Bruce Thomas (bass)

A veteran in the British scene. He was born on August 14th, 1948, in Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, England.

He started in Roadrunners (1967):

Paul Rodgers (vocals)
Micky Moody (guitar)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
+ others unknown to me
They changed their name to The Wild Flowers, splitting a few months after having moved to London. They did one recording, 4 songs under the supervision of Paul Kossoff, who later teamed with Paul Rodgers in a great band, Free.

Next band was Bitter Sweet (1967 - 1968):

Tim Steele (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
Tony Kaye (keyboards)
John 'Willie' Wilson (drums)
Bodast (May 68 - December 69):
Clive Muldoon (guitar, vocals)
Steve Howe (guitar)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
Dave Curtiss (bass, vocals)
Bobby Woodman (drums)
Two posthumous albums by Bodast: The Bodast tapes featuring Steve Howe (or Steve Howe with Bodast) (1981, comprising a complete, unreleased album), and The early years (1989, including two bonus, unreleased tracks).
Later, Village (1969 - February 1970), with Peter Bardens (later to be in Camel):
Peter Bardens (vocals, keyboards)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
Bill Porter (drums)
They released a single. But Bruce appears in Bardens' solo album from that period, The answer (1970). Some years later, it was released another album, Vintage 69, taken from sessions recorded in October 1969, with this (superb) lineup:
Peter Bardens (vocals, keyboards)
Peter Green (guitar)
Andy Gee (guitar)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
John Owen (bass)
Rocky Dzidzornu (percussion)
Reg Isadore (drums)
Linda Lewis (backing vocals)
Steve Ellis (backing vocals)
Alan Marshall (backing vocals)
David Woolley (backing vocals)
Judith Powell (backing vocals)
Liza Strike (backing vocals)
Anita Pollinger (backing vocals)
Next step was Quiver.

After Quiver, he formed Baz in 1974 with Keith West (from Tomorrow) and guitar hero John Weider:

Keith West (vocals)
John Weider (guitar, vocals, violin)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
Chico Greenwood
They only released a single, and they became Moonrider in 1975, releasing a self-titled album, Moonrider, that same year.

But his most famous period has been as part of The Attractions, the band backing Elvis Costello during many years, since May 1977.

Elvis Costello (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Thomas (bass, vocals)
Steve Nieve (keyboards, vocals)
Pete Thomas (drums)
Elvis Costello has changed bands a lot, but he always come back with The Attractions.

In 1983, Elvis toured with The Attractions plus The TKO Horns, and several backing vocalists. This is the lineup:

Elvis Costello (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Thomas (bass, vocals)
Steve Nieve (keyboards, vocals)
Pete Thomas (drums)
Jimmy Patterson (trombone)
Jeff Blythe (sax)
Paul Speare (sax, flute, clarinet)
Dave Plews (trumpet)
Caron Wheeler (vocals)
Claudia Fontaine (vocals)
This is almost the exact lineup that recorded Punch the clock (1983). The album features the great, late Chet Baker (trumpet), Steve Robson (horns), plus Morris Pert on percussion.

In 1986, Elvis Costello and Bruce Thomas ceased their collaboration ... until 1994, when they worked together again for the album Brutal youth, playing on that tour.

Around 1987, Bruce played with a talented singer, Julie Sanderson.

In 1990, he backed John Wesley Harding for some time, with this lineup, renamed as The Good Liars:

John Wesley Harding (guitar, vocals)
Steve Donnelly (guitar)
Bruce Thomas (bass)
Kenny Craddock (keyboards)
Pete Thomas (drums)
But in 1996, he played on tour backing Suzanne Vega. But I have a concert by Elvis Costello (from 1996), and Bruce was also there.

Oh, a curiosity: Bruce has also written several books:

Albums with Elvis Costello:
  • This year's model (1978)
  • Armed forces (1979; the CD reissue on Rykodisc has lots of bonus tracks, some of them live - including the Live at Hollywood High EP)
  • Get happy (1980)
  • Taking liberties (1980)
  • Almost blue (1981, the CD reissue on Rykodisc has 11 bonus tracks, mostly live ones!!!)
  • Trust (1981)
  • Imperial bedroom (1982)
  • Punch the clock (1983)
  • Goodbye cruel world (1984)
  • 10 bloody Marys (1984)
  • Best of Elvis Costello (1985, compilation)
  • King of America (1985; the first, limited edition of the Rykodisc reissue contained a bonus live album, Elvis Costello & The Confederates - Live On Broadway 1986, without Bruce Thomas)
  • Blood and chocolate (Feb 86)
  • Out of our idiot (1987)
  • 2 1/2 years (Oct 93, 4 CD boxset comprising their first 3 albums, plus bonus tracks, and the addition of Live at the El Mocambo, a semi-official live album)
  • Brutal youth (1994, the return of Elvis with The Attractions)
  • All this useless beauty (May 96)
  • Extreme Honey: The Very Best Of The Warner Bros. Years (compilation with 1 unreleased track)
  • Albums as The Attractions:
  • Mad about the wrong boy (1980)
  • Albums with the 'Live Stiffs' package: Sessions:
    He appears in lots of albums. To name a few:
  • Iain Matthews (Tigers will survive, 1972, also with Tim Renwick, Cal Batchelor and John 'Willie' Wilson, Andy Roberts, Richard Thompson, Bob Ronga, Ray Warleigh, Ian Whiteman, Timi Donald)
  • Al Stewart (Orange, 1972, with Al Stewart, Roger Pope, Brinsley Schwarz, and bandmates Tim Renwick, Cal Batchelor and John 'Willie' Wilson)
  • Bridget St. John (Thank you for, 1972, with Tim Renwick, Dave Mattacks, and John 'Willie' Wilson)
  • Marc Ellington (A question of roads, 1972, with Tim Renwick, Gerry Conway, Pat Donaldson, John 'Willie' Wilson)
  • Jonathan Kelly (Wait till they change the backdrop, 1973, Barry De Souza, and the complete lineup of Sutherland Bros & Quiver: Gavin Sutherland, Iain Sutherland, Tim Renwick, Peter Wood and John 'Willie' Wilson)
  • Billy Lawrie (Ship imagination, 1973, with Tim Renwick, Peter Wood, and the musicians from Stone the Crows: Colin Allen, Jimmy McCulloch, Ronnie Leahy, Les Harvey, Maggie Bell, Steve Thompson)
  • Al Stewart (Past, present and future, 1974, with B.J. Cole, Tim Hinkley, Francis Monkman, and Quiver: Tim Renwick, Peter Wood, John 'Willie' Wilson)
  • Al Stewart (The early years, 1978, with Jimmy Page, Gerry Conway, Tim Hinkley, Roger Pope, Brinsley Schwarz)
  • Wings (Back to the egg, Jun 79, with Denny Laine, Gary Brooker, David Gilmour, Morris Pert, John Bonham)
  • VV.AA. - Paul McCartney (Concerts for the people of Kampuchea, 1981, 2LP live, with Denny Laine, Gary Brooker, John Bonham)
  • Curtiss Muldoon (Curtiss Muldoon, 1971, with Cal Batchelor, Tony Ashton. This band was formed by Bruce's former bandmates in Bodast, Dave Curtiss & Clive Muldoon)
  • Nick Lowe (16 all time lowes, 1984, compilation, with Elvis Costello & The Attractions, John Turnbull, Norman Watt-Roy and Terry Williams)
  • OST - original soundtrack (Club Paradise, 1986, songs by Jimmy Cliff, who sings a duet with Elvis Costello, backed by The Attractions)
  • Pretenders (Get close, 1986, with Simon Phillips, Robbie McIntosh, Tommy Mandel)
  • Madness (The madness, 1988, with Simon Phillips)
  • Billy Bragg (Workers playtime, Sep 88, with Micky Waller, B.J. Cole and Danny Thompson)
  • Duncan Dhu (Autobiografia, 1989, with Sam Brown, Brinsley Schwarz, Danny Thompson, and the complete lineup of The Attractions) (hey, a Spanish band!!!)
  • John Wesley Harding (Here comes the groom, 1989)
  • Tonyo K. (Ole, 1990)
  • Peter Case (Six-pack of love, 1992)
  • Suzanne Vega (99.9 º F, Sep 92)
  • Dave Dobbyn (Twist, 1995)
  • John Wesley Harding (Dynablob, Jun 96, unreleased songs from the period 1986-1994, with Colin Gibson, Kenny Craddock, Jody Linscott, Pete Thomas)
  • Suzanne Vega (Nine objects of desire, 1996)
  • Mitchell Froom (Dopamine, 1998)

  • Related links:

    Thanks section

    Thanks to: ...

    If you can contribute (with additions, corrections, opinions, etc.), please, send me an e-mail message at

    Press here to come back to Tim Renwick's biography page

    Page created by Miguel Terol on: 17/August/1999. Last modified on: 04/September/2000.
    (This page is part of The Musicians' Olympus)