Buddy Britten & The Regents



“Buddy Britton”, “Britten” or “Britain” was a very fickle artist: first performing as a Buddy Holly tribute like Keith Kelly, then reinventing himself as “Simon Raven Cult” in the mid 60’s. He started fronting his own Rock’n’Roll trio then was backed by a London-based R & B group called the Regents. Like The Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages and The Neil Christian’s Crusaders, his groups were a real breeding ground for many great young musicians such as bass players Johnny Vance (Vince Taylor) and Nick Simper of Deep Purple.
From 1962 to 1966, Gloverwright and his various backing bands released ten singles but none of them made a mark in Britain.

Buddy Britten was born Geoffrey Gloverwright in Liverpool, circa 1943 and actually started out as musician for rocker Vince Taylor who worked for the Calverts, in Southampton, during the second part of 1959. He was lead guitarist in Taylor’s band, The Playboys alongside guitarist Brian Marshall, bass player John Cobb aka “Johnny Vance”, and drummer Johnny Watson from mid 1959 to early 1960.
The other members of the Playboys started backing him in late 1959 and then formed The first incarnation of The “Buddy Britton Trio” that opened the teenage package show headlining Vince Taylor throughout South England.
He wore the same pair of glasses as Buddy Holly, he imitated his voice and his guitar style.

In January 1960, Brian Marshall, Johnny Vance and Johnny Watson moved to London with Vince Taylor, leaving “Buddy Britton” to carry on working for Reg Calvert with a new backing band, The Southampton-based Strollers featuring Colin Willsher on double bass and Tony Burnette on drums. Willsher and Burnette eventually defected to Dave DaCosta, and Gloverwright then recruited a new edition of the band that became the first version of his Regents: with bass player Peter Mist and Barney Peacock. They were then managed by Dorothy Calvert, Reg Calvert’s wife.
Geoff Gloverwright started recording as “Buddy Britten” for Piccadilly records he then switched to Decca.
In 1963, “Buddy Britten & The Regents” released their versions of 2 R&B numbers, “If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody” and Barrett-Strong’s “Money” on Oriole label. The Beatles used to cover these 2 songs on stage at the Cavern Club and Gloverwright was in the audience. Their releases coincided with the versions by Freddie & The Dreamers in Summer’ 63 and Bern Elliot and The Fenmen at the end of the year.
2 years later the same thing happened with She's About A Mover, a US hit for Sir Douglas Quintet and they lost out to James Royal and The Hawks.
When “Buddy Britten” worked for the Calverts at Clifton Hall from 1962 to 1964, his Regents included bass player Peter Clarke and drummer Brian Hire. Keith Moon was brought in as a replacement for Hire but finally defected to The Who in May 1964. Drummers Carlo Little, Roger Pinah then Paul Tait, bass players John Lawson and Nick Simper passed through their ranks during the second part of 1964. By this time, the band became a quartet by adding Tony Lost then Ray Soaper on keyboards. They were now managed by the Malcolm Rose agency, in central London, but gigs were not as plentiful as before and they eventually parted company in early 1965.
Gloverwright reassembled the Regents in April 1965 for a Jersey Season. The name change to “Simon Raven Cult”, after the best selling author, came during Summer’ 65. They only recorded one single, covering the Marty Wilde’s hit “Sea Of Love” coupled with “I Wonder If She Remembers Me” for Piccadilly. Nick Simper left in late ’65 to be replaced by a player called Brad.
Simper and Pinah were brought in the last incarnation of The Johnny Kidd’s Pirates by organist Ray Soaper from May to October 1966. Meanwhile Geoff Gloverwright relocated back to Jersey till the end of the following decade, although the name has been changed slightly to Simon Raverne…


Brian Marshall
About mid 1959, I was singing and playing with THE STROLLERS in Portsmouth, and we were contacted by Reg Calvert and asked if we would like to back Vince as his band had just split.
Myself and Dave Cobb (Johnny Vance) agreed so we moved to Southampton and met with Johnny Watson , BuddyBritton and Vince and that was the new PLAYBOYS line up. We played mostly one nighters around England as a TEENAGE PACKAGE SHOW. Buddy opened the show as The Buddy Britton Trio, with Johnny Vance and Johnny Watson, I came on as “Tony Trent” and then Vince Taylor would close the show with us all playing with Buddy on lead guitar.
After 5 months Vince wanted to move back to London so we went with him leaving Buddy
to carry on working for Reg.


Colin Willsher
In the early years, Buddy Britten used to go out as the Buddy Britten Trio, a Buddy Holly like tribute and when he was working for the "Calverts". I used to double on bass for him on many concerts with Tony Burnette on drums to make up the trio. That’s what you got to do on a Calvert package show!
We worked together until about 1960 and then went on to different bands,I went with Dave DaCosta on bass to France ,firstly working the US army bases…

Carlo Little about a gig at The Rink Ballroom, Swaddlingcoat.
"After the gig, we didn't have anywhere to stay so the promoter said we could sleep in the ballroom for the night. He locked us in and we tried to get comfy on the floor. It was so uncomfortable that someone got up, found a bingo machine and we had a great laugh playing bingo at three in the morning!”




Nick Simper
"...we had a long chat with Keith Moon, who it transpired had passed an audition for the Regents, but received an offer from the Who just two days after accepting the job with Buddy...

By late 1964, I received a telephone call from Jim Marshall's son, Terry. He asked if I was interested in a professional gig...with Buddy Britten and the Regents.
The following evening, I witnessed the Regents' show at the Grosvenor Ballroom in the centre of Aylesbury.
Roger Pinah had blossomed into one of the most visual and exciting drummers that I had ever seen, with Buddy Britten playing raw guitar behind his rocking vocals, Tony Richards pumping the electric piano, and about-to-leave bassist John Lawson providing the bottom end. After the show I met Buddy. Tall, charming and well-spoken, he made me welcome and showed me the set-list, mostly songs which I knew...

Buddy welcomed me to the office (of the Malcolm Rose agency, which managed his career), where he presented me with a stack of his single record releases, which I was instructed to learn for my debut gig at the weekend.
Saturday night arrived, and together with Buddy, Roger and Tony Richards on piano, I made my professional debut at the Whitehall, East Grinstead in Sussex.
Tony Richards dropped out as he had a demanding daytime job, and Roger scoured the music press adverts for likely candidates. Our first port of call was Putney, where we found a really talented pianist called Ray Soaper...

Buddy liked to vary the set by including the odd folk ballad, and as we lurched through a shaky rendition of “Jailer Bring Me Water”, a bunch of hairy biker types near the front began to hurl abuse...
As 1965 dawned, so the cracks began to appear.
I suspect that Buddy was also having management problems, as gigs were not as plentiful as before, meaning a loss of income! Roger and Ray immediately solved this problem by joining a local R&B outfit called ‘Cyrano and The Bergeracs’, who had a pretty full worksheet.
With just myself left with Buddy, I began to find myself picking up different drummers for gigs, who were called in to deputise. Where possible I would suggest my old Delta 5 drummer, Paul Tait, so that the rhythm section at least had some rapport...

…However, before Solly even got to rehearse with the Ivy League, our old boss Buddy Britten re-appeared with an offer that neither of us could resist. Early April 1965 saw Solly an myself caught the ferry to Jersey.
Reunited with pianist Tony Richards and Buddy's brother Nigel on tambourine, we swiftly recorded the four songs for Pye records with producer John Schroeder in charge.
After the Jersey trip was over, the name Buddy Britten and the Regents would be no more, he solemnly informed us. He was to become Simon Raven (also the name of a best selling author) and the band members would also have new identities. Solly was to be called Roger Truth, Tony Richards would be christened Richard Honour, and I was to be known as Kid Freedom! Collectively we would be known as the Simon Raven Cult.
The suits were to be dispensed with, dress would be pop art style and the music would be louder and more aggressive.
We also knew that six months of playing together nightly had melded us into a useful rhythm section, ready to take on the world! I was swiftly replaced by an excellent player called Brad, who played on the 'B' side of the new single, a pretty good cover of the old Marty Wilde hit, "Sea of Love".
Geoff continued to play at the Van Gogh for a few years... I played with him once more, deputising for his regular bassist on July 8th 1967, just before he relocated back to Jersey…"




Alan James "I played bass for the Simon Raverne Trio 1968-1969.
We toured Europe doing us bases ect. and was resident band at Les Arches in Jersey.
I have very fond menories of that time.
Simon showed me how to be not only a musician but how to be a showman. He's influence still
helps me run a good show. And i thank him for the lessons he gave me...

It would be nice to hear from Simon (Geoff or Eddie Thorpe) or anybody else who knew us or played in the band before or after me"


Martin Samuel "I knew and played drums with Geoffrey Glover-Wright for 3 years when he was Simon Raverne in Jersey, CI and Dubai, UAE.
We stayed at Les Arches Hotel, Gorey where we rehearsed and played each winter... During the summers, we played at The Cabin in The Watersplash on Five Mile Road, St. Ouen's...
We were contracted to play for 6 months at The Sahara, Dubai, but after 3 months, Geoff quit to manage The Safari club.
Simon Raverne's material consisted of old rock 'n' roll (Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley), Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. Between gigs with Geoff (as Simon Raverne's band), Richard, Taffy and I played as 'Cigarette and Burning Boots' at The Deep, St. Helier...
We had to wear black suits and bow-ties and would open the show as a trio. Taffy would sing whatever were current hits (Eagles).
One night, just for the fun of it, Taffy and I were dressed in 'drag' by our girlfriends and went on stage without telling Geoff.
Normally, he would not look at us ~ just step up on stage and start playing but when he finally noticed us, he said nothing at all."



Discography

Singles by Buddy Britten & The Regents:
1. My Pride, My Joy/ Long Gone Baby Piccadilly 7N35075 1962
2. Don't Spread It Around/ The Beat Of My Heart Decca F11435 1962
3. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody/ Money Oriole CB1827 1963
4. Hey There/ I'll Cry No More Oriole CB1839 1963
5. My Resistance Is Low/ When I See You Smile Oriole CB1859 1963
6. Money/ Sorrow Tomorrow Oriole CB1889 1963
7. I Guess I'm In The Way/ Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Oriole CB1911 1964
8. She's About A Mover/ Since You've Gone Piccadilly 7N35421 1965
9. Right Now/ Jailer Bring Me Water Piccadilly 7N35257 1965


Single by Simon Raven Cult:
· I Wonder If She Remembers Me/Sea Of Love (Piccadilly 7N 35301) 1966

Single by The Regents:
· Bye Bye Johnny/Come Along 1964 (Belgium, Show Records SH 1077, 1964)


Compilation
If you Gotta make a Fool of Somebody and I'll Cry No More feature in “Group Beat” (1963)


Various Line-ups of The Buddy Britten’s Bands

Vince Taylor & The Playboys #8 (Oct - Dec 1959)
· Vince Taylor (Lead Vocals)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Guitar) "Buddy Britton"
· Brian Marshall (Rhythm Guitar)
· Johnny Vance (Bass)
· Johnny Watson (Drums)


The Buddy Britton Trio #1 (5 Months, October 1959 - February 1960)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britton"
· Johnny Vance (Bass)
· Johnny Watson (Drums)


The Buddy Britton Trio #2 (February 1960)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britton"
· Brian Marshall (Rhythm Guitar)
· Colin Wilsher (Bass)
· Tony Burnette (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Two Tones  (1961 - 1962)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Howard Masters (Bass)
· Stan Jelen (Drums)

Buddy Britten & The Regents #1 (October 1960 - 1963)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Tony Mist (Bass)
· Barney Peacock (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #2 (1963 - July 1964)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Peter Clarke (Bass)
· Brian Hire (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #3 (August - October 1964)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· John Lawson (Bass)
· Carlo Little (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #4 (October 1964)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· John Lawson (Bass)
· Tony Lost (Keyboards)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #5 (November - December 1964)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Nick Simper (Bass)
· Tony Lost (Keyboards)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #6 (Late 1964 - Early 1965)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Nick Simper (Bass)
· Ray Soper (Keyboards)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #7 (Early 1965)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Nick Simper (Bass)
· Paul Tait (Drums)


Buddy Britten & The Regents #8 (Jersey Season, April - August 1965)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Buddy Britten"
· Nick Simper (Bass)
· Tony Lost (Keyboards)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)


Simon Raven Cult #1 (September - Late 1965)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Simon Raven"
· Nick Simper (Bass)
· Tony Lost (Keyboards)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)


Simon Raven Cult #2 (Late 1965 - April 1966)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Simon Raven"
· Brad ?? (Bass)
· Tony Lost (Keyboards)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)


Simon Raverne #1 (1967 - 1968)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Simon Raverne"
· Brad ?? (Bass)
· Nick Simper (Bass)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)



Simon Raverne #2 (1968 - 1969)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Guitar) "Simon Raverne"
· Alan James (Bass) "Rowell"
· Eddie Thorpe (Drums)



Simon Raverne #3 (1970s)
· Geoffrey Glover-Wright (Lead Vocals/Keyboards) "Simon Raverne" 
· Richard Melhuish (Lead Guitar/Vocals)
· Taffy Edwards (Bass/Vocals)
· Roger Pinah (Drums)
· Martin H. Samuel (Drums)




Thanks to Alan James, Howard Masters, Martin Samuel and Stephan Koenig for providing completing info

Check out

Nick Simper's site


Martin Samuel's site


If you have any further information and want to contribute to this site, please email us at: tomusicstorytellers@gmail.com

14 comments:

  1. Hey ! I own Bye Bye Johnny / Come Along on a Belgian single (Show Records SH 1077, 1964)
    Best,
    Stephan Koenig

    ReplyDelete
  2. alan james(rowell)22 August 2010 at 14:16

    hi
    my name is alan james (rowell) i played bass for the simon reverne trio 1968 1969 .
    we toured europe doing us bases ect.
    and was resident band at les arches in jersey .
    i have very fond menories of that time.
    simon showed me how to be not only a musician but how to be a showman . he,s influence still
    helps me run a good show . and i thank him for
    the lessons he gave me

    ReplyDelete
  3. alan james(rowell)22 August 2010 at 14:22

    it would be nice to hear from simon(geoff or eddie thorpe )or anybody else who knew us or played in the band before or after me

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to own a copy of My Resistance is Low and one night sat up till 2am learning it by playing it over and over on my parents' radiogram.

    Suddenly the door burst open and my irate father strutted into the room, ripped the single off the turntable, twisted the disc, ripped it in half and threw it across the room.

    Their bedroom was in the room above and I guess I had played it one time too many ////

    ReplyDelete
  5. amazed to read this I managed the watersplash in Jersey from 1981 till 1994 we had simon playing lots of times brilliant showman brilliant lead guitarist and most of all could make and a piano rock he was writing when I was there and and had a beautiful wife hope he's ok please get in touch on g.dyson@hotmail.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi all, Geoffry is a very close family friend and is God father to my sister. I saw him over christmas and he is in good health and and still playing at the merton hotel st helier i believe.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Simon Reverne Trio used to play at the Cigli Air Force Base NCO Club in Turkey (around 1967). We'd see them every 6-10 weeks and they were great! They always closed the show with their SUPER rendition of Morning Dew.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hiya, i wondered if anyone could help me, i am looking to get in touch with a John Cobb aka Johnny Vance, If anyone has any details of his whereabouts i would be extremely grateful

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - I have only just across this post - David Cobb is my dad. Drop me an email if you have any questions that I can respond to in private. Thanks Lauren. A

      Delete
  9. I was in Jersey around 1980 & saw on our last day there an advert for Buddy Britten & the Regents at a local hotel, unfortunately were unable to see them due to our departure. I remembered them from the Clifton Ballroom in Cheltenham (Is this the same venue referred to previously as the Clifton hall?), from the early 60's as a semi resident band along with Danny Storm & occassionally Screaming Lord Sutch. Good memories.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ray Soper (not Soaper) was also in Jeff Curtis & The Flames. He played with them on several occasions, most notably from July 1965-May 1966 and was with them when they briefly backed Johnny Kidd for a few weeks.

    I found some dates for Buddy Britten & The Regents at the Ealing Club in Middlesex County Times & West Midlands Gazette, which lists gigs for the area in its Coming Events section towards the back.

    Wednesday, 16 September 1964
    Wednesday, 23 September 1964

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would suggest a slight change to your line ups.

    I think you are correct up to line up 5. Ray Soper joined from Jeff Curtis & The Flames around early December. Nick Simper says on his site that they played a Christmas eve gig near Nottingham, which Ray remembers.

    Nick also says that they played Southall Community Centre. I found a gig in the Middlesex County Times for 17 January 1965, which seems the most likely.

    I would say about early February Ray and Roger Pinah left to join Cyrano & The Bergeracs, joined by Nick Simper later that month. They played together until late March when Nick and Roger rejoined Buddy for the Jersey trip.

    Ray told me that he also played with The Gobbledegooks with Harold Davidson after the singles, the second of which was released in March 1965 so I reckon he joined that band in early April.

    He then returned to Jeff Curtis & The Flames in early July 1965 (confirmed by bass player Ray Brown's diary). This band landed some gigs with Johnny Kidd through the late Pete Burt (the Flames' drummer) in mid-April 1966, including Chatham Docks.

    It was through this association that Ray Soper got Nick Simper and Roger Pinah involved with Kidd, bringing in Mick Stewart in early May 1966.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Remember some great afternoons at the Watersplash with the Buddy Britten band in the 60's.bought the single My resistense is low and Zip A De Do Da. Great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A clarification - the 'Brian Hire' mentioned as the drummer from 1963-1964 was actually named 'Brian Hoare'. He went on to play in The Kingsmen, The Untamed and Profile and is mentioned various times in Mike Read's book on the Sussex coast beat scene. He has just passed away aged 74.

    ReplyDelete