Brendan Croker And The 5 O´Clock Shadows – Same (1989)

FrontCover1Born. 15 August 1953, Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Croker studied sculpture at art school before becoming a British Rail guard, a refuse collector, and a theatre set designer. It was while toiling away at the last job that he met fellow guitarist Steve Phillips, with whom he formed the duo Nev And Norris. During the early 80s, when Phillips temporarily retired from music to concentrate on his own art career, Croker set about assembling his own band, the 5 O’Clock Shadows, comprising Croker, Marcus Cliffe (bass), and Mark Cresswell (guitar). Cresswell also played alongside Tanita Tikaram. The 5 O’Clock Shadow’s debut, A Close Shave, emerged on the Leeds independent label Unamerican Activities, and was promoted with the single ‘That’s The Way All My Money Goes’ in 1986. They moved to Red Rhino but released an album and single before that company ceased trading. Croker gained a high profile for his work with Mark Knopfler, Guy Fletcher and Steve Phillips as the Notting Hillbillies and was signed to Andrew Lauder’s Silvertone label. In 1989, the Notting Hillbillies released a self-titled album, with guest appearances by Tikaram, Eric Clapton, Steve Goulding and Katie Kissoon (of Mac And Katie Kissoon) amongst others. Croker and Cresswell also guested on Tikaram’s Ancient Heart. Croker enjoyed some success in Nashville as a songwriter during the 90s, writing ‘What It Takes’ for Wynonna’s debut album. His solo career, meanwhile, has continued to follow an eccentric path.

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For his major-label debut, Silvertone Records threw a lot of resources at Brendan Croker, including a hefty production budget that allowed Brendan Croker & the Five O’Clock Shadows to feature a gaggle of session musicians. This turns out to be a bit of a mixed blessing — the opening number, “No Money at All,” is so dominated by the guitar of Mark Knopfler that it sounds like a lost Dire Straits track rather than the work of a new artist. Fortunately, after that Croker is allowed to bring more of his own sound to the fore, and while the gentle picking of Dire Straits is certainly one reference point to that sound, there are many others throughout this album. Obvious influences range from Woody BrendanCroker02Guthrie to John Hartford or Pete Seeger in terms of lyrical content, and from Northern soul to American country to Yorkshire folk in terms of music. Being a Brit who writes largely about social injustice has also earned Croker a number of comparisons to Billy Bragg, although musically Croker has a much wider-ranging palette. He gets to show this off to good effect on Brendan Croker & the Five O’Clock Shadows, jumping between bluesy numbers (“This Kind of Life,” “That’s Why I’m Leaving Here”) and mellow country tunes (“Just an Old Waltz”), as well as rearranging a traditional folk song (“All Mixed Up”) into a smoldering soul workout. While the production by John Porter may be a little too slick for longtime Croker fans who are used to a rawer mix, this well-written, eclectic album will serve as an excellent introduction for anyone who has heard Croker as a member of the Notting Hillbillies and wants to further explore the genesis of that band’s polished-but-rootsy sound. (by K.A. Scott)

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Personnel:
Mark Cresswell (guitar)
Brendan Croker (guitar, vocals, banjo on 12., slide-guitar)
Marcus Cliffe (bass)
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Eric Clapton (vocals on 08.)
Alan Clark (organ)
Martin Drover (trumpet)
Molly Duncan (saxophone)
Guy Fletcher (piano on 05., bass on 01., keyboards, bass on 01., drums on 11., strings on 06., 10. + 11.)
Steve Goulding (drums)
Preston Heyman (percussion)
Mark Knopfler (guitar on 01.)
Rob Mason (harmonica on 07.)
Steve Phillips (vocals on 11.)
John Porter (guitar on 09., slide guitar on 03., programming on 07. + 12., drums on 13.)
Neil Sidwell (trombone)
Tanita Tikaram (harmony vocals on 06.)
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background vocals on 03.:
Katie Kissoon – Tessa Niles

Inlet02A.jpgTracklist:
01. No Money At All 3.37
02. You Don’t Need Me Here 3.25
03. Shine On 4.25
04. This Man 3.10
05. Wrong Decision 3.56
06. That’s Why I’m Leaving Here 2.23
07. All Mixed Up 3.36
08. This Kind Of Life 3.17
09. My Government 3.10
10. Ain’t Gonna Smile 3.10
11. Just An Old Waltz 2.57
12. Mister 4.15

All songs written by Brendan Croker except 07, which was a Traditional

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I got this wonderful from album from the greygoose … Thank you very much !

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