Fantastic guitarist, he was part of the twin lead guitars in Blossom Toes, and has performed a very interesting career since then, now into avantgarde jazz scene. He was born on August 19th, 1945 in Wales. He's also Julie Driscoll's brother-in-law.
He started his musical career in a band called The Grave Diggers, with mate Brian Belshaw:Both Brians left to form another band: When they changed drummer, they also changed the band name to The Ingoes: In the winter of 1964, they went to play in Germany, as it was usual for British band at that time. When they came back to England, they backed Sonny Boy Williamson for some gigs.
Some months later, Jim Cregan joined them, replacing Eddie Lynch:They released some singles and EPs before changing their drummer for Kevin Westlake. That's when the band changed its name to Blossom Toes: They recorded their first album, We are ever so clean, with an orchestra.
Still in 1967, Westlake left, being replaced by a superb musician, Poli Palmer.They released several singles with this lineup, but Palmer soon left. He was replaced by Barry Reeves (from Ferris Wheel). A 2nd album is released, If only for a moment, with contribution by the great Shawn Phillips, and also appearing Poli Palmer.
The band appeared in a movie from 1968, Pop down, along with Zoot Money, Brenton Wood, Don Partridge, Julie Driscoll - Brian Auger & The Trinity, and Luis Bonfa. It would be great watching that movie now! :) They still suffered some other changes. One of the last members was powerful drummer Nicko McBrain:They finally split in 1969.
Some months before the end of Blossom Toes, Brian played a one-off gig with Julie Driscoll supporting the beautiful album 1969, where the whole band was featured. This was the personnel for that gig:The concert was held at The Roundhouse in London, where they performed some of the material from 1969, and some of Brian Godding's stuff. including 'Newday'.
There's a 2LP compilation called Blossom Toes Collection. There's also another album credited to Blossom Toes, New day, but it was really recorded by the band B.B. Blunder (we'll read about them right now) (in fact, it's a reissue of B.B. Blunder's Worker's playtime).
In November 1970, Keith Tippett assembles a big band (50 musicians!!!) for the recording of an album. The project was called Centipede. Beware, this is the complete list of musicians: :)The band usually included Paul Nieman (trombone) and Robert Fripp (guitar), but they don't appear in the album. In the case of Fripp, he was busy producing the album. It was recorded during 3 days in June 1971. The album (a double LP, now reissued on CD) is very dense, with its obvious ups and downs. To me, Brian Godding playing is one of the highlights of the album (he performs a solo in the 2nd track).
The band played some live gigs, but it soon folded, due to impossibility to keep this huge lineup together.
In 1971, three of the original members of Blossom Toes reunite again, this time under the name B.B. Blunder:They released the album Workers' playtime, before splitting again. The album contains guest appearances by Julie Driscoll (vocals), Brian Auger (keyboards), Marc Charig (trumpet), Nick Evans (trombone), Barry Jenkins (drums), Graham Smith (percussion), Brother James (percussion), and special appearance by the great Mick Taylor (guitar).
Next project was Solid Gold Cadillac, a band assembled by Mike Westbrook around 1972. After a self-titled album, Brian Godding joins them (replacing Chris Spedding). Before a new album is released, they recorded some live tracks for BBC, in 1972:Those amazing BBC recordings included the song 'Elephants' tales', that was later recorded by Brian in a later band, Mirage (read below). Finally, they release their 2nd album, Brain damage in 1973, with a new member, the great Malcolm Griffiths: The band didn't last, but Brian teamed with some of his mates (Westbrook and Khan) in other different projects along the years, as we're going to read.
Around 1974, Brian joined stunning band Magma, a project led by Christian Vander. This was the lineup for their album Köhntarkösz:There's also an album called Simples, compiling some singles they made. It contains five tracks, recorded in 1971, some live tracks from 1972, and one track from 1975 (the only track where Brian appear). Also playing in the album, members of previous lineups: Francis Moze (bass), Louis Tosca (trumpet), François Cahen (keyboards), Teddy Lasrey (sax), Jerryr Seffer (sax).
Brian has been playing with Mike Westbrook Orchestra during several years, appearing in a few albums.
Citadel / Room 315 was recorded in March 1975, with Mike Westbrook (keyboards), Brian Godding (guitar), Chris Laurence (bass), Dave MacRae (keyboards), Alan Wakeman (sax, clarinet), John Surman (sax, clarinet), Nigel Carter (trumpet, fluglehorn), Derek Healey (trumpet, fluglehorn), Henry Lowther (trumpet, fluglehorn), Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, fluglehorn), Malcolm Griffith (trombone), Paul Rutherford (trombone), Geoff Perkins, Alf Reece, Mike Page (sax, flute, clarinet), John Holbrooke (sax, flute), John Warren (sax, flute), Alan Jackson (drums), John Mitchell (percussion).
Love/Dream and variations was recorded in February 1976, featuring Mike Westbrook (keyboards), Brian Godding (guitar), Chris Laurence (bass), Dave MacRae (keyboards), Alan Wakeman (sax, clarinet), Alan Downey (trumpet, fluglehorn), George Chisholm (trumpet, fluglehorn), Henry Lowther (trumpet, fluglehorn), Paul Cosh (trumpet, fluglehorn), Malcolm Griffith (trombone), Paul Rutherford (trombone), Geoff Perkins, Mike Page (sax, flute), John Holbrooke (sax, flute), John Warren (sax, flute), Dave Chambers (sax, clarinet), Alan Jackson (drums), John Mitchell (percussion, vibraphone).
The cortege is a work for voices and a jazz orchestra, recorded in March/April 1982. Featuring Mike Westbrook (keyboards), Kate Westbrook (horns, vocals), Brian Godding (guitar), Steve Cook (bass), Phil Minton (trumpet, vocals), Dave Plews (trumpet), Guy Barker (trumpet), Dick Pearce (trumpet), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Alan Sinclair (tuba), Dave Powell (tuba), Chris Hunter (sax), Phil Todd (sax), Dave Briscoe (sax), Lyndsay Cooper (bassoon, sax, oboe), Georgic Born (cello), Dave Barry (drums).
London bridge is broken down was recorded in December 1987, with Mike Westbrook (keyboards, tuba), Kate Westbrook (horns, vocals), Brian Godding (guitar), Steve Cook (bass), Chris Biscoe (sax, clarinet), Peter Whyman (sax, clarinet), Graham Russell (trumpet, flugelhorn), Paul Nieman (trombone), Tony Marsh (drums).
On Duke's birthday is a tribute to Duke Ellington, recorded in May 1984. It was recorded by: Mike Westbrook (keyboards), Kate Westbrook (horns, vocals), Brian Godding (guitar), Steve Cook (bass), Chris Biscoe (sax), Stuart Brooks (trumpet), Phil Minton (trumpet, vocals), Danilo Terenzi (trombone), Dominique Pifarely (violin), Georgie Born (cello), Tony Marsh (drums).
Pierides is another Mike Westbrook project, this time credited to The Dance Band. Featuring Mike Westbrook (keyboards, tuba), Kate Westbrook (horns, vocals), Brian Godding (guitar), Peter Whyman (sax, clarinet).
Caught in a train was a film that included music written by Mike Westbrook, and performed in October 1980 by: Mike Westbrook (keyboards), Kate Westbrook (horns, vocals), Brian Godding (guitar), Steve Cook (bass), Chris Biscoe (sax, clarinet), Alan Wakeman (sax), Phil Minton (trumpet), Georgie Born (cello), Dave Barry (drums). It's now available on video.
In 1976, Brian plays with Julie Driscoll again (now under the name Julie Tippett). Her new album was Sunset Glow, recorded with Brian Godding (guitar, vocals), Brian Belshaw (bass), Harry Miller (bass), Marc Charig (trumpet), Elton Dean (sax), Nick Evans (trombone), Louis Moholo (drums). She performed several concerts with this band, baptized as Butterfly:Next project by Brian in 1976 was a band called Mirage: Their first album was Now you see it..., recorded in 1976 and released next year. But Steve Cook left them in February 1977 (to join Soft Machine).
Another short-lived band was Motive Force:In 1980, Brian started working with Kevin Coyne. He joined his band for the tour promoting the album Babble, recorded with great vocalist Dagmar Krause (Brian doesn't play in the album, though). This was the live lineup: Next Kevin Coyne album was Bursting bubbles. The live band for the tour was: They played a few European festivals. After that, Brian still recorded a new album with Kevin Coyne, Sanity stomp.
Around 1981, he forms another band, G.L.S.:Kevin Coyne liked the band, and, having a lot of offers of work in Europe, Kevin and the band joined and did a lot of touring: They also recorded the album Pointing the finger, followed by several more tours
At the start of 1984, Eric Burdon resumed his own Eric Burdon Band (The Animals were reunited in 1983, with Zoot Money). Brian joined Eric for most of the year, thus reuniting with old mate Zoot:This particular lineup included many songs that Eric had not previously performed (covers of Warren Zevon, Woody Guthrie or Bruce Springsteen's 'Working life', to name a few). They played good concerts in Spain. This lineup lasted about 3-4 months, when Zoot and Pat Crumly departed. They kept on as a trio for a while, playing in Germany and again in Spain: But they were soon joined by Steve Grant (usually playing with Alan Price - he also played with The Animals in 1983): They made some recordings that remain unreleased, and toured Australia in the winter of 1984. After that, Brian left the band.
Another interesting project is Full Monte, an improvising quartet formed in 1988. All of them were part of Mike Westbrook Orchestra:They've released two albums: Life in the Grand Hotel, and Spark in the dark.
In December 1988, Brian joins Mike Westbrook Band for a special project, a tribute to The Beatles. Two years touring and an album recorded, Off Abbey Road, (recreating the complete tracklist for The Beatles' Abbey Road album) with this lineup:Glad day is a new project by Mike Westbrook, recorded in November 1997, where Brian Godding contributes in one song.
Slaughter on Shaftesbury Avenue is Brian Godding's first solo album, comprising tracks recorded between 1981 to 1986 with different lineups: G.L.S. (with Steve Lamb on bass, Steve Bull on keyboards and Dave Sheen on drums), Outer Routes (with Steve Lamb on bass and Dave Barry on drums), and Full Monte (with Chris Briscoe on sax and Tony Marsh on drums).
Very special thanks to: Brian Godding, for kindly writing me, and giving me great info on bands with Kevin Coyne, Eric Burdon and Julie Driscoll; Don Godding, for finding my page and showing it to Brian.
Special thanks to: my friend Mike Tolan, a great expert in Eric Burdon, who gave me lots of info and support.
Thanks to: Alex Gitlin, for sharing common interest in Brian Godding's career.
If you can contribute (with additions, corrections, opinions, etc.), please, send me an e-mail message at firstname.lastname@example.org
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