Brygada Kryzys

From Unearthing The Music

Robert Brylewski of Brygada Kryzys. Photo by Wikipedia user DaguS

Brygada Kryzys (Polish pronunciation: [brɨˈɡada ˈkrɨzɨs]) is one of the most important and influential Polish post-punk bands. The band was founded in 1981 by two well-known guitarist/vocalists from Warsaw, Robert Brylewski (formerly of the band Kryzys) and Tomasz Lipiński (from Tilt).


Brygada Kryzys was formed in August 1981 by Robert Brylewski and Tomasz Lipiński. After a few rehearsals, the band's first lineup solidified: Brylewski, Lipiński, Jarek "Gruszka" Ptasiński (drums), Tomek "Men" Świtalski (sax), Ireneusz "Jeżyk" Wereński (bass), and Sławek Słocinski (drums). The band described their music as "punkadelic", claiming to have two sources of inspiration: early punk and the psychedelic 1960s. Their first planned gig in Gdansk was canceled as its organizers regarded BK's message as too political.

In September of the same year, the band held its first concert in Warsaw’s Riviera. This concert was recorded and later issued in London as a bootleg. In November the band embarked on a two-week tour around Poland with British band TV 21. At the Monopol Hotel in Gdańsk, Brylewski was severely beaten by a group of hooligans while the milicja (communist police) refused to help. A general strike in Poland began around the same time.

In December, the band went to Belgrade to participate in a festival entitled "Days of Young Polish Subculture." The bus, however, was stopped at Polish-Czechoslovak border and the band's equipment was confiscated. BK eventually reached Belgrade by plane and played two shows. One was recorded. After its return to Poland the group plans a tour of the Netherlands for February 1982, as well as another trip to Yugoslavia. On December 13 the communist authorities declared martial law, instituting both a curfew and severe travel restrictions.

In 1982, the band is ordered to shorten its name to "Brygada K.” as it is deemed provocative by the authorities ("Crisis Brigade" in English), but the band refused. As a result, they were banned from playing any public concerts, and refused permission to leave the country for its planned Netherlands tour. In March, the recording company “Tonpress” opened a new studio in Warsaw’s Wawrzyszew district and began looking for a band to test it. BK's manager, Jacek Olechowski, suggested the group. Over a few days several songs are recorded and “Tonpress”, while hesitant, agrees to publish the record. At this time Janek Rołt joined the band as its new drummer.

In August of the same year, demonstrations and street fights took place in Warsaw. Tomek was severely beaten and arrested by the milicja, but is released shortly afterwards as there was no space in the overcrowded jails. In September the band performed at the Warsaw club "Remont", their first concert since December 1981. Shortly after its members decide to dissolve the band due to the numerous political obstacles which made it impossible to carry on. Robert starts a reggae band, Izrael, while Tomek returns to Tilt.

In 1989, a week before the Berlin Wall's collapse, on the way to a Berlin concert, Tomek and Robert talked about reforming BK. This reformation would happen in August 1991, with the band playing its first concert in nine years at the legendary Jarocin Festival, to a great reception.

Between October 1991 and August 1992 the band recorded their new album, “Cosmopolis”, featuring both old and new songs. BK now consists of: Robert Brylewski, Tomek Lipiński, Irek Jeżyk Wereński and new musicians Piotr "Stopa" Żyżelewicz (drums), Brylewski’s wife Vivian Quarcoo (vocals), and both Włodek Kiniorski and Aleksander Korecki on saxophone. Over the following years, the band organized a series of concerts commemorating the declaration of martial law in Poland. One of them is later released. In 1994 the band disbanded once again.

In the spring of 2003, after a 10 year hiatus, the band reformed once more with the following lineup: Robert Brylewski and Tomek Lipiński, plus Filip Gałązka on drums, Tomek Szymborski on bass and Sergiusz Lisecki on sax. The band played several concerts, including a tour entitled "PRL czyli Punk Rock Later". In December BK played at the Garage Club in London.

In 2005, with Aleksander Korecki back replacing Lisecki on saxophone, BK began working on the "Black Album" project, featuring remixes of their self-titled first album, songs by Jozef B. Nowakowski and some early unreleased recordings.


  • 1982 - Brygada Kryzys / LP Tonpress
  • 1982 - Live / LP Fresh Records UK
  • 1992 - Cosmopolis / Izabelin Studio
  • 1996 - Live in Remont '93 / MC Gold Rock Studio

External links

Text adapted from Wikipedia