Old friends form new group with man who toured in hit band

Chris Hutton (left) and Chris Burgis (centre), formerly of The Mustangs (in the early 70s), have reformed after about 40 years with Retrio, which includes Adrian Gregory, formerly of The Checkmates which had a number one hit with Emile Ford in 1959.
Chris Hutton (left) and Chris Burgis (centre), formerly of The Mustangs (in the early 70s), have reformed after about 40 years with Retrio, which includes Adrian Gregory, formerly of The Checkmates which had a number one hit with Emile Ford in 1959.

Two friends who, decades ago, were ‘East Anglia’s youngest band’ have reformed, along with a third member who once toured with The Checkmates.

More than 40 years after starting country band The Mustangs, former school friends Chris Hutton, 54, and Chris Burgis, 55, have reunited under new band Retrio.

Offering retro music, mostly from the 60s and 70s, as well as a little country and some modern classics, the band’s trio includes Adrian Gregory, 63, from Moreton Hall.

In the 1990s, Mr Gregory toured with The Checkmates, a band which, in 1959, charted a number one hit with Emile Ford.

“We want to be one of the best bands in the region and we’re going to keep working at it,” said Mr Gregory, on guitar and lead vocals.

Excited about the new group, he added: “We’ve already got quite a bit of material that we’re happy with and can adapt what we play to fit the audience, we’re very versatile.”

Mr Hutton, bass and vocals, also of Moreton Hall, said: “I want to get back on the road doing something that I love with probably the oldest mate that I’ve got.

“You miss it because it’s in your blood - you need to get up there and get that adrenalin pumping.”

Mr Burgis, drums and vocals, said: “I’ve been itching to get back to it because I get great satisfaction from watching people dance to our music.”

And, after being diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2010, he is keen for Retrio to perform at charity gigs where possible.

On August 4 Retrio will perform at Tolly Fest, in Bury, St Edmunds, to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

“With the treatment that I’ve had, I’ve got nothing but praise for Addenbrooke’s and West Suffolk Hospital and, the more research they can do, the more people they can help,” said Mr Burgis.

To contact the band, call Mr Burgis on 07901 661837 or email chris.burgis@yahoo.co.uk