1950s-60s harmony trio
One day in October 2004, two strangers stood side by side in one of the Norwich music shops, perusing the ‘Bands seeking Musicians’ notice-board. A few minutes later, in another music shop, at another notice-board, were the same two persons, which resulted in one of those “You again!” moments. Comparing notes, they realized they’d already collected each other’s phone numbers and decided maybe this was trying to tell them something...
Those two were guitarist John Bartram and bassist Heather Enid Wells, both singer-songwriters. John had just moved with his family from London, where he’d played in bands for many years, to Norfolk, and he was keen to join or form a new band here. Heather had just been fired from The Kriptones, having played for two years with them, and she, too, was hoping to find herself a new band.
John invited Heather to spend a couple of hours seeing whether they knew any of the same songs and could play together – this turned into an all-day jam session. John and Heather then played some gigs as a duo, which were well received, but they both really hankered to expand and have a proper band. Vocalist-drummer Pete Allen was head-hunted and agreed to come for a try-out, and John booked a hall for the session for 5th November 2004.
From the very first song it was obvious that this was going to be good! Not only did John, Heather and Pete gel personally, musically and instrumentally, but the three voices blended really well. The name, Bright Spark, seemed appropriate for a band formed on Bonfire Night – also nobody else seemed to be using it! They played their first paid gig exactly two months later, and a year on had one or two public or private bookings most weeks.
Bright Spark released a CD of 12 original songs, with a 12-page glossy booklet of lyrics and artwork, which received a 4* review in the EDP. Here Comes the Rain, Mama costs £8.99 from the band on gigs.
Bright Spark play a good selection of songs and instrumentals, centred on the 1950s-60s but extending to many other times and styles. As a working band they recognize that most people enjoy hearing songs they know, so they cover a great selection of Beatles songs, Hollies, Searchers, Shadows, etc. However, all the best bands in those days wrote their own material, and Bright Spark do, too. Their very catchy songs are both danceable and listenable, and very much in the sixties’ style, beaty and melodic with interesting lyrics and plenty of close harmony work, and they're now also working on some self-penned instrumental numbers. The band are delighted to find that their own new songs often get an even better audience reaction than the old ones everyone knows and loves – a tribute to the quality of the writing.
Bright Spark appeal to all, but particularly to that discerning mature generation who still haven’t grown up.
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