Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Rick Bryant

Decade(s) active:

From AudioCulture:

Fresh from 12 months in Wi Tako prison (now Rimutaka Prison) for cannabis related offences and hungry for the road, Wellington R&B singer Rick Bryant launched a new working band in August 1976 that he dubbed Rough Justice. The double-barrelled name defiantly referenced his immediate past. Rick Bryant: “I started putting Rough Justice mark one together when I was still in jail. I just wanted to get cracking. I wanted to have a real job as soon as I got out. Partly, because I wanted to get on with it, partly, it was what I’d got used to doing. At the same time choosing the name Rough Justice was a confrontational gesture and a way to try to turn bad fortune into better fortune. (Read more...)

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Our Wellington Music collection is currently unavailable on our catalogue due to the Central Library closure. We're working on options for making it available again and as soon as it is, we'll update this site.

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Rick Bryant first hit the Wellington live scene in 1968, rhythm and blues band Original Sin and Chicago-blues act Gutbucket. He would shift his musical focus towards Soul/R&B and go on to form the bands Mammal in the 1970s, including a collaboration with poet Sam Hunt, and Rough Justice, as well as performing with BLERTA. Relocating to Auckland’s thriving live circuit, in 1980 he joined the short-lived Top Scientists, and ‘The Neighbours’, who released a couple of singles and an EP, in mid-1983. In 1983 he formed Rick Bryant and The Jive Bombers, whose mix of originals and classic soul covers by the likes of Bobby Bland, Al Green and James Brown, quickly made them pub favourites. In 1984 they released a part-studio, part-live album called ‘When I’m With You’, recorded at Radio NZ’s Wellington studios and at Wellington Town Hall. The Jive Bombers

Too Funky

In 1985 Bryant shared the mic with Chris Knox and Don McGlashan as part of a collaborative protest against the proposed 1985 All Black tour of South Africa. Under the name Right, Left and Centre, they released a protest song which peaked at No.2 in March 1985 and stayed in the NZ Singles Chart for nine weeks. In the early 1990s he sang in ‘The Skills’ and ‘The Rick Bryant Trio’, and ‘The Jive Bombers’ reunited later in the 1990s. Moments Like These: Rick Bryant – NZ Musician, Oct/Nov, 2012 (Vol:17, No:3) The long-lived ‘Windy City Strugglers’, who first got together in the late 1960s but parted ways with Bryant in 1975, resumed in the mid-1980s, would go on to release over six albums. The line-up includes Bryant’s long-term musical allies Bill Lake (Gutbucket, Mammal, The Pelicans) and Nick Bollinger (also from Rough Justice). Feature guest on RNZs ‘Nine To Noon’, 2009 The Jive Bombers recorded again in 2012 and continue to perform, and Bryant remains a member of the Jubilation gospel choir in Auckland. Rough Justice reformed for a one-off in 2014. RNZ’s Trevor Reekie catches up with Rick Bryant, collaborator Gordon Spittle and producer Ed Cake on the release of The Jive Bombers new album ‘The Blacksoap from Monkeyburg’…

Some compilation CDs featuring Rick Bryant:

Out from the cold (1964-72) Cover image

Big water: the best of Wellington blues Cover image

Rick Bryant performs Pain In My Heart in typically impassioned style in front of a club audience on a NZ-televised special in 1986. The Jive Bombers performing The Trammps soul standard Hold Back The Night from the first set of their album launch gig at Galatos in Auckland on Saturday 8th June 2013. The title track from the Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers album “Time”. Recorded on 8 track tape by Johnny Kempt at the Green door Bookshop, Auckland Photo courtsey of Bruce Sergent. Profile summary courtesy of Audioculture. Used with permission.

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