Brian Marks 

The Grit Band : Brian's Poetry : Brian's Art

Born in Hulme Manchester, Brian Marks has spent a lifetime composing and performing music.

In the early days he played at many prestigious venues around the UK, sharing the stage with top British and international names. Latterly he has turned to composing and recording classical music, mostly based upon historical features within the County of Cheshire where he now lives.

He has travelled extensively throughout Europe gaining knowledge of traditional styles of music ranging from Romanian Gypsy music, Portuguese Fado, French musette to traditional Turkish music in lstanbul which he has subsequently utilised in some of his compositions.

ln 1980 Brian put family before being a pro-musician believing that the two don't mix. He became a gardener at Lyme Park Cheshire, a spectacular country estate with hall, medieval deer park, woodland, moorland and meadows. Lyme featured as Pemberly in the TV adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice'.

In 1984 Brian was approached by estate manager Peter Donnelly regarding the possibility of organising a musical event for Lyme Parks Summer Festival the following year.

Mr Donnelly was aware of Brians' previous career as a musician, playing flute and singing in a variety of rock and jazz groups and was eager to know what ideas he might come up with for the festival but he could never have envisaged the outcome of the challenge he had presented, for Brian was so inspired by his surroundings that he decided to produce a classical suite of music based on the history and natural history of the estate during the residency of the Legh family who lived there from 1346 to 1946.

This was a new musical direction for Brian, so he presented his melodies to classical pianist Mavis de Mierre and together they composed a beautifully emotive work titled "The Lyme Legacy" scored for quintet.

In August the following year, the work was premiered at Lyme Hall before a capacity audience that included members of the Legh family.

The music was later described as being "A work of great depth and subtlety."


Brian Marks with musicians and Bob Symes on stage prior to performance
at Lyme Hall.

BBC broadcaster Bob Symes introduced the evening, reading a historical narrative written by Whitbread prize winning journalist Lisa Birtwistle. His rich and well modulated voice brought to life six centuries of Lymes' occupation by the Leghs, describing the changes within the family, the hall and estate. Photographer Eric Stanway created a pictorial backdrop in the form of a slide dissolve show featuring scenes of the estate and interior of the hall. Forsyth's of Deansgate kindly loaned a grand piano to Mavis for the concert.

The evening was such a resounding success that Brian decided to record an album of the musical work which he titled "The Lyme Legacy."

TV and radio interviews followed and the press were hot on Brians' heels.

"A gardener inspired to compose a classical work of music was news indeed ..."


Peter Legh, 4th Lord Newton, wrote to Brian after receiving a copy of the album saying;



Brian outside Lyme Hall with Pianist Mavis de Mierre

Image above courtesy of Stockport Times
and right, courtesy Manchester Evening News


Lyme Legacy rehearsals


ln August 2005, twenty years after Brians' success at Lyme, he has now recorded a new  CD album  titled "'The Magic of Lyme."

The music on this album has been digitally restored from live tape recordings co-written with Mavis de Mierre and cellist Stephen Steadman.

the magic of Lyme



During the 1980's and early 90's Brian continued playing with a variety of bands including Brent Crude and the Disley Playboys, Crystals House, Nittigritti and DFU.
Brent Crude and the Disley Playboys

Brian playing guitar at a party in Lyme Park 1989 with
"Brent Crude and the Disley Playboys".

Brian dancing to the Lambada with a Brent Crude and the
Disley Playboys fan in Portugal

Brian Marks - Guitar - Vocals 
Budgie - Bass -  Vocals 
Drum computer  - [ Brent ]



DFU gigs included:

Big Lamp   Oldham
Black Horse   Oldham
Britannia   Warrington
Bulls Head   Bolton
Castle   Oldham
Cheshire Cheese   Ancoats
Clarence   Greenfield
Cock of the North   Wythenshawe
Dancing Weasel   Ancoats
Duck and Firkin   Bolton
Farmyard   Blackley
Fir Tree   Reddish
Fitton   Oldham
Gardeners   Lees
George   Compstall
Griffin   Salford
Grotton   Oldham
The Grove - Ashton-Under-Lyne
Kirkstyle Oldham
Labour Club - Colne - New Years Eve 1988
Midway   Longsight
Pig and Ballbearing   Hyde Road
Pomona   Reddish
Queens   Oldham
Queen Vic   Beswick
Railway   Royton
Roaring Winds   Romiley
Shoulder of Mutton   Chapel en le Frith
Spreadeagle   Hollingworth
Star   Shaw
Swan   Lees
Spinners   Oldham
U.M.I.S.T.   Manchester
Witchwood   Ashton under Lyne
Yew Tree   Northenden

DFU at "The George Hotel" Compstall 1988
Info and photo's courtesy Laura Marks.

DFU at "The Spinners Arms" Oldham 1988

Crystal's House

Crystal's House
L-R: Brian, Ann-Marie, Dave, Penny

Crystal's House - Penny

Crystal's House on the way to a gig


Samba Glide

Ann Marie Oates-Vocals/Keyboard.
Brian Marks-Vocals/Flute.


See their page for more info

were a jazz-rock band, they gigged around the Manchester area.
Brian and Ann Marie also went out as a duo. They did session work, Ann Marie was a well respected session singer doing radio and studio work.

Nitti gritti

L to R: Stuart Cockett (Drums) Steve Steadman (Bass) 
Brian Marks (Vocals-Flute) Ann Marie Oates (Vocals-Keyboard).



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