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Paper Bubble circa 1970.

Terry Brake, Neil Mitchell, Brian Crane.

   Hailing from Shrewsbury Brian started his interest in music with his life long friend Terry Brake when they formed a sonwriting partnership in the late 60s. When Neil Mitchell joined them on bass they became Paper Bubble and were signed up by Deram Records. Dave Cousins and Tony Hooper of the Strawbs became their produces and "Scenery" was recorded and released in 1970. To their credit this was the first album to be released in Shropshire by a Shrewsbury band, through a major recording company. Originally released on vinyl it has now been re-released on CD through RPM Retrodisc/Cherry Red Records and download on Amazon and iTunes. A second album,  "Prisoners, Victims, Strangers, Friends" was recorded in 1971, both albums featuring musicians such as Rick Wakeman, Dave Lambert, Richard Hudson, John Ford, Herbie Flowers of Sky and others. Although "Prisoners" was not released at the time it has now seen the light of day on the compilation CD "Behind The Scenery-The Complete Paper Bubble". 

    However, it was not long after the recording of "Prisoners" in 1972 that Paper Bubble ceased to be although Brian and Terry remained as friends to record again in the early 80s

    Brian retains some very fond memories of this period, and yet it is the years that have followed that he feels developed him as a songwriter and now as an author.

  During the 70s Brian decided to extend himself by spending 3 years at the Birmingham School Of Speech And Dramatic Art and then onto  Birmingham University to qualify in Educational Drama and Performing Arts and as an Associate of LAMDA. And what followed was a career in teaching whilst also working to develop as a singer-songwriter. 

  1980 saw the release "Woman/Loving You" Brians first single, to be

followed in 1981 by his first album "Coming Home". This was very special to Brian because it brought together the nucleus of his band Stillbreeze who would remain with him for the next eleven years. Also it reunited Brian with Terry Brake who provided the harmonies.

  So whilst Brian had a teaching career he also performed with

Stillbreeze and as a solo artist. Awards followed, in 1982 and 1983, respectively, he was awarded the agents and promoters "Artist Of The Year" and  "Vocalist Of The Year" awards. 

  But it was his writing that was of the greatest interest to Brian.  



The original sleeve for the album "Coming Home". Now redesigned by Brian for the CD and download release.

Brian Crane circa 1985
Through the narrow streets and allies,
In the grey of a misty morn,
I'm picking through the memories,
Of this town where I was born.
And in the shadows passing by,
I see some that I called friends.
Will they remember me as well,
As I remember them.
              from the album 'Old Town.' 2012.

Much more was to follow.

   Albums. "Some Things Seem So Right" 1983, "Nothing Comes Easy" 1985, "Movin' On" 1987, "Saints And Sinners (the musical)" 1990,"Sacred Pearl (the musical)" 1993, "Moonstone (the musical)" 1998,"Blink Of An Eye" 2002, "Side Tracks" 2005 and "Old Town" 2012, the title track being a dedication to Brian's home town of Shrewsbury. Many of the tracks from these albums have been covered by artists from BMG, CBS and Sony Records and have even featured on the soundtrack of films, the latest being his song "Loving You" on the new Gary Oldman film "Killers Anonymous".

   All through the period of time that Brian taught drama and performing arts, nothing was more important to him than his writing and whatever form that took. Now he is in a position to be able to fully concentrate on this, living with his wife and numerous dogs in the depths of Devon, England. It is there that he has the seclusion to continue with his writing and the time for his music in his own recording studio, which is in constant use on various projects, including his new album.

    With the publication of his first four books 'Beneath The Fickle Moon' 2014, 'The Ballad Of Jessie Gray and other stories' 2017, 'Betrayal Of The Trinity Knot' 2018 and 'House Of Penitence' 2019, we now have the publication of his second novel 'Odyssey Of A Quiet Man'. This will be followed by his third novel 'The Templars Silver Seal' and then the sequel to his first book 'Beneath The Fickle Moon.'

   And I know for a fact that there is much more to come, including two more volumes of short stories and a fourth novel entitled 'Simplicity Of Slight Of Hand,' 

   All in all I have known this quiet, rather reserved man for more than forty years and I have not only grown to like him as a person, not easy in the entertainment business, but have also admired his unique talents. Now apart from special performances with his band 'Stillbreeze' and the occasional solo performance, when specifically asked, he prefers to concentrate on his writing and recording in his own studio. 

   To quote the man himself "Nothing gives me more pleasure than having someone say that they have enjoyed what they have heard or what they have read"

   So there you are, I believe that says it all.


 Ralph Myers,

   RM and Associates.

   February 2020.  

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