Brush Shiels has been around in the Irish music scene since the late 1960s, forming the original Skid Row with Noel Bridgman and the very young Phil Lynott, who was drafted as the band's vocalist. Gary Moore soon arrived to create the classic Skid Row lineup, resulting in Lynott's departure for Orphanage and, eventually, Thin Lizzy, though not before Shiels taught him the rudiments of bass.
Skid Row signed with Epic, releasing a pair of well-regarded, if relatively unsuccessful, albums, with more material turning up on record in later years. In 1972, Moore departed for Thin Lizzy, while Shiels and Bridgman continued to perform under the Skid Row name; the appearance of an American band under the same name caused a fair bit of dissension, though the matter has never been resolved legally.
Shiels continues to record and tour in the late 1990s, now with both of his sons performing in the band. Over the years he has moved away from the hard rock end of the business, producing more of a music hall comedy act and, lately, a Celtic music-oriented record that features an ode to the family tractor. He was also briefly associated with the very strange Irish psychedelic band Dr. Strangely Strange.