Amber originated from West Sussex circa 1966. The group based themselves in Walton-on-Thames in the house of Barbara Andrews (mother to actress, Julie Andrews). Here they rehearsed and wrote their original material and in late 1967, recorded three of their own songs at R. G. Jones studios in Morden, Surrey. The songs were written by Alan Smith and Mic Read. Other group originals that didn't make it onto the recording session were February's Child (a Mic Read song later recorded by Just Plain Smith featuring Mic Read), Find Her (Read), They're Chopping Down The Trees (Smith). Mic Read had already written and recorded a number of his own songs at Graham Clark Sound Studios in Surrey earlier in 1967. These recordings appear in Mic Read's entry (see Mic Read). Amber were temporarily signed to the John Edward agency before becoming accidentally acquainted with local entrepreneur, Joe Nemeth. This didn't result in anything, but the band went ahead and recorded their three songs at R. G. Jones. The band decided to try going abroad with their demos with Milan being their preferred destination. Sadly it was not to be and even a similar attempt in Holland failed to turn up anything. With no record company interest, the band split up and went their seperate ways. Alan Smith and Martin Bury returned to Bognor before teaming up with drummer Terry Slade (ex-The Diamonds, The Untamed) to back English singer Mike Liddell abroad with support from another UK band called The Creation. Martin Bury eventually stayed with vocalist, John Read (Warren J Five, Lee Tracey & The Tributes). Mic Read joined Bill Heath and Chris Hatt in The Lost, then Just Plain Smith (aka Just Plain Jones) (see entries)
Notes of interest: Amber were given singing lessons by Barbara Andrews. Their 'roadie' Charlie Brewster went onto design parts for spacecraft! The band wrote and recorded Charlie Brewster's DJ Show about him. The words, Blow Your Mind were written across the side of the van.
Special thanks to: Mike Read, David Wells.
Alan Smith (guitar, vocals), Martin Bury (bass guitar), Mic Read (guitar, vocals), David Gibb (drums).
The original material was released on the 2nd of November 1967.
Extracts taken from 'The South Coast Beat Scene of The 1960s' a book by Mike Read. Copyright Woodfield Publishing. 2001. 2010.
All recorded and photographic material kindly supplied and permitted by M. Read. 2012. All recorded and photographic material copyright Mike Read, Alan Smith. 2012.