Brilliant Corners hailed from Bristol & lasted a decade, 1983-93, the
pillar to post members being Davey Woodward (singer/guitarist/writer),
Chris Galvin (bass) & Bob Morris (drums). Various members helped
complete the line-up along the way, most notably being Winston Forbes
(guitar) who was there at the start & Dan Pacini (trumpet). The
Brilliant Corners initial sound was something-abilly but with so many
prefixes given there isn't the space to list them here.
first release was at the start of 1984 a fast, stomping, yawp 'She's Got
Fever'. Only 500 pressings were made & the band say they wrecked a
lot of them with their D-I-Y not being up to much & some covers
getting glued to the actual record. Two more singles followed that year,
'Big Hip' coming out in May, it was in the same vein as the previous
release but you had to wait until midway through the song before the beat
was cranked up to top gear. 'My Baby In Black' saw the band get bigger, well
it was their first record to be released as a 12". Out in October
this was to be the last single release for well over a year, but gave a
taster that not-so-fast & more melodic songs were to come.
'Growing Up Absurd' a 6 track mini-album was to prove, this was their
only release of 1985. Although Dan was missing from this recording, it
certainly bridged the gap of the sound of what had been released &
the sound of what was to come. The title track was probably the stand out
song with it's catchy tune, prominent bass line & Davey's
spring of '86 saw the release of 'Fruit Machine' ep, four great tunes
which included the 'classic' 'Meet Me On Tuesdays'. The other stand-out
track being 'Jim's Room'. The band certainly arrived on the jangle-scene
a few months later with their 'What's In A Word' mini-lp. Eight great
slices of pop which contained possibly their most famous track 'Brian
Rix', or maybe infamous, as it became a weight around the band's neck as
they struggled to shrug off the jangle label as their music moved on. It
was re-recorded & released as a 7" inch only in aid of Mencap.
October saw the release of 'Delilah Sands', another single overflowing
with catchy tunes.
now The Brilliant Corners were one of the main players on the Indie scene
& in 1988 they were to release what many claim to be a masterpiece.
As a taster, 'Teenage' was released in March just to warn the world what
was about to be unleashed. Then in May their first full length album
'Somebody up there Likes Me' hit the shops. Sharing one full wall of
Tower Records on Piccadilly Circus with The Sugarcubes latest. A dozen
songs full of great tunes & equally as good lyrics, & quite
faultless from start to finish. During the Autumn the record for longest
song title was attempted with 'Why Do You Have To Go Out With Him When
You Could Go Out With Me?'. Also 'Everything I Ever Wanted' lp, a
compilation of 'Growing Up Absurd' & 'Fruit Machine' plus two bonus
tracks were released.
months of vinyl hunger followed for fans until 'Joyride' was released to
quell their famine in May 1989. The sound of guitars was still there but
the rhythm section was much more prominent. After the critical acclaim
for 'Somebody...' this was a brave decision by The Corners to change
their sound. But this seemed to be a theme throughout their existence.
Never scared to change a winning formula. Or maybe The Brilliant Corners
is the winning formula. The year ended with a tour & a new guitarist.
Phil Elvins had joined the band due to Davey breaking his arm. This was
no temporary measure as Phil continued to be part of the band. Giving
Davey chance to whaff his arms around on stage while singing.
It I Lost It' hit the record shops in March 1990 & as previous
releases changed from song to song this seemed to change from verse to
verse. This was a stand alone single as if to fill the gap & have a
tour before 'Hooked' was released in the Autumn. Hooked was greeted with
mixed opinions but what was new there. 'The Pope The Monkey & The
Queen' preceded it as a taster, but one of the standout tracks if not the
best on the long player must be the acoustic 'Positively Lips'. During
it's recording the band were back down to a four-piece as Winston left
the band, & Davey having to pick the guitar up again.
Stuff' was released the following year, a compilation charting the bands
history in A-sides & some B-sides. A great addition to any fans
collection who may of missed out on the early limited releases, but the
odd classic song from previous LPs wouldn't of been frowned upon if
included, or maybe even a couple of unreleased numbers. The band didn't
disappoint though & released it's namesake on VHS showing all
promos for the singles (plus a diy shoot for Teenage) & the band
being very natural if not the World's most talented presenters in between
time passed it seemed that The Brilliant Corners had concluded their
charity to the DJs turntable. Just the odd mini-tour teased the fans that
they were still together. Then in 1993 'A History of White Trash' was
released. Paul Sandrone was now part of the gang (replacing Phil) &
as well as playing guitar added plenty of backing vocals. The guitar
sound was back with a very mature feel. 'I Like It Here' possibly summing
up the history of The Brilliant Corners sound. Sounding very old
Brilliant Corners in a very new Brilliant Corners way. The author saw the
band at The Princess Charlotte the day the Grand National was cancelled
never to see them again.
& Chris resurfaced as The Experimental Pop Band in 1995. That band
still exist today. But tragically in 1998 Chris was diagnosed with
terminal cancer & died on December 22nd of that year.
years pass since The Brilliant Corners last release & it's like
stepping back in time. Vinyl Japan release the BBC Sessions of The
Brilliant Corners, 20 songs many unreleased dating from 1984 to 1987.
In the spring of 2013 the band released Heart On Your Sleeve a double cd compilation of 48 songs including some unreleased tracks & live numbers to mark 30 years since the band formed. Followed by the announcement fans thought they'd never hear The Brilliant Corners would be returning to the stage. Not touring but to do special one off gigs over a 12 month period, kicking off with the Scared To Get Happy gig in London on June 22nd 2013, where like all the subsequent gigs they were very well & enthusiastically received. IndieTracks, Berlin, Bristol, Madrid, Birmingham, London, Manchester & their finale back in Bristol for the Fanzine two nighter. Davey, Bob, Winston & Phil from first time around took to the stage, complimented by Boo on Bass & James on trumpet.
site is dedicated to The Brilliant Corners & their music. Although
I'd like to particularly dedicate it to the memory of Chris Galvin who
along with the other Brilliant Corners gave us some great days out &
happy times only for his life to be cut tragically short.