New Album, new original songs, new covers

Rick Bryant has a new album, “The Black Soap from Monkeyburg”, to be released June 8, at Galatos. It took several years to make, at home, in a no budget but “Very good” room.

The songs are mainly co-written by Bryant with Gordon Spittle. Others include Johnny Kempt, Tom Ludwigson, John Malloy, Terry Gill and Ross Burge.

Although Rick is known as a rock/ soul /blues singer, the record has been produced by Ed Cake, aka Edmund McWilliams, who works in a rather different style of music. So, the simple music got some sophisticated production.

The Jive Bombers show at Galatos will feature a set of songs from the new album, but the first part of the night will be a set of the classic soul covers, that evokes the band’s first gigs in the Gluepot, in the early 80’s.


Two special guests will join the show at times. Original bass guitarist Alastair Dougal will play the Gluepot Nostalgia part of the night.

And Andrew Clouston, of DD Smash and Holiday Makers, who played on several tracks on the new album, will guest on tenor and baritone sax.

Buzz Worley The Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers shows that filled the legendary and still-lamented Gluepot, featured soul classics by James Brown. Al Green, Marvin Gaye…and their new covers bracket has long serving backing vocalist Buzz Worley coming up front with a short set of Aretha Franklin classics.

Isolde Grunwald sings with Buzz in the Jubilation gospel choir as does Jean McAllister.

Since Jean has joined the b/v group, their arrangements have been well and truly tweaked.

The Band

The Jive Bombers are: drums, Ross Burge, guitars, Neil Watson, and Gordon Spittle, bass guitar, Tony McMaster, trumpet, Kingsley Melhuish, saxes, Mike Croft, and Chris Watts, and the BV group is Isolde Grunwald, Buzz Worley and Jean McAllister.

The band has evolved over the years since 1982 from an Atlantic/Stax soul covers band into a vehicle for the writing of Rick with Gordon and other writers such as Tom Ludwigson and John Malloy. But the style of the repertoire is true to the original concept, honest straightforward r&b/soul songs about real life – but always danceable.

The current Bombers line-up were for some time a lunchtime band – writing, arranging, polishing and demo recording most days from noon to two, developing a playlist with “maybe too many” songs generated from all shades of the blues, including gospel, soul and R&B as well as rock/pop songs to make an eclectic mix.

Gordon Spittle Many Dunedin bands and author of “Beat Groups and Court Yard Parties” that tells the real story of Dunedin rock before Flying Nun, from the inside: "documents the emergence of originality among the cover bands playing faithful renditions of mainstream pop".

Ross Burge has played with both of Finn Brothers, The Mutton Birds, and Stereo Bus and is with Dave Dobbyn nowadays.

Neil Watson session musician playing with Anika Moa, Tim Finn, Roger Fox,…Frank Gibson Jnr.

Neil Watson and Gordon Spittle Neil Watson and Gordon Spittle

Tony McMaster 1970s bass with Hello Sailor, Alistair Riddell and Red Mole Theatre, then The Drongos in New York touring America for seven years and releasing two highly acclaimed records.

Kingsley Melhuish Pacific Echoes, Brassouls, Spargo, Kingsley Melhuish Ensemble, and others. An outstanding trumpet player who has played for Bill Clinton and at the Governer General's House.

Chris Watts Consistent, brilliant tenor and soprano sax player. Also plays with Spargo, Brassolds, Go Blow and Bluespeak.

Mike Croft Has played in a variety of soul, blues, jazz and rock bands including Alibis, Johnny and the Jaguars, Neighbours and Trudi and the Exceptions.

Rick Cotter plays percussion and drums and sings the bass-baritone parts.

Special Guests

Alastair Dougal will play bass guitar on the old repertoire. Currently plays with but was a founding member instigator of the original Jive Bombers. Alastair chose a lot of the first repertoire, which became very popular - because it was good, a mixture of quite well known but not done to death classics, with obscure but great songs that should have been hits.

Andrew Clouston will guest on baritone and tenor sax. He was with Dave Dobbyn’s DD Smash, and later the Holidaymakers.