Friday, March 09, 2018

Bill Kimber & The Couriers - Shakin' Up A Storm & Swinging Fashion

This group, formed in the 1960s, included two Sloane old boys, Bill Kimber on rhythm guitar and vocals and Alan Tiuner on drums. Others in the line-up were Richard Laws - vocals and lead guitar, Peter Fairweather - vocals and bass guitar and Barry Ashby who joined in 1965 as a vocalist. They didn't chart in this country with songs that included covers of the Swinging Blue Jeans' Hippy Hippy Shake and the Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand, but became massive in South Africa. Their South African recordings, Shakin' Up A Storm and Swinging Fashion, are very collectable and fetch ?100+ each in mint condition and their 1968 Parlophone recording, Kilburn Towers/Goodbye, whilst not as valuable is still a collector's item. Bill Kimber also recorded as a solo artist as William E Kimber and two of his albums, William Kimber and Art of William Kimber are also sought after by collectors. A South African website remembers them, in 1964, as one of the hottest "new wave" groups in the business and says they're a "talented group of London boys (they're all under twenty) who are being launched into the pop world of music in an unusual way- they're getting their big kick-off in South Africa."

Their promotion included, in the style of Beatles' films of the era, a 90 minute film, made in South Africa, that showed them touring the country. David Hemmings was also in this film as were Brian Poole and The Tremeloes whom the group were later to tour England with. This film, described at the time as 'a musical comedy in English' and the 'most unusual film ever made in South Africa', included over twenty songs, mainly standards like Long Tall Sally and I Got My Mojo Working, to make up for the lack of plot, no logical sequence of events and the fact that the screenply was written as they went along. The group were described as 'specialists in the Mersey beat, the contemporary folk music which was originally popularised by The Beatles. The music is characterised by an accented beat, vocals which are screamed rather than sung, and electric guitars tuned and amplified to an excruciating pitch."

As a group, The Couriers owed their existence to Johannesburg-born Frank Fenter and it was he who arranged for them to go to South Africa to make what was that country's first English language musical. They don't seem to have achieved the 'lucrative career' that was predicted for them.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    A "new" artist here THANX!

    Cio!For now.


ANONYMOUS REQUESTS WITHOUT ANSWER ! Please,treat with understanding ...