Brownsville Banned

formerly known as Brownsville Jug Band - 1967-1972

Line-up included 

  • King George (Alan Knight) - vocals & guitar
  • Rambling Washboard Tweedy (Roger Tweedy) - washboard & jug
  • The Lizard (Steve Blakesley) - harmonica
  • Magoo (Ray Schofield) - drums
  • Harry (Keith Harrison) - banjo & mandolin
  • Gerry Philips - banjo (replaced Harry)
  • Doc Roberts, (Graham Roberts) -banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, sax (replaced Gerry)

Brownsville Banned was originally formed in Manchester in 1967 as Brownsville Jug Band (the name Brownsville coming from the birthplace of Sleepy John Estes), and played in the local blues & folk clubs in that area. 

The line-up of Brownsville Jug Band was at the time as follows (all the band members used stage names even from the start):

  • King George (Alan Knight) - vocals & guitar
  • Rambling Washboard Tweedy (Roger Tweedy) - washboard & jug
  • The Lizard (Steve Blakesley) - harmonica
  • Magoo (Ray Schofield) - drums
  • Harry (Keith Harrison) - banjo & mandolin

For a while they ran their own club in an upstairs room at the Wheatsheaf Hotel, High Street, Manchester pub until in August 1970 when the band, with the exception of Harry the banjo player (replaced by Gerry Philips), gave up their day jobs and went to Sweden to play professionally. 

They travelled in a 15cwt Ford Thames, which got them all the way from Manchester to Lapland, when it finally broke down and was respectfully abandoned. It was eventually towed off by the Stockholm police.

They played and remained there for six months until lack of work permits became problematic, forcing their return home.

Upon returning to Manchester in 1971 (in an orange Swedish-registered VW van), the banjo player was again replaced, this time by Doc Roberts, (Graham Roberts) who would remain as a member until the final dissolution of the band some 14 years later. In addition to banjo & mandolin, Doc played guitar, fiddle, and a little alto sax.

As a musical comedy act they were able to work many different types of gigs, from folk clubs to working-men's clubs, with a few festivals in between. In fact the level of bizarre comedy in the show was increasing, and their agent at that time, Jasper Carrot, suggested that the band's name be changed to reflect the changing nature of the act, and so Brownsville Jug Band became Brownsville Banned. 

Great track on Youtube -

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