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The Notting Hillbillies

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The Notting Hillbillies
Image of Mark Knopfler sitting in a chair onstage playing guitar and singing
Mark Knopfler in 2006
Background information
GenresCountry rock, blues, Americana
Years active1990 (1990)–1993 (1993), 1997, 2002
Past members

The Notting Hillbillies were a country rock project formed by British singer-songwriter Mark Knopfler in May 1986.[1] The group consisted of Knopfler (guitar and vocals), Steve Phillips (guitar and vocals), Brendan Croker (guitar and vocals), Guy Fletcher (keyboards and vocals), Paul Franklin (pedal steel), Marcus Cliffe (bass), and Ed Bicknell (drums).[1] They gave their first performance at a small club in Leeds, and followed up with a tour.[1]

The Notting Hillbillies recorded just one album, Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time, released on Vertigo in the UK (Warner Bros. in the US, reaching #52 on the Billboard albums chart) in 1990, before members returned to concentrate on their primary musical outlets.[2] Three tracks from the album – "Your Own Sweet Way", "Feel Like Going Home" and "Will You Miss Me" – were released as singles; some versions of these included "Lonesome Wind Blues", a track not on the album. The Notting Hillbillies reunited several times for charity gigs. In May 1997 the Hillbillies went on an 11 show tour in the UK.[3]

The Town & Country Club in Leeds on 3 July 1993 only featured the Knopfler-Croker-Philips trio. The set list included the only known live performances of two Dire Straits songs : "Ticket To Heaven" and "How Long".[3] The Notting Hillbillies had previously performed "When It Comes to You" in 1990, before it was actually recorded and issued by Dire Straits on their final album On Every Street, in 1991. At the height of their fame, the Notting Hillbillies were the musical guest on the 19 May 1990 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Candice Bergen.

The concert at The City Hall in Newcastle on 6 July 1993 featured Alan Clark on keyboards, his only appearance with the band. Ed Bicknell and Marcus Cliffe were also present. This was the last time that Clark played with Knopfler within a full band.[3]

In 1993, two shows were performed, both without Guy Fletcher.[3]

Band member Brendan Croker died due to complications from leukaemia on 10 September 2023, at the age of 70.[4][5]

Band line-up members[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certification
Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time
  • Released: 1990
  • Format: LP, CD, cassette
  • Label: Vertigo
2 6 29


List of singles with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
Canada AC
"Your Own Sweet Way" 1990 76 28 50 13 Missing... Presumed Having a Good Time
"Feel Like Going Home"
"Will You Miss Me"


  1. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. "The Notting Hillbillies". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  2. ^ Demalon, Tom. "Missing... Presumed Having a Good Time". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Knopfler's Notting Hillbillies project". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  4. ^ Door Ayco (12 September 2023). "Britse muzikant Brendan Croker overleden "Hij was erg gesteld op België"". Radio 1 BE (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  5. ^ "Brendan Croker, singer, songwriter and guitarist who worked with Mark Knopfler in the Notting Hillbillies – obituary". The Telegraph. 14 September 2023. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Notting Hillbillies | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Discography The Notting Hillbillies". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums - May 19, 1990" (PDF).
  9. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 206.
  10. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - May 5, 1990" (PDF).
  11. ^ "RPM Top 40 AC - June 2, 1990" (PDF).

External links[edit]