Anyone looking for “The Harper Brothers” jazz group of the late ’80s featuring Winard Harper and Philip Harper will be sorely disappointed. This is the original Harper Brothers formed in the mid 80s by Torchy Harper aka Clive Day. Torchy Harper spent his early years living in a petrol station in Watford, England with only his dog Sam and his brother Colin for company. Years later things have changed. Torchy now lives in France and Colin has become an accountant and the subject of the song, ‘In the City’. His dog Sam has now become a real child and the dog is now known as Gary.

Torchy Harper now runs one the most messy bars in the French Alps and spends the entire winter drunk, encouraged by the lively drinking games at ‘La Grotte’ in the ski resort of Serre Chevalier, France. In the summer Torchy usually rebuilds the bar from scratch ready for next winter.

The Harper Brothers have been playing regularly in Serre Chevalier since 2001 and have been continually pestered by a bearded Danish man called Alfred Hede Hansen from Ringe, Denmark who appears every winter for his ski holiday. Alfred always said “you must come and play in my village in Denmark, the people there will love it!”. The Harper Brothers get lots of offers like this and regularly give contact details and say “give us a call when you have sorted out some gigs”. Nobody ever does, except Alfred.

In 2004, The Harper Brothers did their first gigs in and around Odense and Ringe. The reception has been fantastic, the Danes love this twisted, politically incorrect rock and pop covers band and join in the horrendous drinking games in true Viking fashion. One ginger haired, pale skinned maiden from Ringe was so impressed, she went on to live in France and then marry the guitarist in 2005.

The Harper Brothers have loved the enthusiasm and the completely ‘over the top’ hospitality of the Danish people. Anybody who thinks of Denmark as cold and dull country should think again. In the summer the climate is great and the Danes are some of the warmest people you will ever meet.

The Harper Brothers are:

  • Torchy Harper (vocals, guitar and harmonica)
  • Mike Sukov (guitar and vocals)
  • Ricky Mullett (bass and vocals)
  • Niv McSporren (drums, vocals and cross dressing)



Source by Rick Lomas