|Years active April 1967–1973|
Active until 1973
|Labels Deram Records|
Members Pete Kircher
|Past members Pete Dello
Origin London, United Kingdom (1967)
Albums The Honeybus Story, She Flies Like a Bird: The Anthology, At Their Best, Story
Genres Pop music, Baroque pop, Soft rock, Psychedelic pop, Beat music
Similar Pete Dello, Pete Dello and Friends, The Flower Pot Men, The Herd, Colin Hare
Honeybus black mourning band
Honeybus were a 1960s pop group formed in April 1967, in London. They are best known for their 1968 UK Top 10 hit single, "I Can't Let Maggie Go", written by Pete Dello who also composed their previous single "(Do I Figure) In Your Life", later recorded by Dave Berry, Ian Matthews, Joe Cocker, Dave Stewart, Paul Carrack, Samantha Jones, Dana and Pierce Turner.
- Honeybus black mourning band
- The honeybus ain t that just bonny for you bbc session
- Line up
- Post Honeybus
- Original albums
- Posthumous compilation albums
The honeybus ain t that just bonny for you bbc session
The band's main composers were Dello and Ray Cane although other members contributed songs. The group's supporters and critics, amongst them Kenny Everett, compared the band to Rubber Soul-era Beatles.
"I Can't Let Maggie Go" reached Number 8 in the UK Singles Chart, in April 1968, staying in the Top 40 for over two months.
Honeybus had a major hit with 1968's "I Can't Let Maggie Go", which was so popular that it earned the band a cover photo on the popular music magazine, Disc and Music Echo, for which they posed atop a red London bus.
Dello resigned in August 1968. The band recruited Jim Kelly on guitar and vocals to replace him and Cane began songwriting and performing lead vocals. This line-up scored minor successes with "She Sold Blackpool Rock" and "Girl Of Independent Means". Honeybus eventually disbanded late in 1969. Their 1970 album Story, without an active band to promote it, failed to chart. However; it is now highly collectable and sells for around £1,000 in perfect condition. It has since been re-issued on compact disc.
Dello, Hare and Kelly all went on to record solo material in the early 1970s that was critically acclaimed but failed to achieve significant commercial success.
The Dello line-up of the band reunited in 1971 to record a new body of songs for the Bell Records label and a complete LP, Recital, for the British division of Warner Bros. Records. A change in management at Warner Brothers meant that Recital was never issued.
"I Can't Let Maggie Go", was also a top 10 hit in Italy, with a version made by Equipe 84, entitled "Un angelo blu" ("A blue angel"). It enjoyed an unexpected reprise in popularity in the 1970s, when it was used as the soundtrack for a television advertisement for "Nimble", a bread produced for slimmers.
The best known line-up consisted of:
Kircher left the group in the summer of 1969 and went on tour with Engelbert Humperdinck. He was replaced by drummer Lloyd Courtney for the remainder of the sessions for their debut album. Kircher's drumming career saw him joining several bands, among them Compass with Billy Bremner, Roger Rettig and Brian Hodgson, Shanghai, John Scott Cree, Liverpool Express, Original Mirrors and Status Quo. He retired from the music industry after Quo's appearance at Live Aid.
Kelly released a solo single in 1969 on Deram entitled "Mary Mary" b/w "Rev. Richard Bailey", both written by Cane, but it failed to chart. Kelly joined the Sleaz Band in the 1970s and they released "All I Want Is You" on the Fontana label. An album was also recorded, but never released. He died on Boxing Day in 1995 after a long illness.
After a number of years out of the spotlight, Hare released new solo material in 2002. He now runs an official Honeybus website. In 2007 Hare played a few gigs with a completely new Honeybus line-up minus Dello. Surviving members of Honeybus were briefly reunited for a Dutch television programme "Single Luck" in 2003. A solo EP, "Down From Pitswood", featured two original and long-forgotten Honeybus songs, which the band had recorded for BBC Radio sessions in the late 1960s.
Posthumous compilation albums
I Can't Let Maggie GoStory · 2008
In Your LifeStory · 2008
Tender Are the AshesStory · 2008