aka Cleves

The journey that The Clevedonaires took, from rural New Zealand in the mid-1960s to London in the early 1970s, is an extraordinary and unique one. And yet it is one that is almost unknown in their homeland.

Forty kilometres southeast of Auckland is the small farming community of Clevedon. It was in this idyllic setting that the Brown siblings, Graham, Ron and Gaye, grew up on the family farm where they helped out with various chores and absorbed a wide range of musical influences, not just from the radio but also from their mother Joy, who played piano. Unlike most mothers of her generation she preferred southern American blues and gospel music to the crooners and pop hits that dominated NZ in the 1950s.

Ron Brown, Rob Aickin and Gaye Brown, circa 1968
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
The April 2015 Cleves double vinyl compilation The Musical Adventures Of .. , released for Record Store Day. It also featured the previously unreleased 1973 Bitch album.
The Clevedonaires in 1967 on the We Three Show, filmed in the Shortland St Studios in Auckland. Graham Brown (front), Rob Aickin, Ron Brown and Gaye Brown.
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
The Cleves in Australia where they had signed to Festival Records Infinity label. L to r: Graham Brown, Rob Aickin, Gaye Brown and Ron Brown.
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
The Clevedonaires in early 1967: Ron Brown, Gaye Brown, Graham Brown and Rob Aickin
The Clevedonaires, 1966.
Photo credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections Footprints 00005
The Clevedonaires about to go on tour
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
On the family farm
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
Australian short film Michael (dir. Peter Weir, 1970) with 11 minute Cleves sequence
Up The Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire was a Small Faces track that found its way on to the B side of the 1968 single Sunny Goodge Street. In the years since it has become a New Zealand psychedelic classic, appearing on several compilations both in New Zealand and elsewhere.
Graham Brown, Gaye Brown and Ron Brown, circa 1963
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
The Cleves on TV's Riptide (1969)
From the 1968 C'mon tour programme, shortly before the band were scheduled to head over to Vietnam
The Clevedonaires backing Sandy Edmonds, 1965
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection




He's Ready

Ron Brown - guitar, vocals

Ace Follington - drums

Gaye Brown - vocals, keyboards, bass

Graham Brown - drums

Milton Lane - vocals, rhythm guitar

Rob Aickin - vocals, bass


The Cleves’ Songs For Michael EP was the soundtrack for director Peter Weir’s segment in the three-part Australian film Three To Go.

Gaye Brown had a single in her own name – Let A Little Love Come In/Minstrel Song, on Anchor Records in 1974.

Rob Aickin returned to Auckland in the mid-1970s where he became a well-known record producer, recording Th’ Dudes, Hello Sailor and Golden Harvest, among others.

UNKLE sampled Bitch’s Good Time Coming for their song ‘Restless’ in 2011.

Funded by

Partners with