|Originally formed from the Fifth Gear Travelling Band (the original members all met at Lotus cars in the 70s), the band has matured and improved over the years. Although the material is basically rock and pop from the 60s, 70s and 80s, it is by no means hard and fast all the time. The band has always been versatile enough to cope with almost any function. From rock venues to dinner dances in swish hotels, from wedding receptions to outdoor parties on the Royal Estate at Sandringham, they have done them all (strict tempo, jazz, country and western excepted, "we only play real music" say the boys). |
Ex member Wiggy with Clarkey and Viv circa 1978
The boys took an extended sabbatical in the 90s but were persuaded by Golden Years organiser Terry Wickham to reform,Mister Buss were first seen again after fourteen years in April 2002 at the UEA in Norwich where they appeared at the Golden Years revival gig, and took the place by storm according to Derek James in the Norwich Evening News.
Recent bigger gigs have included the Golden Years charity concerts at UEA for the past eight years, and headlined again in 2010.The Lord Mayors Charity Ball in 2009 and 2010.
The band today
Viv Ritchie (vocals)Viv started singing into a mirror with a hairbrush as a mike at the age of about ten. From there he progressed to a drunken attempt at Hang on Sloopy at a firm's dinner dance which prompted the band to offer him a job as their vocalist!!!
After a futile attempt to make the big time with a local soul band, he joined a band in his home town of Aylsham, before moving to Wymondham and starting work at Lotus. It was here that he met Will Styles, and joined his band Fifth Gear Travelling Band, Rusty Duck later known as Mister Buss.
The band travelled all over England and Ireland backing several name bands including Manfred Mann, The Foundations, Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon, Paul Jones Blues Band and they appeared on several gigs on Showaddywaddy's 1981 tour. After a 14 year sabbatical, Viv was persuaded to reform the band (to everyone's dismay) and as they say ... the rest is history
Ian Clarke (drums)Ian was a late starter (age 16). He spent a couple of years playing pubs with his dad on the piano then one weekend he went to see a band at the Manor House who played a lot of Shadows stuff, which he loved. The band was Regency and he joined them around 1970. A bloke called Terry Wickham used to get up on stage and sing Elvis numbers !!!!
After a spell with a couple of bands, The Chris Stewart Set and Mirrors, Ian first joined Mister Buss in 1977 and went on to play with a variety of bands including Fifth Avenue with Rodney Kidd and Dave Quinten.
Ian was dragged out of retirement when the Golden Year gigs started which led to him joining the Kriptones. He rejoined Mister Buss in 2004.
Will Styles (guitars)Will had his first (unplayable) acoustic guitar at age 11 and played his first public gig at Old Buckenham school when 14. 'We played 'House of the Rising Sun' missing out the D chord completely, but it sounded OK to us !!!' says Will.
He had a brief spell with a local band playing rhythm guitar when 17, before he caught that well known disease ' women' . Found a temporary cure at age 24 when he joined the band that was to become Mister Buss. It started off with Will and Alan Kindleysides playing acoustic guitars in a Cambridge pub, and they were later joined by Andy Harrison ( drums) Paul Womack ( bass) and Viv Ritchie on vocals.
Progressed through the Fifth Gear Travellin' Band, Rusty Duck and then to Mister Buss. Left the band into musical retirement in 1981. Played various stand in gigs for different bands from time to time, including support to 70s band Caravan at Old Buckenham school in 1990.
Will rejoined Mister Buss in 2004 and is now enjoying playing more than ever before. He plans to retire again at about age 100 - with luck !!!
Terry Smith (guitars)Terry started playing at the age of 9 (he reckons he hasn't improved at all since then). His first band was The Escapades in 1964. He subsequently played for various rock and function bands in and around Ipswich including the Iron Dodo Band, Argus, Bloodstone, Out to Lunch, Eclipse, Midlife Crisis, Prism, Backtrack, and supported big acts like Showaddywaddy, Unit 4 Plus 2, and Love Affair.
He joined Mister Buss in the summer of 2006.
Phil Chapman (bass)Phil's started playing piano at age 7, switched to guitar at age 11, and then onto (what turned out to be his favourite instrument) electric bass in his first band at age 13. Phil's developing interest in jazz led him to London in the late 60's where he freelanced in pubs and clubs, including many late night jazz broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. Tiring of the freelance life he accepted a full time job with the band at London night club The Talk of the Town, where he shared the stage nightly with stars like Mel Torme, John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Madeline Bell, Rolf Harris and Tommy Cooper. Phil stayed for two years - "I learned more from those guys than from any teacher," he says - but itchy feet got the better of him again and he left London for chilly Scotland in 1986, where he joined the Jimmy Deuchar band, backing touring jazz luminaries like Annie Ross, Don Rendell and Peter King.
He moved to Norfolk and joined Mister Buss in the summer of 2004.