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The History of The Steve Brown Band, 1973-1977

Based entirely on the scrapbooks kept by drummer Jeffrey the Barak.

Early 1975: Jeffrey-John-Steve-Gowan-Charlie

The Steve Brown Band, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England was a band that never made it big during the 1970s. Although quite well known at the time, a recording contract, and success, eluded the band. But people from Newcastle and London who were into the music scene in the seventies, may find some of this material nostalgic.

Information from the scrapbooks was scanned in 2008 by Jeffrey the Barak with the help of Stephen Alberson, in Los Angeles, California, USA. Stephen Alberson transcribed the scrapbook writings into this WordPress blog site.


The musical background of Steve Brown (Regan)

The Musical Background of Steve Brown

Instruments: Guitars Lead Voice Born: 25th Oct. 1950
Real Name: Stephen Regan

Piano Lessons and Choir experience at school.

First clubs pop group while 15yrs. old. Played clubs and dances until 1968. Group was called ‘Moving Target’ and included Charles Gordon.

1968: Reggae Band called ‘Ludwig de Marco and the Connection’
1968: ‘Soul Expression’, a Ten Piece Soul Band.
1968/9: ‘The Street’ Club Band.

Stopped Music until 1970

1970: Soul Folk Circuit,
Contemporary Folk

September ‘72
3 piece ‘Steve Brown Band’
Including John Farmer and Douggy Bainbridge
Split in July ‘73

August ’73, first meeting of Steve, Charlie, Jeffrey and Gowan.

The Musical Background of Jeffrey the Barak

The Musical Background of Jeffrey the Barak

Instruments:  Drums                                               Born: 9th Jan.  1957

Appearances with school band including one at Newcastle city hall.
Appearance for a week at the Peoples’ Theatre in backing band.

1960’s, Bongo Player in ‘Glug’ with Charles Benedict and Anthony Solomon.    1969/1971  Pop Group known as ‘Magenta Fuzz’,  ‘etcetera’ and more;  included Lawrence Goodman- Guitar, voice:  Paul Adams – Bass Guitar;  Anthony Solomon and David Luper – vocals.  A performance was give at Newcastle Civic Centre for Charity.  Material consisted of Standard Pops.

1971/2,  ‘Museum’  Gowan Turnbull – Saxes, Ray Cooke – Guitar, Peter Irving – Bass Guitar.    Standard Pop/Blues/Rock + Original compositions (jams).   Three Gigs only.

1972:  Band with no name that did no gigs.   Gowan Turnbulll – tenor sax, Alan Freak – Vocals, Phil Morrison – guitar, Joseph Roberts – Bass Guitar
Material;   Anti-Social, Progressive, underground, heavy, Rock Music.

1972:  Band called ‘Suzy’.  No Gigs.  Gowan turnbull – Tenor Sax, Konz Navard-  Guitar, John Senior – guitar, Alan Freak – Vocals, Graham Jenkinson – Bass Guitar
There were never more than two of the six piece playing at any one time.
Material; Very little at all!

1972/3, ‘Rocco’ Gowan Turnbull – tenor Sax, Graham Jenkinson –Bass Guitar,  Eddie Perrin – Guitar.  One Gig at North Shields AFC.  Material: 1950’s Rock and roll hits plus rock Standards.  Barak Sacked in June’73

August 1973, Steve Brown Band.

The Musical Background of Gowan Turnbull

The Musical Background of Gowan Turnbull

Instruments: Soprano, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones and Flute.
Born: 16th July 1954
Age 8, Piano Age 10, Piano and Clarinet Age 10, Piano, Clarinet and Flute
Age 12   Saxophone (Tenor)
Played with and taught by Norman Moore, Phil Collins, Gerry Nelson
Gerry Nelson Big Band    Gigs included ‘Come Dancing’ on T.V.

Various small jazz groups with Phil Collins, Instrument, Alto Sax and Clarinet.

1971     Museum

Thence same history as Jeffrey the Barak

The Musical Background of Charles Gordon

The Musical Background of Charles Gordon

Instrument:  Piano                                                                                Born 20th. May 1951

Piano Lessons – 10 Yrs.  Old
Re-Started while 13 yrs.  Old                               Teacher was Charles Bianci

After playing in school, youth club and college bands, he played in club bands for three years:

James Ingham Scene
Moving Target (included Steve Brown)
The 1948  Road Show.
Greg Peterson Combo (Trad.  Jazz)
Extension of the above combo played Jazz clubs.

Solo Piano while in Leeds at College 1967/70.  This was in Leeds Clubs.

1972;  Began playing solo and writing songs.

August 1973, Steve Brown Band

The Musical Background of John Farmer

The Musical Background of John Farmer

Instruments:  Bass Guitar, (Guitars and Harmonica)       Born: 4th Jan 1953

Started playing Guitar when 11 years old.

At the age of 15, first club band ‘Prize Catch’, 1968 played guitar.

1971, solo artist in clubs, singing + 5 string Guitar.

1971, Band called Minotaur.

1971,  Joined ‘SandGate’  as a singer.  Left after one week.

1971-72    3-piece song band called ‘Lonely’.

1972, Became a Bass player.

1972-73, first Steve Brown Band with Steve Brown and Douggy Bainbridge.

1973,  Jazz-Rock band in Manchester then club band called ‘Mexic’

October 1973, Steve Brown band.

1973 Summary

In 1973, Steve Brown, Charles Gordon, Gowan Turnbull and Jeffrey the Barak were a four piece unit learning songs and numbers written by Steve. Some were used in the previous Steve Brown Band.

Rehearsal was in a local recording studio, a room near a swimming pool and a basement in a Newcastle building. It was here that John Farmer re-joined Steve to complete the Quintet.

By November 4th. 1973 the titles in the set were:

‘Our Pleasure Abused’
‘Lonely’
‘Alone for you’
‘Make the Break’
‘Dividing Line’
‘Shine a Little Light’
‘Sunshine’
‘Zero Hour’
‘No time’
‘Return from the Sun’
‘No need to Lie’
‘Deaf Ears’
‘China’ (never played)

The Sunday Lunchtime Residency at the University Threatre included various solo artists as support acts and twice the Band ‘Arbre’

The only other gig of 1973 was at Newcastle University on a snowy night. Surprise support was solo, avant garde, soprano, saxophonist Lol Coxhill.

November 1973 1st Demo Tape. (Impulse studios) ‘Make the Break’ ‘Shine a Little Light’ ‘Prospect’ ‘Our Pleasure Abused’

In late 1974, the obsolete ‘Our Pleasure Abused’ and ‘Make the Break’ were accidentally made into a demo single by E.M.I.

Jeffrey. Steve. Gowan. Charles. John

Jeffrey. Steve. Gowan. Charles. John

1974 begins

1974
New numbers for the year:
‘Soul full of Sin’,
‘Wrong Again’,
2nd version of ‘No Need to Lie’,
‘There’s More to Life than Naked Women’,
‘Mirija’,
‘Evens Favourite’,
‘Night Flight’,
‘The Hit Man’,

Sun. 6th. Jan. University theatre Residency continues
13th.  Jan.  Same + Ashington Lampglass Cellar Club in evening.
20th.  Jan.  Same Two.

By this time, J.J. Wilkinson had become road manager and sound engineer and James Gallagher was under an official management contract with the band.

26th and 27th  Jan.  Ashington Lampglass.  27th.  Jan.  University theatre in afternoon.
Feb. 3rd.  Lampglass.
Feb. 6th.  Useless recording session in University theatre for a never used play soundtrack.  Steve’s brown van broke down so Dave Faulkener came in his blue one.   After this Dave became Roadie.

Sun.  Feb.  10th .  Lampglass Ashington.
Feb.  11th. 2nd  Demo. Tape.  Multicord studios Sunderland.
Night Flight, Shine a Little Light, Sunshine, Deaf Ears.

Feb. 12th.  Ponteland Teachers Training College
Feb. 13th Recording session for Play Soundtrack.  University theatre.

Feb. 17th University theater lunchtime.
March 1.  Newcastle Poly.  Supporting the J.S.D. band this was the first major gig.
March 14.  Durham University.  The worst gig one could ever hope to play.  Everyone late.  Bad music.  Bad audience Steve Brown Band followed by an obscure local rock band who received a better reception.  Recording of this gig made- Lost at no great loss.

March 24th.  Last Sunday lunchtime at university theatre.  The band had evolved beyond its origins!
March 29th.  After four weeks the band returned to the poly as support to Robin Trower..