Mike Wilson (Guitar)
    Howard Steve Hardy (Drums)
    Gus Fenwick (Bass Guitar)

The Layabouts were an Auckland group who started around 1962. Their initial influence was the Shadows and they played a lot of instrumentals, but when the Beatles arrived, their style developed along that line. Howard Hardy left the group and was replaced by Brian Harris on drums. Brian didn't stay long and left to join the Action. He was replaced by the late Bruno Behrens.

Their musical influences continued to change and they developed a strong repertoire of British Beat music, with a mix of rhythm and blues and also soul. For a period, Bruce Sontgen was their vocalist. They adopted a scruffy appearance and did not consider themselves to be a pop group, playing their music raw and loud.

Gus Fenwick left the group, replacing Ronnie Peel in the Pleazers, and was replaced by Dave Wright. Bruce Sontgen also left the group to form the Boddys and was later to join the Apple, before moving to Tom Thumb as their vocalist in July 1968.

Between 1962 and 1966 when they disbanded, the Layabouts went through a number of line-up changes. Some of the better known later players were Mike Leyton, who had also been with the Sounds and the Merseymen, and Dave Russell, who had been with the Invaders. Other members included Trevor Crump and Ross Guiniven. Just prior to the group ending, Dave Russell left to join the Mojomen. His place was taken by ex-Chants R&B guitarist Tim Piper.

After the Layabouts disbanded in 1966, Mike Wilson found himself back with Gus Fenwick and Bruce Sontgen in Apple in 1967. Tim Piper went on to join the Breakaways and then one of the later Underdogs line-ups. Mike Wilson later played with Cruise Lane.

During their time, the Layabouts only ever recorded one single, "We'll Meet Again"/"I Don't Care" on Zodiac in 1966.

Recently the Warratahs immortalised Bruno Behrens with a single dedicated to his memory, "Bruno's Last Ride".


New Zealand Music