Rick Bryant


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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.

Last edited: 20.10.16

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 moreProfile from Audioculture, available under a Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence

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  • View on NZ On Screen Radio with Pictures - North Island Music

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Series ; Music ; Television

    "Roving reporter Simon Morris talks to music movers and shakers in this special report for TVNZ’s 80s rock show. Auckland is on the cusp of the club boom and live music is waning. A youthful club promoter Russ Le Roq (aka Russell Crowe) flies the flag for the kids, Colin Hogg is unimpressed and a fresh faced Graeme Humphreys (aka Graeme Hill) fronts the Able Tasmans. Meanwhile, local acts are in short supply in Wellington. The live scene is healthier but radio certainly isn’t. The Pelicans (with a young Nick Bollinger) and Strikemaster perform." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen The Only One You Need

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Pop ; Music Video

    "The Neighbours were formed when Wellingtonian Rick Bryant packed his saxophone and headed north to jam with Sam Ford-led Ponsonby outfit Local Heroes. The band toured their sweaty soul sound extensively from their Gluepot Tavern base. ‘The Only One You Need’ was from the 1982 EP of the same name. Directed by Gaylene Preston, the Keystone Cops-style video has Bryant (somewhat slyly) playing a police constable under the spell of vocalist Trudi Green; Green foils Bryant’s bar raid and his efforts to guard a Greymouth bank. Bryant later formed the Jive Bombers." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Too Funky

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Soul ; Funk ; Music Video

    "The sweat is dripping and the horns aren’t holding back in this characteristically fervent Jive Bombers rendition of James Brown’s 1979 R&B classic ‘It’s Too Funky in Here'. Kiwi soulman Rick Bryant belts out the instruction — “say it again” — to a willing audience at Auckland’s (now demolished) Mainstreet cabaret on Queen Street, and the band follow suit. The trumpeter has sunnies on, and choreographed stage moves signal The Jive Bombers' intent to bring the funk. The band flared briefly but brightly on the mid-80s pub circuit. The song is from 1984 album When I’m With You." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Right, Left and Centre

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Music Video

    "In the era of Live Aid and Band Aid, Don McGlashan, Chris Knox and Rick Bryant fronted this one off project voicing opposition to the proposed 1985 All Black tour of South Africa — the first contact with the Springboks since 1981. The result was a 12” single (catalogue number STOP 15) which went to No.2 in the charts; but it was a court injunction that led to the cancellation of the tour. The All Blacks didn’t play South Africa again during the apartheid era (although 28 players selected for the 1985 tour later went to South Africa as the Cavaliers)." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Don't Go

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Reggae ; Music Video

    "In the vein of 'We are the World' and 'Do They Know It’s Christmas', 'Don’t Go' rallied NZ musicians to express their opposition to the proposed 1985 All Black tour of South Africa. Don McGlashan, Chris Knox and Rick Bryant were the front row for this one-off single: a catchy number written by McGlashan, Frank Stark and Geoff Chapple. The video — directed by Alison Maclean and shot by Stuart Dryburgh — never attempts to get in the way of the message, placing the ensemble cast in front of red, white and black backdrops (interspersed with rugby imagery)." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Alison Maclean: A gothic crush…

    Source: NZ On Screen

    "Canadian-born to New Zealand parents, writer and director Alison Maclean helmed one of the most successful NZ Film Commission-funded short films of all time, Kitchen Sink, which debuted at Cannes and won eight international awards. A graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts, she has directed feature films Crush (which she also wrote) and Jesus’ Son. A director of commercials and television series including Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, Maclean divides her time between New York, Canada and New Zealand, and she is developing several feature films. In this ScreenTalk, Maclean talks about: Meeting life-long film industry friends whilst working on Geoff Stevens’ Strata as a summer holiday job Persuading her sculpture department professors to let her make her first short film, Taunt Casting a real rugby player to play an All Black in Rud’s Wife The joy of directing anti-apartheid music video Don’t Go with Chris Knox, Don McGlashan and Rick Bryant Using film to open up the aural medium of radio in Talkback How she treated the writing of Kitchen Sink as an assignment How a black and white photograph in the Listener led Maclean to discover Kitchen Sink actress Theresa Healey Where all that hair came from for Peter Tait’s character in Kitchen Sink The charmed experience and enduring popularity of Kitchen Sink How a road trip with a family friend led to her debut feature film Crush Directing episodes of Sex and the City and Gossip Girl" (NZ On Screen summary)


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