Buddy Britten & the Regents — “Right Now”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — September 3, 2022


571) Buddy Britten & the Regents — “Right Now”

Former Buddy Holly impersonator lays down the best version ever of a Herbie Mann/Mel Torme jazz classic, turning it into a swingin’ R&B number that Georgie Fame would have been proud it. Oh, and Siouxsie Sioux (with the Creatures) would even do a version in the ‘80s. What are the odds?! Regent Nick Simper recalls that “Right Now” “was a slightly jazzy up-tempo tune which got great reviews and proved popular with audiences, but failed to make the charts.” (http://www.sahmigo.com/details/b/buddy_britten.html)

Mark Deming and All Music Guide write that:

Buddy Britten [Geoffrey Glover-Wright] managed to have a fascinating career for a guy who never scored a hit record: he crossed paths with stars, worked with cult heroes, recorded a handful of memorable singles, and even fashioned a new identity for himself as the decade wore on. . . . [He] became . . . passionate about the guitar as skiffle and the first wave of rock & roll swept the U.K., and his fate was sealed after seeing Buddy Holly on his British tour of 1958. . . . [He] was approached by impresario Reg Calvert, who . . . was backing local acts who would perform in the style of American rock heroes. Calvert felt . . . a tall, lanky young man with horn rim glasses and a Fender Stratocaster . . . was a perfect fit for a Buddy Holly act, and he promptly signed [Geoffrey] to a management deal and gave him the new stage name of Buddy Britten. . . . Along with Buddy Holly’s hits, [Britten and his backing band the Regents] played a variety of pop and rock material as well as a few originals, and they landed a one-off deal with Decca Records in 1962, the same year Britten scored a residency at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. When the Decca single failed to click . . . [they] a home at . . . Oriole Records. . . . [Their] first single for Oriole was “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody,” a tune recommended . . . by John Lennon (the Beatles shared bills with [them] in their early days) . . . .

After playing at various clubs in Hamburg, Britten developed a more abrasive Merseybeat sound and provided a strong single coupling James Ray’s ‘If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody’ and ‘Money’. The former song lost out to Freddie And The Dreamers’ version and subsequent Britten singles on the Oriole and Piccadilly labels were seldom heard outside the Midlands. . . .

[I]t was steady live work that was supporting the group . . . . Hoping to give himself a fresh start, in 1966 Geoffrey . . . abandoned the name Buddy Britten and formed a new group, the Simon Raven Cult . . . . [He] stayed in music for a while, landing a position as a staff producer and songwriter with Apple Music through his old friend . . . Lennon, but he would enjoy greater success as a novelist, writing a series of thrillers . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/buddy-britten-mn0001759548/biography, https://www.allmusic.com/artist/buddy-britten-the-regents-mn0000534930/biography

Deming adds that:

[Britten’s] style more closely recalled the very polished and show-bizzy sound of early U.K. rock than the fresher, less studied approach that was ushered in by the Fab Four . . . . [but] the professional polish that allowed him to enjoy a long and stable career in music also kept him from breaking through when British rock got wilder and more ambitious as the ’60s wore on.


Oh, and by the way, Nick Simper recalls that Keith Moon “had passed an audition for the Regents, but received an offer from the Who just two days after accepting the job with Buddy.” (http://forgottenbands.blogspot.com/2009/10/buddy-britten-regents.html)

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