Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers

Line-Up:
    Rick Bryant (Saxophone / Vocals)
    Wayne Baird (Guitar)
    Tom Ludvigson (Keyboards)
    Mike Croft (Saxophone)
    Andrew Kimber (Saxophone)
    Jeff Hill (Trombone)
    Chris Neilson (Trumpet)
    Alistair Dougal (Bass Guitar)
    Mike Fullerton (Drums)

Backing vocalists:
    Janelle Aston
    Merrin Smith

Rick Bryant had previously had a long career with Original Sin, Gutbucket, Mammal, Blerta,  Rough Justice, Top Scientists, and the Neighbours, before forming this group in 1983.

In July 1983 the Jive Bombers went into rehearsal with a 12 piece line-up featuring musicians from such bands as Big Sideways, Coconut Rough, and the Neighbours. Full brass section, female backing vocals and Rick Bryant up front belting out his vocals. They debuted at the Gluepot in early August. It was a huge success. Later that week he joined the Neighbours for a North Island tour. On his return there were more gigs at the Gluepot and the Windsor Castle, always to packed houses. On February 17, 1984 the Neighbours played their farewell at the Gluepot. Trudi went solo, Sam turned to country and Rick now concentrated full-time on the Jive Bombers.

An band of this size, plus road crew, transport and PA hire, takes a lot of capital to sustain. It was a brave move, but one destined to failure. New Zealand just doesn't have the population to sustain such a venture on a full-time basis. Rick gave it his best shot, and for the first time he was able to give his favourite soul songs the treatment they required. The show itself was super slick. Gone was Bryant's image of the tank-toped blue jean hoon. The whole group was decked out in uniform and stage movements were choreographed.

They recorded one album in 1984, "When I'm With You" and from it came their only single "When I'm With You" / "Got To Have It". Side one of the album was recorded at Radio New Zealand's Wellington studios and the other was live at the Capital's Town Hall. It wasn't a chart-smasher, but the group struggled on until the end of the year, their final gigs coming at the Gluepot in January 1985.

 

New Zealand Music