ROCKY AND THE NATIVES

"Jim Leverton, Chris Godden, Andy Newmark, Geoffrey Richardson, Malcolm Barnard"
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Malcolm Barnard / Vocals

At 17 years old in 1967 Malcolm was playing 4 or 5 nights a week as a tenor sax player with Medway pop/soul/ blues outfit Aesop’s Fables as they transformed finally into a blues band before splitting in 1968. By then Malcolm was beginning to sing lead vocals on a few songs but plans to lead & sing in his own blues band were put on hold when top soul outfit – The Way asked him to join them on sax. A very young Chris Godden was soon to join on keyboards and a 40+ year friendship was begun. The singers of the Way left after a year or so & Malcolm very willingly took over the lead vocals as the band began to explore the world of progressive rock, changing their name to Tarquin as they did so.

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Tarquin played a lot of support gigs with bands including Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Derek and the Dominos , Skid Row (Gary Moore), and Dream Police – led by Hamish Stuart ( Average White Band/ Paul McCartney) who was, 40 years later, to help Malcolm and Chris find the drummer they wanted for Rocky and the Natives.

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Following a short spell with French heavy rock big hitters Roto Magus, Malcolm returned to the UK in 1970 and with Chris formed Medway Boogie- Rock legends Winkle Bill. They continued to go from strength to strength for many years after Chris and Malcolm left in 1972 to form Pass the Buck, pioneers of early British country rock. That gave Malcolm and Chris the chance to perform material from their big influences, including Buck Owens, Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, The Byrds (including Bob Rafkin’s great song Lazy Waters) , The New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Flying Burrito Brothers , and so over 40 years ago the seeds of Rocky and the Natives were sown.

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After two or three years of solid work Pass the Buck had run their course. Malcolm continued, intermittently over the next 40 years to sing occasionally with local bands and to guest with others – biding his time and scheming with his old mate Chris towards – Rocky and the Natives!

Malcolm’s vocals on “Lazy Waters” released by Rocky and the Natives as a single on Yard Dog Records in 2011 were acclaimed by Maverick Magazine as “stunning”.