The Somerville Gentlemen's Band formed in 1976 through chance meetings at The White Horse Folk Club in Leamington Spa. Over the next six years the band built their popularity and reputation until by 1980 they were in demand at many of the major festivals and the biggest clubs. Their final performance closing Warwick Festival in 1982 was a very emotional performance which is still fondly remembered thirty years later by those who were there.
Their well-received vinyl LP “Far from Home” was recorded on location in Barmouth in 1979 by Les Penning (better known as the recorder player on the hit single “Portsmouth”). It enjoyed wide acclaim and has become a somewhat sought-after item on Ebay.
The Gents were forced to disband after Warwick 1982 because Phil's job took him off to Harrogate, Jem's employer required him to move to Cirencester, and it became impossible to keep up the busy rehearsal and performance schedule.
However, in 2009 they held a one-off reunion because Phil and Jem had returned to the area. Subsequently Ted, Jem and Phil found themselves meeting occasionally to play together. Over the next couple of years, they developed a completely new set of material, incorporating Ted's melodeon playing but retaining the vocal harmonies and intricate instrumentation which had always been a feature of the original Gent's performances. They have begun to play at our local clubs and have been gratified with the very favourable responses from old friends and new fans alike.