The Priory of Brion
Thanks to Chris Warren's Manic
Nirvana page for information on Priory of Brion:
This page contains general information about Priory of Brion, the band
members, and their music.
The Priory of Brion grew out of a reunion between Robert Plant and his old
friend Kevyn Gammond from the Band of Joy. The origins of the band were in the
Performing Arts faculty at Kidderminster College, where at least two of the
members have worked and where the others may have been students. Robert's first
reported appearance with a band featuring Kevyn Gammond and "students at
Kidderminster College" was for Bewdley tennis club at the end of 1997. The idea took some time to crystallize, but the Priory of Brion eventually
took to the road in July 1999. They set out to play cover versions of songs
which influenced Robert and Kevyn in the early days. They were clearly
influenced by Them, as a high point of their act was a rousing version of
Gloria. Another major influence was Arthur Lee, whose songs always featured
prominently in the set. According to Robert in an interview, the band's name was an amalgam of the
Priory of Zion (a mysterious and ancient French secret society) and The Life of
Brian (the Monty Python film). The band members were at first introduced under
names which were obviously not their real ones. It is not clear whether this was
prompted by shyness, by college rules, or by the Inland Revenue.
Robert Plant and his fellow members.
Kevyn Gammond (aka "Carlyle Egypt") on guitar is described
by Robert as a "lifetime member of the Band of Joy". In the early 1970s Kevyn played in a band called Bronco with Robbie Blunt.
More recently he has held a senior position in music education at Kidderminster
Paul Timothy (aka "Owain Glyndwr") plays the electric piano
and Hammond organ, and for some songs he plays guitar. During
the instrumental breaks he and Kevyn often take turns, but they also blend well
together to create a strong overall sound. Paul is also associated with the music
courses at Kidderminster College.
Paul Wetton (aka "Eric Bloodaxe" and "Brian") is
the bass player. Comes from
Wolverhampton, but I have no further details of his background.
Andy Edwards (aka "Aleister Crowley" and several other stage
names) is the drummer, and a good one too. Now plays with Paul Timothy in the
Initially they performed only in the UK, usually visiting small venues with
little advance publicity. In the spring of 2000 the "tour" went to
Norway and then to Ireland, and during the summer they made several festival
appearances both in the UK and in continental Europe. More UK and continental
dates followed in the autumn, ending in Wolverhampton just before Christmas. The
band visited a recording studio during the summer, but in an interview Robert
told Classic Rock magazine that we should not expect a Priory of Brion album.
This page lists, in alphabetical order, songs performed by Robert Plant with
Priory of Brion. Nearly all are cover versions of songs which were around in the
sixties when Robert and Kevyn were in the Band of Joy.
- A House Is Not A Motel (Lee)
- Written by Arthur Lee, this was the first song taken from Love's Forever
Changes, one of Robert's own favorite albums. This became the regular set opener.
- As Long As I Have You (Elgin/Ragavoy)
- Once used regularly by Led Zeppelin in their early stage act, this was
originally recorded by Garnet Mimms. Priory of Brion seem to play this differently each
time, with inserts taken from other songs.
- August (Lee)
- This Love song, from the album Four Sail, was played a few times only.
- Baby Please Don't Go (Williams)
- Big Joe Williams wrote the song and it has been also been performed by Them in the Sixties
and The Amboy Dukes.
- Bluebird (Stills)
- Written by Stephen Stills in his Buffalo Springfield days, this often
appeared on Robert's solo setlist.
- Bummer In The Summer (Lee)
- This was the second track taken from Love's Forever Changes album.
- Chevrolet (Young/Young)
- This song by Ed and Lonnie Young was played a few times in December 2000.
- Darkness Darkness
- Written by Jesse Colin Young for the Youngbloods. Usually there are long
instrumental sections, during which the flavor can vary from rock to jazz.
- Early In The Morning (Bartley/Hickman)
- Another song which has been recorded by artists too numerous to mention.
- Evil Woman (Weiss)
- This Larry Weiss song (recorded by Canned Heat) was played a few times
- Flames (Ferry)
- Original was recorded by Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera.
- Girl From The North Country (Dylan)
- A Bob Dylan composition, recorded with Johnny Cash during the Nashville
Skyline sessions, this was played as a gentle folk song.
- Gloria (Morrison)
- Written by Van Morrison in his days with Them.
- Hey Joe (Roberts)
- The song is the Jimi Hendrix classic, once recorded as a demo by the Band
of Joy. The Priory of Brion treatment is entirely different, although equally effective.
- Houses Of The Holy (Page/Plant)
- Often pops up in the middle of other
- If I Were A Carpenter (Hardin)
- Written by Tim Hardin, this is the only Priory of Brion song which has previously
appeared on one of Robert's solo albums (Fate of Nations in 1993), also was
performed by Plant during his 1993 tour.
- If 6 Was 9 (Hendrix)
- This Jimi Hendrix song (from Axis) was another late addition to the set.
- I'm Waiting For The Man (Reed)
- This Lou Reed song comes from the classic Velvet Underground and Nico
album (the one with the banana on the front).
- I've Got Money (Brown)
- This James Brown song has been played a few times only.
- Lazy Me (Mosley)
- This was written by Bob Mosley for Moby Grape, another of Robert's
- Live And Let Live (Lee)
- Yet another track from Love's Forever Changes album, Priory of Brion
this only once.
- Morning Dew (Dobson/Rose)
- Tim Rose, Episode Six and the Grateful Dead have each performed this
- No Regrets (Rush)
- This Tom Rush song was made famous by the Walker Brothers.
- Santa Claus Is Back In Town (Leiber/Stoller)
- Originally written for Elvis Presley, this was performed around Christmas
1999 and on the Christmas show for Saturday Night Live in 1984.
- Season Of The Witch (Leitch)
- Written by Donovan, this was also recorded by Julie Driscoll and Brian
Auger. Included an occasional Plant guitar solo. Bits and pieces of this
song showed up in earlier Plant setlists as a part of the In The Mood Medley
in 1993 and Calling to You in 1995.
- Song To The Siren (Beckett/Buckley)
- This Tim Buckley song was added to the set in June.
- Southern Man (Young)
- This Neil Young song was not played too often.
- Think (Brown)
- The band seemed to enjoy playing this bouncy James Brown song. Apparently
the original is played whenever Wolverhampton Wanderers score a goal, so
perhaps Robert chose it for nostalgic reasons!
- Trouble In Mind (Jones)
- A traditional blues number usually attributed to Richard M Jones, this has
been recorded by just about everybody. This often closed the set, and sometimes Robert played the
- Turn On Your Love Light (Scott/Malone)
- Another oft-recorded song, once covered by Them, now usually coupled with ...
- We're Gonna Groove (King/Bethea)
- Released on the Coda album, this is the only song recorded by Led Zeppelin
which Priory of Brion played regularly. It is usually features extracts from other
songs, and sounds very different from the Zeppelin version.
- White Rabbit (Slick)
- This Jefferson Airplane classic made a few setlist appearances.