BACKLASH by The Betterdays - a unique snapshot of the British R&B boom
They were known as the West Country’s answer to the Rolling Stones, back in the heyday of the 1960’s beat boom. The Betterdays are still fondly remembered by many today for their raucous performances and an abundance of talent, but not so much for their recorded output; they released just one extremely collectable 45 for Polydor.
Initially a four piece – Mike ‘Shane’ Hayne (vocals), Frank Tyler (drums), Richard Broczek (lead guitar) and Mike Weston (bass) – they developed a tight, driving sound, drawing much of their material from American R&B recordings such as “I’m A Hog For You”, “Money”, “Bye Bye Johnny”, “Hey Bo Diddley”, “Sweet Little Sixteen”, Smokestack Lightning” and “Walking The Boogie”. Like the Stones they favoured a broad selection of black American music, rather than the more purist approach of other contemporaries. Their reach spanned rock, blues and R&B styles and right from the very early days they created their own unique sound.
The influence of the Beatles, not on their sound, but on the attitudes and reactions of audiences throughout the country, made itself felt and the crowds started to raise the roofs, screaming with enthusiasm. British R&B took off, and the band flew with it.
The addition of keyboard and harmonica player Bob Pitcher completed the band’s sound and they changed their name to The Betterdays as they began paying to packed houses every night of the week on a hectic schedule all around the West Country, drawing raucous crowds and notoriety everywhere they went.
Support from the music industry never quite came to the level of enthusiasm displayed by the loyal fans and this was not helped by the band being so busy packing out shows in the West Country that time never allowed for a concerted move on to the London scene, where the music industry was very much based. But, ever reluctant to be outshone or fall into obscurity, they are now issuing a double album of wonderful material, nearly all of which has never before been heard. The album is a unique insight into the vitality and joy of that heady time but benefits from terrific recording quality and is all freshly remixed, remastered and pressed onto collector’s vinyl and CD. It is The Betterdays’ BACKLASH.