Brownsville Banned
formerly known as Brownsville Jug Band  - 1967-1972

Click here for info on their new cd

Publicity image: courtesy Roger Tweedy

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.  

Brownsville Jug Band 1971 from L to R: king George, Lizard,
Magoo, Tweedy, Doc Roberts
Brownsville Jug Band 1970



In Any Case

SFA label, 1975

That's Shoebiz!

SFA label, 1977

Great track on Youtube -

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Comments (3)

Topic: Brownsville Banned
Paul webmaster says...
So pleased to have added Brownsville Banned to the site. Only saw them once and they changed my life (almost). Realised you can be a great muso and funny at the same time. I became funny without the need to be a great muso and owe my later years in ... Read More
13th June 2017 5:45pm
Richard Crook (Leyland) says...
Saw them on a number of occasions at Folk Clubs in the Preston Area back in the early 70s. Reminiscent of the Bonzo Dog do Dah Band but on Acid. Brilliant especially remembered was the Skeleton Stomp.
21st January 2018 11:44pm
mr malcolm s hoyle (Wrexham) says...
I remember seeing them at a monthly Folk Club in Mold, N. Wales in the early ' 70,s. Like a breath of fresh air, extremely talented, very funny and I have never forgotten them. The blueprint for later musical/comedy acts. Should have gone much ... Read More
20th September 2017 5:55pm

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