Pub rock in the 70s might have been very much a British scene, but in fact it was started by a trio of American guys.
EGGS OVER EASY
If anyone can claim to be the originators of pub rock, then it was ex-pat Americans Jack O’Hara, Austin de Lone and Brien Hopkins, whose residency at North London boozer the Tally Ho was the scene’s ground zero. Ironically, they’d moved back the US by the time their country rock-influenced sole LP was released.
Key album: Good ’N’ Cheap (A&M, 1972)
BEES MAKE HONEY
Put together by Tally Ho habitue (and Irish emigré) Barry Richardson and managed by future Stiff Records impressario Dave Robinson, Bees Make Honey were key participants in the nascent pub rock scene. Debut album Music Every Night was well-received, but a planned follow-up was shelved. They split in 1974.
Key album: Music Every Night (EMI, 1972)
Their music has been overshadowed by the disastrous press stunt to launch their debut album, in which a planeload of journalists were flown to New York at great expense, only to turn up to the bash late and drunk. But at their best the Brinsleys were a creditable British take on US country rock.
Key album: _Nervous On The Road _(United Artists, 1972)
KILBURN AND THE HIGH ROADS
Aka The Band That Gave The World Ian Dury, in which the future Blockheads leader and former teacher refined his market-trader-with-a-philosophy-degree approach against a backdrop that bridged vintage rock’n’roll and old-fashioned music-hall stylings.
Key album: Handsome (Dawn, 1975)
The only ‘pub rock’ band to sustain anything approaching a lengthy career – mainly because Canvey Island’s finest weren’t so much a pub rock band, more the tightest and arguably greatest R&B band Britain has ever thrown up. As dirty as frontman Lee Brilleaux’s white suit.
Key album: Down By The Jetty (United Artists, 1975)