Yorkshire-born musician Brendan Croker, who led his personal band the 5 O’Clock Shadows and was a longtime pal and collaborator of Mark Knopfler, notably within the occasional band the Notting Hillbillies, died on September 10 on the age of 70.
Within the late Eighties, Croker was a member of Sally Timms and the Drifting Cowgirls and was additionally an auxiliary member of punk veterans the Mekons, collaborating with Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, Kevin Coyne, Tanita Tikaram, and others. However it’s his affiliation with Knopfler for which he will probably be greatest remembered, notably as a member of the splinter group the Notting Hillbillies, which Knopfler shaped as a relaxed outlet within the latter days of Dire Straits. Their solely studio album Lacking…Presumed Having A Good Time was launched in 1990, reaching No.2 within the UK and No.6 in Australia, the place it went gold.
Knopfler wrote on Instagram: “It’s a tragic farewell to outdated pal in music Brendan Croker who has succumbed to leukaemia. You’ll in all probability learn extra about Brendan in obituaries quickly. He was a real artist in each means, appeared eccentric to many however was constructive, courageous and beneficiant to a fault.
“We had many joyful years sharing music together with touring and singing with our mutual pal Steve Phillips within the Notting Hillbillies. The music I can hear Brendan singing now’s the one we used to complete our set with, ‘Really feel Like Going House.’ My ideas are with Brendan’s associate Ali and their buddies all over the place.”
Croker recorded 5 albums with the 5 O’Clock Shadows within the Eighties, beginning with 1985’s Central Station Resort. He additionally collaborated with Dire Straits’ Man Fletcher on 1988’s On The Massive Hill and made two early Nineties albums with the Severe Offenders. That decade, he additionally launched into a solo profession with 1990’s Nation Blues Guitar, releasing one other 5 albums. His work was anthologized on the 2000 compilation Not Simply A Hillbilly…Extra Like A Better of Brendan Croker.
His web site biography recounts: “In 1976 Brendan and Steve Phillips had been upstairs neighbors. On a day Brendan got here to Steve with a damaged guitar ‘like a banana.’ After that Steve stated: ‘I by no means bought unfastened from him.’”
It goes on: “By way of Philips, who had been befriended with Mark Knopfler for some years, he bought in touch with Knopfler, with whom he had already jammed round Leeds earlier than. Mark Knopfler bought keen on Brendan Croker’s music and needed to help the duo…to the classes he introduced alongside Man Fletcher, who performed keyboard and guitar with Dire Straits. By way of Knopfler, Croker bought contact with London musicians as effectively.” The Notting Hillbillies mission adopted, of which Knopfler speaks with nice fondess to at the present time.