With a name like a West Country railway station, Crispian St Peters turned out on first meeting to be a rather pleasant, tall young man with a degree of calculated cynicism for the current pop scene and an eye to the future.
Age 22. Hails from Kent (Swanley, near Brands Hatch) and with the exception of a liking for PJ Proby, looks to some of the not so 'in' names of pop as his favorites.
"I don't go for many of the current pop people," he told me when we came face to glasses in London. "I lean towards singers like Cliff Richard and Billy Fury, though I think PJ Proby is a great singer too."
He lives in Chelsea, at present, where he mixes with what he calls the unconventional Kings Road-Fulham set. He was dressed in a rather conventional mohair suit when we met, but murmurs from his management suggested a more way-out image when he gets home to the 'in-out' vogue set of SW3.
Crispian's first interest came from the leader of a youth club in Swanley when he was about 13. The leader sold Crispian a guitar and young Crispian soon learned a few numbers. Later came an interest (still retained) in country and western music and a great admiration for the work of Hank Snow. He worked with several C & W and pop groups, but was spotted as a solo singer by his present manager, David Nicolson.
"He asked me to do a demo disc and I made one with a group I'd been working with. We weren't satisfied with the standard and decided to work with professional musicians in the studios. After about a year as a professional singer, with periods of semi-professionalism when I got fed up with starving and got a job, my record came out.
It was 'At This Moment' which did better than I expected. Since then I've been working all over the place, and especially in the Northern clubs. Now we are holding a lot of future dates open to see how the record goes."
The name is unusual, to say the least, and came about when Crispian and his manager decided the most important thing was to have a long name, which was different enough to catch the interest.
"He suggested Crispin, which I hated. I compromised with Crispian and added St Peters. I thought it was terrible at first but now I like it."
It's certainly different and opens up new avenues from the Cliff, Billy, Rock, Johnny brand of pop names.
How about some others for future stars. In the same vein, of course,. Like Chalfont St Giles, Don Caster - or even Bury St Edmonds.
'Melody Maker' 22/1/66.