Posted on

Living Brain at Brian’s Diner

living brain at Brian's Diner 1995

Living brain’s first ever gig at Brian’s Diner

Just found some old ‘analogue’ photos from the first ever living brain gig at Brian’s Diner. This is when the band was a two piece with Ged Lynn and Lars Gabel.

We drank as much tea as The Rutles at their peak
– Ged Lynn

See the photos here, or read on…

Brian’s Diner was a large café bar squirrelled just off the main drag of Liverpool town centre on Stanley Street–Just beyond where the music shops are, or where: Rushworth’s, Hessy’s and Curly’s.

Outside is the Eleanor Rigby statue. Make a point to sit with her when you visit town.

Brian’s Diner was the place to plot after visiting the music shops. Escaping the hustle bustle of the town centre (especially on a Saturday!). Always a good feeling going in the door and up the steps. You’d be greeted by a good tune, animated conversation and maybe a hello from Gloria, Ben or Brian at the counter. Weaving through the thick green-glossed pillars and over bare floorboards to a booth and sitting under the large steamed-up windows with a pot of tea in that place was bliss. There was a giant oompah band bass drum on the wall. There were other instruments I think too, but the bass drum was enormous.

The gigs at Brian’s were legendary. There’d be the build up. We had no phones then, so it was all in the street: You going? Yeah, You going? Yeah. Sound, see you laters. la. What was better was when the living brain played: You gonna see the brain at brian’s? A dyslexic’s nightmare and I’m sure a few photocopied flyers did actually say living brian at brain’s diner.

The night gigs would usually have at least five bands playing. It would be £3 to get in, which was already pretty cheap. You’d get a raffle ticket when you paid. At midnight, in a break between bands, there’d be a mad rush around the bar and kitchen as producing your raffle ticket at midnight got you a plate of veggie curry. £3 for five or six bands AND a plate of curry.

Just found these pictures. I should point out that the graininess is not a limitation of the analogue film technology, but ironically, of a more modern analogue to digital conversion in a high-speed scanner. At some point, I’ll have access to a darkroom again and hand print these properly. Kind of like the ghostly look though :-

living brain at Brian’s Diner photos

Further reading

Life at Brian’s

Beautiful vignette about Brian, Gloria and some colourful Liverpool characters, as well as early Echo & the Bunnymen jams in between:

Part One

Part Two


A little on Rushworth’s:

Curly’s seem to still be going:

A little nugget of video on Hessy’s. This is where my guitar came from– the one Lars is playing in the living brain pictures:



Posted on

The Colonnade

The Colonnade, Brighton

This marvel of a pub has been a home of refreshments since 1854. The exterior is Edwardian, but the interior is a mixture of Georgian, 1920s and sort of stopped evolving somewhere in the 1950s.

Went for a quiet pint in this old favourite Brighton bar. Had an entertaining conversation with the Monster Raving Loony Party Candidate and a high powered NHS manager – who hugged me when I told her to save the NHS. Was also hugged outside by a man very well dressed, but clearly on acid. He stood next to me smiling for ages and then seemed to realise I wasn’t who he thought I was, and walked/floated away. I don’t think I spoiled his trip though.