The 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.
Their 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.
Which '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
The 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 tracks being all the other three. 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.
By 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.
Seven 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.
'Love 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.
'Creamy 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 have 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 songs.
As 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 Leicester
the day the Grand National was cancelled never to see them again.
Davey & Chris resurfaced as The Experimental Pop Band in
1995. That band lasted nearly 20 years. But tragically in 1998 Chris was
diagnosed with terminal cancer & died on December 22nd of that year.
Seven 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.
This 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.
Chris it seemed, well certainly felt like The Brilliant Corners were to
be confined to the turntable. However in early
2013 sources mentioned the surviving Corners had been rehearsing for a
possible 30th anniversary reunion. It transpired they were on
the bill to perform at 229 The Venue in London along with another nine
bands on June 22nd to promote the release of 'Scared To Get
Happy' a 5 cd box set by Cherry Red Records championing guitar music
through the 1980s. If that wasn't enough to give
you 'dreamy eyes' it was announced that they'd be doing sporadic gigs for
the next year. This line-up was made up of Davey, Bob, Winston &
Phil, & joining them on trumpet was James, along with Falk Bennett on
bass. No new material was released though 'Heart On
Your Sleeve' a double cd with studio & live tunes was released to
coincide with their 30 year meet up. The band didn't disappoint &
played a number of gigs around England & a few in Europe before
ending it in September 2014 with a sold out
performance in Bristol.
the autumn of 2019 more sad news was to hit the
band with the passing of Winston.