road has a fuller, more detailed production than its predecessor, as well as a looser feeling — even with the smooth production, it sounds like the band was captured on a good night at the Tally Ho. But what really makes the record is its excellent selection of songs, almost all of which were written by Nick Lowe. "Happy Doing What We're Doing," "Surrender to the Rhythm," and "Nervous on the Road" are all great rock & roll songs about rock & roll, spiked with an off-kilter sense of humor. "Don't Lose Your Grip on Love" is Lowe's first great ballad, while Ian Gomm's "It's Been So Long" is one of his best songs. And the covers of "I Like It Like That" and "Home in My Hand" are wonderful pub rockers, giving the album the feeling of an excellent concert. Nevertheless, what makes Nervous on the Road such a fine record is the combination of empathetic performances, unpredictable songwriting, and charming unpretentiousness, all of which help make the album one of the great forgotten rock & roll records. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine All Music Guide
Nervous On The Road continues in typical Brinsley fashion. It's full of jumping good time rock songs, a little rockabilly, a shade of the Band (less than on Silver Pistol), some rhythm and blues and a little country. © Dave Marsh, Creem, December 1972


This group was an important part of the 'pub-rock' phenomenon in Britain in the seventies - Andrews, Lowe and Schwarz had all previously been with Kippington Lodge, a harmony band that Mark Wirtz had signed up to EMI's Parlophone label in the mid-sixties. As is well known now the band were subjected to one of the biggest hypes in rock history - a planeload of music journalists were flown across the Atlantic to see their debut at New York's Fillmore East, but were unimpressed with the then unknown band. The inevitable press slagging did the band irreparable damage, although their debut album, an amalgam of 'heavy' blues and harmony folk-rock, had its moments. Despite It All showed promise too, but failed to undo the damage done by all the earlier 'hype'. After the second album Ian Gomm was added providing a fuller guitar sound and the band reacted against all the 'hype' of their early days by becoming as anti-commercial as possible, accepting a residency at the Tally Ho in London's Kentish Town in the Summer of 1972. Their next album, Silver Pistol, was very laid back, almost mellow. Over the next 2.5 years they were at the forefront of the 'pub rock' scene and helped to bring it to the attention of the music press and a wider audience. Nick Lowe blossomed as a songwriter and they made a number musically diverse albums which won critical acclaim but failed to sell. This eventually led them to split after a Marquee gig on 18 March 1975. (Taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson )


Guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and bassist Nick Lowe had been in the pop rock group Kippington Lodge who had unsuccessfully released a handful of singles on the Parlophone label. In '69, keyboardist Bob Andrews and American drummer Billy Rankin joined. By that time the group had grown tired of their pop rock sound and would begin to lean more on the folk rock/psychedelia style after which they changed their name to The Brinsley Schwarz Band and then just simply Brinsley Schwarz. With Nick Lowe becoming, more or less, the centre of the group with his songwriting and vocal skills, the group caught the attention of manager Dave Robinson who had founded the Famepushers Agency. In late '69 the group signed with United Artists Records. Scheduled to play New York's Fillmore East as an opening act for Van Morrison in 1970, the group, along with Robinson financed a publicity stunt of sorts. The group planned to leave for the U.S. a few days before the show for rehearsals but were denied visas on a technicality. After they were finally given their clearance, they arrived just hours before the show. Robinson's plan to have flown a handful of journalist's to the show backfired as their plane developed mechanical problems which would delay the flight to the U.S. for hours. About eighteen hours later, with the journalist's either pissed or hungover, Brinsley Schwarz finally played a competent but a not too overwhelming set which was later hailed as a flop along with their self titled debut album. Dazed by the Fillmore fiasco, the group returned to the U.K. and rented a house outside of London. After spending days and nights playing and rehearsing, they recorded and released their second album Despite It All in late '70. Although tainted with what went on earlier in the year, Despite It All proved to be an indication of the sound of an evolving group with a country rock flavour. Guitarist/vocalist Ian Gomm joined soon after. With their Van Morrison/The Byrds/The Band influences, the group garnered a small cult following which was soon to build, particularly due to their live shows. Eventually the group gained attention from the U.K. press who dubbed Brinsley Schwarz as the purveyors of the "pub rock" sound. 1972's Nervous On The Road was the group's best reviewed album to date as the group opened up for Paul McCartney And Wings. With constant touring of pubs as well as colleges, the group wasn't able to record as much, although they did manage to record as a backing band for Frankie Miller for his 1973 release of Once In A Blue Moon. With an attempt to chart a hit, the group recorded a handful of singles which would none the less never reach high on the charts if not at all. With producer and friend Dave Edmunds the group recorded their fifth album New Favourites Of Brinsley Schwarz, released in '74, but record sales eluded them. They continued releasing a few non album singles in early '75 until they finally broke up in the spring of that year. Schwarz and Andrews would later join Graham Parker And The Rumour, Rankin joined Ducks Deluxe and Terraplane before retiring from music all together and Ian Gomm pursued a solo career. Nick Lowe went on to become a staff producer for Stiff Records, which would discover the likes of Elvis Costello (who had been a roadie for Brinsley Schwarz) and The Pretenders to name a few. Lowe joined Rockpile with Dave Edmunds and drummer Terry Williams and continued on a solo career which had more or less began with his hit single Cruel To Be Kind, a Brinsley Schwarz leftover track that the band never recorded. ©


A.O.O.F.C said...


maurofelipe76 said...

Cool...Thank You!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,maurofelipe76. No probs. Thanks, & keep in touch