I have a couple of 45 singles (image) by Alan Lyford and the Thunderbirds. Both vinyls have been recorded by Philips Singapore in the 60s. The first vinyl (338704PF) has this young boy singing, No One To Care (own composition) and What Now My Love, the very well-known ballad by Decaud, Sigman and Delanoe. In the second vinyl (ME-0161-AF), Lyford sings his own Love Me and Chains by Goffin and King.
In my search to do a write-up of Lyford, a friend connected me to a night-spot website called, The Ellington Jazz Club. This popular club which features live music is situated at Beaufort Street, Perth, Australia. There is a blues band playing there called Bloozology with the most experienced musicians from the city in its line-up.
Formed in 2007 this band has vocalist and bass player Alan Lyford in the team. It is the same Lyford who has recorded for Phillips and according to the website, he has for some years accompanied and sung with many Perth and inter-state artistes in Australia. Lyford was also lead singer with the fusion band, *Manteca, in the late 70s and early 80s, when they were recorded for national broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Lyford's music career in Australia is definitely impressive with his sterling track record. He has played with super stars like America, the Doobie Brothers and Simply Red, supported Suzie Quatro, Lou Rawls,Tom Jones, Roberta Flack and toured with Ian Moss from Cold Chisel. He is currently recording an album of his original compositions.
According to another website, when he left Singapore during the earlier years, Lyford joined a band called, The Revue. It was a 5 piece band formed in 1967 and he was bass guitarist and singer from 1969-1971. In the same year (1971), he joined The Mark IV also playing bass. This band, formed in 1966 was previously called The Zebeks and started life in 1964.
The debut album by West Australia’s Manteca was recorded in 1979 by the Perth Radio Station 720 6WF. The group fuses a mix of jazz, funk and rock together to form their sound. Half the album's style is funky rock featuring Alan Lyford’s vocals, which is "kind of sound like mid 70′s average white band, Tower of Power etc." The other half is instrumental jazz and funk. This particular album has a very funky version of Herbie Hancock's classic, Watermelon Man.
The group has another album in 1981, a Fusion LP produced by ABC Records. Its a mixed bag with some instrumental fusion style tracks and some with vocal cuts. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is the best track with a mellow, laid back, Brazilian flavored groove.
Sad isn't it to have a talented artiste like Alan Lyford leaving Singapore shores? Perhaps we should invite him to play at the Esplanade? If you have some more information about Mr Lyford do write in.
Thanks to LL.
Image/Edited article: Andy Lim.