Just as Alice Cooper the band became the man, guitarist Brinsley Schwarz became the band when they adopted his name as their moniker; a band often mentioned in revered tones as leading lights in the Pub Rock movement. With Nick Lowe also in the ranks and Elvis Costello as occasional roadie, they rubbed shoulders with Van Morrison and supported Wings on their first tour.
Despite the Pub Rock associations, their sound owed more to the country-rock of ‘The Band’ than bar-room bruisers like Costello and Dr Feelgood. When they disbanded in 1975, Brinsley and keyboard player Bob Andrews joined ‘Graham Parker and the Rumour’, and Lowe’s ensuing solo career is well documented.
Now, Brinsley the man has released a single, ‘Storm in the Hills’, a taster from the forthcoming 2021 album, ‘Tangled’. It’s a swaggering Boogie-Woogie number, with tasty piano provided by James Hallawell. Lyrically, it takes a wry look at a world going to hell, from the perspective of a man out of time, taking pot-shots at politicians, climate change and social media madness.
Hallawell previously collaborated on a first quietly self-released solo album by Schwarz – ‘Unexpected’, which will get a re-release next year, also on the same indie-label.
Storm in the Hills is out now on Fretsore Records.