Founded in the mid-'60s by vocalist Fraser Loveman, guitarists Greig Foster and Mike Gorgichuk, bassist Joe Colonna and drummer Robbie Jeffrey, the Ontario-based British Modbeats played covers of British Invasion groups such as the Rolling Stones and Spencer Davis Group and posed as true Englishmen. Red Leaf Records signed them and released their 1967 album, Mod Is the British Modbeats. The band was gone by 1968.
Fraser Loveman (vocals)
Joe Colonna (bass)
Robbie Jeffrey (drums)
Greig Foster (guitar)
Mike Gorgichuk (guitar)
From St.Catharines, Ontario, Canada
With the invasion of the Beatles in 1964 and the subsequent British Invasion later that year, the North American music industry was turned upside down trying to compete and capitalize on the new music explosion.
In 1963, a St. Catharines Ventures-styled band called The Lintels were already aware of the British turmoil before it ever made it to Atlantic shores and so in late-'64/early '65 The British Modbeats were born. They were quick to jump on the craze and were the first to wear paisley, bell bottoms and shaggy hair which worked in driving Ontario teens out of their minds.
Ironically, the band only performed cover tunes, but the fans didn't care. They couldn't get enough and so, to fill the demand, the British Modbeats released the Doris Troy song "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" in 1966 followed by their debut album 'Mod Is The British Modbeats' in 1967.
The album spawned a hit single in "Somebody Help Me" followed by two others. The group would rise to the occasion with opening slots for The Rascals, The Byrds, The McCoys and play Expo '67 plus a pit stop at The Scene in New York City.
But with the change in attitudes during the Beatles evolution on 'Sgt. Pepper' and 'The White Album', the hippie movement had taken hold and the British Modbeats became redundant by 1968. They subsequently turned down an offer to record with Phil Spector in Detroit feeling that the US was not a particular avenue they cared to pursue.
Some of the members continued as The Modbeats and later as Looking Glass (different than the US band who had the hit "Brandy"). Fraser Loveman seemed to have the most success with appearances in theatre starring in "Hair" and "Annie Get Your Gun". He had a 1920's styled dance act before playing in the band The Village S.T.O.P. from 1968-1970. He formed the Fraser Loveman Group in 1970 and the Yenmor Blues Band from 1972 to 1973. He went on to work in a paper mill for 17 years and owned the St. Catharines concert hall Rock III.
The British Modbeats reunited in 1989 for some one-off nostalgia revues at Lulu's in Kitchener and Prudhommes. Loveman would then move on to Cafe Bizarre and was last seen writing new material with Modbeats member Joe Colonna in a 8-piece blues/soul/R&B band called Modbeats - Black, White & Blue.
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"