CD Reviews

Brewers Droop - 'The Booze Brothers' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 31, 2012    
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Lovers of early 70s rock will find much to enjoy here.

This album, recorded in 1973, but not released for the first time until 1989 when the involvement of a young Mark Knopfler and also Dave Edmunds (both shown as “featured”) was appreciated, and the potential for a “cash in” contemplated, is one that I had never expected to review. However, a re-release by Angel Air (enhanced by four bonus tracks) is giving me the serendipitous opportunity!

The band was based in High Wycombe, the town where I spent my later teenage years before heading off to Manchester for further study. At school in the town, I began the development of my idiosyncratic musical tastes with the help of two friends, Geoff Arnold who shared a love of the psychedelic music emanating from southern California (where he now lives, incidentally, with his head in the Clouds (from a computing perspective that is)) and Steve Darrington, via whom I developed a fascination with the blues and the British bands of the mid 60s (and especially The Art Woods) who were incorporating this influence. Steve now lives in Swanage (Dorset) runs the Swanage Blues Festival, but was for many years a professional musician, having appeared on over 50 records. ‘The Booze Brothers’ was one of them and Brewer’s Droop – named after an erectile dysfunction - one of his early bands! He had a pivotal role as a multi-instrumentalist, majoring upon keyboards (his dexterity and great skill readily apparent when you listen to this release) but was also co-writer of six of the tracks on the original ten track album. All this was remarkable for a guy who was struck by Polio at the age of six, just before the vaccine became widely available, but just gave Steve more of a lust for life.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The band was formed on the basis of playing music with a mixture of Cajun and Blues, but what you get here is a wonderful assortment of great songs, some of which (including ‘Where Are You Tonight’ and ‘Louise’) might have gained widespread popularity had they not been locked away for all that time! But there are all sorts of gems here, and the bonus material isn’t to be sniffed at either, although the precise link of some of them with the band is rather mysterious, I think. Certainly the two influences mentioned are evident, but there are some wonderful slabs of classic rock and good time boogie here too.

Brewers Droop had something of a revolving door of members, and Mark Knopfler had a brief pre-Dire Straits sojourn with them, long enough to appear on three of the tracks, but sparkling only on one: the aforementioned ‘Where Are You Tonight’ Original DS drummer David ‘Pick’ Withers also passed their way, appearing on two of the tracks. The involvement of Dave Edmunds was as co-Producer of the album at Rockfield Studios but also plays (various instruments) on the sublime ‘Dreaming’.

This album evokes history for me, but lovers of early 70s rock will find much to enjoy here…

Paul Jerome Smith

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Comments (1)add comment

Steve Darrington said:

Hi Paul! Thanks for the review, much appreciated. I'm over on Facebook if you want to get in touch - see
Best Wishes,
November 04, 2012
Votes: +1

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