Paper Bubble

Paper Bubble was an English chamber/folk-pop trio that released the album Scenery on Deram in 1970.

Members: Terry Brake (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar), Brian Crane (vocals, guitar), Neil Mitchell (bass)


Paper Bubble began with a musical partnership between two singing guitarists from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Terry Brake and Brian Crane. They eventually added bassist Neil Mitchell and hit the local folk circuit. In nearby Oswestry, they supported the Strawbs, an up-and-coming act whose co-founders, singing guitarists Dave Cousins and Tony Hooper, offered the trio a publishing deal with Strawberry Music.

In 1969, Paper Bubble signed with Deram, the underground division of Decca. Cousins and Hooper produced their album and offered musical backing with three hired hands: bassist John Ford and drummer Richard Hudson (then of Velvet Opera) and keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

1970: Scenery

Paper Bubble released Scenery in March 1970 on Deram. It features 11 Brake/Crane originals, including “Fillin’ a Gap,” “Like a Silver Spoon,” “I’m Laughing,” “Energy,” and “Just an Actor.” The album was recorded at Regent Sound with engineer Tom Allom and arranger Phil Dennys (Bee Gees, Eclection). The deep-blue cover, illustrated by one Terry Gall, depicts a low-relief carving of a quasi-Renaissance jazz band. It lists the name and title in gold bubble letters. An alternate press exists with a turquoise hue and mossy brown letters.

Deram issued no singles from Scenery. Mitchell left mere months after its release. Meanwhile, Hooper and Cousins — wanting the Scenery ambience for their own band — enlisted Wakeman, Hudson and Ford as official Strawbs.

In October 1970, the two-man Paper Bubble entered London’s Olympic Studios with the Strawbs and recorded songs for a second album, tentatively titled Prisoners, Victims, Strangers, Friends. However, Deram annulled their contract and the pair went their separate ways.

Later Activity

In 1980, Brake and Crane collaborated on a single, “Woman” (b/w “Loving You”). Their reunion bore the album I’m Coming Home, released in 1981 on Crane’s Driftwood Records with musical backing by Stillbreeze. Crane subsequently cut a second Driftwood disc with Stillbreeze, Some Things Seem So Right, in 1984.

Scenery got an unofficial CD issue in 2003 on Hugo-Montes Production, which also resuscitated rarities by Fuchsia, Accolade, Hunter Muskett, Gothic Horizon, Gillian McPherson, Abstract Truth, and Bread Love and Dreams. The album got its first proper CD reissue on RPM Retrodisc in 2008.

In 2018, RPM released Behind The Scenery-The Complete Paper Bubble, a two-CD set that compiles the Scenery and I’m Coming Home albums along with the 1980 single and 10 songs from the 1970 Olympic sessions, plus six unreleased tracks from 1969.


  • Scenery (1970)


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