Gingerbread was formed from the remnants of Five Shades Of Blue in 1971, following the return of that group from a stint playing in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.
Robbie Moore, Derek Turner and I decided to stay together and work in Hong Kong after the Shadessplit up and the UK-based members returned home. (If anyone reading this has photos of the “Five Shades Of Blue” as they were for the Japan gig, I would welcome copies!)
Robbie and I had been playing together as a duo when we were approached by members of FSOB to fulfill the bookings in Japan, which were jeopardy after the lead singer had been taken ill and returned to the UK with just weeks to go.
The band had been re-formed for the Japan trip by the original members of the band who had made a name for themselves when most of them were studying at St Georges School here in Hong Kong in the early 60s. St Georges was the military-run secondary school in those days and there was a lot of friendly rivalry between ST GEORGES and KING GEORGE (KGV, my alma mater….)
Robbie and I agreed and, with the addition of drummer Derek Turner, Dave Vick and Roger Fletcher and the three new members were off to Japan. For me it started a fascination for Japan which lasts to this day.
I’m not sure where the name GINGERBREAD comes from but I suspect it may have been a translation of the Swedish ‘pepparkaka’, a cookie which was a great favourite of mine and which probably brought memories of ‘home’ and family. I had been alone in Hong Kong after my family moved away in 1963. With hindsight, perhaps ‘pepparkaka’ would have made a more original name!
Robbie, Derek and I augmented the group with sax and flute player Andrew Oh from Singapore, who had stayed on in Hong Kong after his hometown band The Establishment completed a gig and returned to the Lion City.
When we were offered a residency in a Kowloon club we recruited vocalist/drummer Maria Wu, bass player Longman Hart and organist Johnson Chan, all experienced local musicians.
When Gingerbread broke up, Maria and I went on to form MING.