Simon K & The Meantimers

Simon K & The Meantimers, circa spring 1967. Left to right: Bill Pitt, Mick Armes, Kenny Simon, Rick Thomas and Paul Hewson. Photo: Michael Armes
Simon K & The Meantimers, circa spring 1967. Left to right: Bill Pitt, Mick Armes, Kenny Simon, Rick Thomas and Paul Hewson. Photo: Michael Armes

West London six-piece horn band Simon K & The Meantimers recorded a Hammond-drenched dance-floor classic called “Bring Your Love Back (To Me)”, which was coupled with “You Know I Do” for a UK single on the B&C label in November 1969.

Fronted by current Hot Chocolate lead singer Kenny Simon, The Meantimers had originally formed around late 1964/early 1965 in West Hampstead before linking with Simon (most likely around March 1967).

Managed by Arthur Armes, father of the band’s drummer Michael, the original Meantimers also comprised lead guitarist Rick Thomas, classically trained organist Bill Pitt, bass player Warwick Rose and a rhythm guitarist called Tony, who also handled lead vocals.

According to Michael Armes, his father turned the basement of his shop on Belsize Road in Kilburn into a rehearsal and recording room. It may well have been here that Simon cut some demos with West London band, The Tribe, including future Sweet guitarist Frank Torpey, that were picked up by Arthur Armes.

Notable gigs (prior to Kenny Simon):

7 August 1966 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

21 August 1966 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

9 October 1966 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

13 November 1966 – Tofts, Folkestone, Kent (billed as Meantimers)

14 January 1967 – Tofts, Folkestone, Kent (billed as Meantimers)

19 January 1967 – Tiles, London (billed as Meantimers)

22 January 1967 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

11 February 1967 – Witchdoctor, Hastings, East Sussex (billed as Meantimers)

26 February 1967 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

12 March 1967 – Upper Cut, Forest Gate, Essex with Pussyfoot (billed as Meantimers)

Michael Armes, 1967
Michael Armes, 1967

When Kenny Simon replaced the original singer, prompting a name change to Simon K & The Meantimers, former Overlanders’ bass player Paul Hewson had already taken over from Warwick Rose, who’d moved on to join The Soul Survivors, an early incarnation of The Love Affair.

The new line up lasted until about July 1967 when former Quiet Five drummer Ray Hailey succeeded Michael Armes.

Notable gigs:

12 April 1967 – Flamingo, London

28 April 1967 – Witchdoctor, Catford, Kent with The Groove (billed as The Meantimers)

17 May 1967 – Industrial Club, Norwich, Norfolk

21 May 1967 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

6-7 June 1967 – Industrial Club, Norwich, Norfolk

24 June 1967 – Witchdoctor, Catford, Kent (billed as The Meantimers)

2 July 1967 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire (billed as Meantimers)

22 July 1967 – Witchdoctor, Hastings, East Sussex

Simon K & The Meantimers, circa spring 1967. Photo: Michael Armes
Simon K & The Meantimers, circa spring 1967. Photo: Michael Armes

However, the changes did not end there and in the summer of 1967 an entirely new line up came together, starting with lead guitarist George Teo.

Originally, from Singapore, Teo had migrated to the UK in the early 1960s with friends Sam Young on bass and brothers Andrew and John Gwee on guitar and drums respectively and formed The Etceteras. After two singles on the Oriole label in 1964, Teo next joined the Ying Tongs before hooking up with The Meantimers.

Also on board were siblings, bass player Mick Glyde and drummer Tony Glyde (brothers of Major Glyde, the lead sax player from Sounds Incorporated) and sax players Brent Carter, Alan Wherry and Ken Hendy, who was later replaced by former Cliff Bennett Rebel Rousers’ baritone sax player Sid Phillips in late 1967/early 1968.

Tony Glyde had previously worked with Southeast London bands, Bob ‘N’ All, The Loose Ends and Bern Elliott’s former group, The Fenmen while Alan Wherry had come from The Richard Henry Sensation (with David O’List) and Harlem Shuffle.

Wherry remembers that the group also had a keyboard player but it wasn’t Bill Pitt. He also recalls that he had left before Sid Phillips joined. Wherry later moved in to publishing, as director of Corgi, Penguin and then as co-founder of Bloomsbury in London in 1986.

The new formation was active until about spring 1968, during which time former Quiet Five drummer Roger “Tex” Marsh took over the drum stool from Tony Glyde.

Simon K & The Meantimers, late 1967. Left to right: George Teo, Brent Carter (shades), Mick Glyde, Kenny Simon, Alan Wherry, unknown organist, Tony Glyde. Ken Hendy is not pictured. Photo: Alan Wherry
Simon K & The Meantimers, late 1967. Left to right: George Teo, Brent Carter (shades), Mick Glyde, Kenny Simon, Alan Wherry, unknown organist, Tony Glyde. Ken Hendy is not pictured. Photo: Alan Wherry

Notable gigs:

2 September 1967 – Industrial Club, Norwich, Norfolk

16 September 1967 – Adelphi Ballroom, Slough, Berkshire with Jeanette and Abee

7 October 1967 – Industrial Club, Norwich, Norfolk

4 November 1967 – Industrial Club, Norwich, Norfolk

2 December 1967 – Industrial Club, Norwich, Norfolk

17 February 1968 – Chelmsford Corn Exchange, Chelmsford, Essex with Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band

20 April 1968 – Locarno Ballroom, Swindon, Wiltshire

11 May 1968 – Locarno Ballroom, Swindon, Wiltshire

2 August 1968 – Samantha’s, London (billed as Meantimers)

3 August 1968 – Town Hall, Clacton, Essex (billed as Meantimers)

4 August 1968 – Surrey Rooms, Oval, London (billed as Meantimers)

6-7 August 1968 – Hatchetts Playground, London (billed as Meantimers)

24 August 1968 – Savoy Rooms, Catford, Kent

14 September 1968 – Burton’s, Uxbridge, Middlesex

By the autumn of 1968, Kenny Simon had reshuffled the pack, bringing in Marsh’s former band mate from The Quiet Five, Roger McKew on lead guitar. Sid Phillips had already left by this point to go on to Redwind and his place was taken by Tony Hall, whose CV including Peter’s Faces, Wainwright’s Gentlemen and Rupert’s Spoon.

The new formation then comprised:

Kenny Simon – lead vocals

Roger McKew – lead guitar

Tony Hall – saxophone

Brent Carter – saxophone

Mick Glyde – bass

Roger ‘Tex’ Marsh – drums

The new-look formation resumed gigging. Bringing former keyboard player Bill Pitt back, Simon also added Irish trumpet player Ron Carthy, who’d previously worked with The Blue Aces and Wynder K Frog to the six-piece line up that came together in time to cut the group’s lone ‘45 in November 1969.

In March 1970, however, Brent Carter and Tony Hall also departed at this point and joined Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band.

When the band finally splintered in the early 1970s, Pitt ended up working with Espirit de Corps, while Carthy joined Gonzales and also did a multitude of sessions for artists like Freddie King, Slade and Suzi Quatro.

Notable gigs:

26 October 1968 – Locarno Ballroom, Swindon, Wiltshire

23 November 1968 – Fellowship Inn, Eltham, Kent

30 November 1968 – Burton’s, Uxbridge, Middlesex

10 December 1968 – Black Prince Hotel, Bexley, Kent with Olaf Groups Kneed

28 December 1968 – Burton’s, Uxbridge, Middlesex

22 February 1969 – Starlight Room, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with Jon James & The Swamp and The Western Kind

4 April 1969 – Walton Hop, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

19 April 1969 – Starlight Room, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with Sir Percy Quintet

17 May 1969 – Alex’s Disco, Salisbury, Wiltshire

22 May 1969 – Klook’s Kleek, London

26 July 1969 – Walton Hop, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

2 August 1969 – Starlight Room, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with Sir Percy Quintet

9 August 1969 – Savoy, Catford, Kent

6 September 1969 – Walton Hop, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

4 October 1969 – Savoy, Catford, Kent

25 or 29 October 1969 – Starlight Room, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with The Lovin’ Spoonful

8 November 1969 – Alex’s Disco, Salisbury, Wiltshire

25 November 1969 – Walton Hop, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

29 November 1969 – Walton Hop, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

31 December 1969 – Walton Hop, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

7 February 1970 – Cloud 9, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Many thanks to Kenny Simon, Michael Armes, Tony Hall, Alan Wherry, Ken Hendy, Sid Phillips and Bruce Welsh for their help. Thank you Michael Armes and Alan Wherry for the photos.

Very little is known about the personnel in Simon K & The Meantimers. The author would be interested to hear from anyone that can provide more detail on the group for a future, updated version. Please email the author, Nick Warburton at Warchive@aol.com

10 thoughts on “Simon K & The Meantimers”

  1. Portsmouth News lists the band playing at Thorngate Ballroom in Gosport (straight from Tiles) on 10 November 1966 (presumably before Simon K joined them)

  2. Few more gigs to add from the Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald:
    31 August 1968 – St Albans City Hall with The Rocky Rivers
    18 October 1968 – St Albans City Hall with Amen Corner and Plagel Cadence

  3. According to a poster from Samantha’s in New Burlington Street, W1 supplied by Geoff Foster, Simon K & The Meantimers played at this West End club on the following dates in 1969.

    5-6 August
    17-19 August
    25 August

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