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The Footsteps

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John Clarke Collection

 
 

The Footsteps
John Clarke (Drums), Neville Barrie (Guitar/Vocals) and Eric Robinson (Keyboards)

The Footsteps were a Christchurch pop trio which was formed at the start of the 1970s by Neville Barrie, and they began issuing recordings in 1972.  Their original line-up included Neville Barrie (Guitar/Vocals), John Clarke (Drums/Vocals) and Eric Robinson (Keyboards/Vocals), and they produced five singles on five different labels between 1972 and 1975 - these were Maybe // For You in 1972, Oh What A Day // A New Beginning (Rob Guest) in 1973, Christmas Time // Love Is All The Colours in 1973, Do You Care // Streaking in 1974 and Wrist Wrestling // Do You Care in 1975.  Peter Gillette a former member of Peter Nelson and the Castaways as well as Chapta and Moviez, replaced Eric Robinson on keyboards in 1974.

 
 





 
 

In late 1973 the following article, written by Ray Columbus, appeared in the local newspaper

The Footsteps of Christchurch are one of the hardest working groups in New Zealand today.  Led by vocalist/composer/guitarist and manager Neville Barrie, they are also most commercial in their choice of material.  That's not to be frowned on.  The Footsteps go out there to entertain and please their audience - a nice change from some of the pseudo-hip guys who don't mind picking up the money that taverns and hotels pay but only want to do "their own thing" on the way.  I'm not knocking originality but until we get a much larger selection of smaller bars and licensed nightclubs it is virtually hopeless to "specialise" in any one form of music.  The Footsteps work at the plush Woolston Working Men's Club and at many hotels in the Garden City, plus a regular Sunday night gig at the restaurant in the Christchurch Town Hall.

 
 

Neville Barrie, John Clarke and Eric Robinson


Bush Inn


John Clarke, Eric Robinson and Neville Barrie

 

Neville Barrie, John Clarke + Peter Gillette


Neville Barrie, John Clarke + Peter Gillette

 

Neville Barrie shares vocals with drummer John Clarke - an original member of the three-year-old band - and Peter Gillette (electric piano, organ, piano, bass) replaced Eric Robinson as the third member.  Gillette was working in Australia and Vietnam when he was asked to come back to New Zealand to join Chapta.  He is making far more money with The Footsteps than he did with the award winning Chapta.  Because he is married, he enjoys being more secure.  He told me: "It's great to actually have some of your audience come up to you after a night's playing is over and say they had a great time, thanks to the group."  The Footsteps appeared in New Faces in 1972, and missed out on the finals by only two points.  Barrie entered songs in Studio One firstly in 1970 - A Little Bit Of Loving, then in 1972, Maybe (which made the final), and in 1973 Lady You're, Good Enough For Me.  1973 saw his Oh What a Day become runner-up to Join Together in the Commonwealth Games Song Contest on Studio One, and in 1974 The Footsteps are out to make recordings of their own songs and really get into that part of the business on a national scale, however, they will stay based in Christchurch.

 
 

The Footsteps - Peter Gillette, John Clarke and Neville Barrie