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Honey Lantree

THE HONEYCOMBS

The Honeycombs
The Honeycombs posing
The Honeycombs lp
The Honeycombs album
Biography: 

The Honeycombs were an English pop group of the 1960s. Their most distinguishing mark was their female drummer, Honey Lantree. One night the group, known then as The Sheratons, was playing in a London pub, The Mildmay Tavern in the Balls Pond Road. In the audience were Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, a very prolific British songwriting team, who later wrote hits for such artists as Lulu and Elvis Presley.

Howard and Blaikley, then working in production for BBC Television, liked what they saw and suggested the band might like to hear some of their material. The band had an upcoming audition with indie record producer Joe Meek, whom most notably had produced The Tornadoes and composed their number one hit "Telstar" in 1962, and were eager for some new material. At the audition in Meek's studio in Holloway Road, they played Howard and Blaikley's "Have I the Right?" which Meek recorded.

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The group's founder Martin Murray had worked as a hairdresser, Honey Lantree being his assistant. They decided to combine his profession with the name of the drummer, and changed their name to The Honeycombs. They were signed to the Pyre record label. After proving a 'sleeper' for seven weeks the record took off in the summer of 1964 reaching the number one spot around the world and selling over 2 million records. It was Meek's final hit in the United States, where it was issued on the Interphon label. Howard and Blaikley who went on to write more successes for them managed The Honeycombs.

The Honeycombs' first recording "Have I The Right?" hit number one in the UK and number five in the U.S. in the autumn of 1964 shortly after the start of the British Invasion. Honey Lantree was an accomplished drummer and the star attraction of the group as she was one of very few female drummers at the time. The unique and heavily compressed bass drum sound on "Have I The Right?", which many other drummers of the period tried to replicate, was augmented by the group stamping on the stairs of Meek's studio. Meek achieved this by placing four microphones attached with bicycle clips under the stairs. The Honeycombs also recorded the song in German.

The Honeycombs line-up changed in 1966 and the group became known as The New Honeycombs. The New Honeycombs were the original drummer and vocalist Honey Lantree plus bassist John Lantree and included in the new line-up were Rod Butler on lead guitar and vocals, Colin Boyd on vocals and guitar, and Eddie Spence on keyboards and vocals. In 1999 Cult Record producer Russell C. Writer tempted the oiginal line up of The Honeycombs out of retirement to do a track 'Live and Let Die' on the Future Legend compilation “Cult Themes from the 70's Vol.2”. Not only did The Honeycombs appear on the album but so did 'Glenda Collins' another popular Joe Meek artist.

This was last recording by the original Honeycombs line up before Denis died but Denis considered it one of his best recordings. More information and track listing of this album can be found at Future Legend Records Website. There is currently a version of The Honeycombs touring, however this line up has only been together for a few years and contains no members from the 60's line up.

Mathew Jones

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This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com

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