Alquin Biography

 

A few students in Delft start a group in 1968. It is called Threshold Fear and they mainly play rhytmn and blues. In 1970 the band members are: Hein Mars (bass, vocals), Job Tarenskeen (vocal, sax, percussion), Ronald Ottenhof (sax, flute), Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Dick Franssen (keyboards) and Bart Terlaak (drums). A single is released on Negram: Sally Saddlepain/Thank me not, the track was produced by Peter Vink who later on would form Finch

At the end of 1971 the group changes the drummer:Terlaak goes and Paul Weststrate comes. In January 1972 they perform in Paradiso for the first time, under their old name. Shortly thereafter (February 1972) the group changes its name to Alquin, after the student society and rehearsal room Alcuin.Due to their growing reputation, May 1972 a record deal with Polydor is closed for 2 albums and 4 singles, and they record their debut album Marks, produced by Hans van Oosterhout. He was also the producer of Supersister. The album is mainly a mix of rock, jazz and classical influences; “symphonic rock”. As a single You always can change is released with on the flip side the non album track Hard royce

The popularity of the band is growing in 1973 The readers of  Oor magazine vote Alquin as the ‘number 1 trendsetter’ of 1973. Alquin tours Great Britain in April and May (17 performances), on stages like Liverpool University, Cavern Club, Greyhound and Marquee Club (London) and including a live TV performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test. They also give a good performance as the one and only Dutch act at the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands. A second album, The Mountain Queen is recorded at the DeLane Lea studio’s in London, with the help of producer Derek Lawrence. He was also the producer of Deep Purple and Wishbone Ash. For fans of progressive rock, this is probably their best effort.

In 1974 the band tours with The Golden Earring in Germany and England and as support act with The Who in France. In the summer of 1974 Alquin successfully toured England on their own. In the autumn of ’74 singer Michel van Dijk - who sang with Brainbox and Ekseption - joined Alquin. In this line-up the third album “Nobody can wait forever” was recorded in December 1974 at the Rockfield Studios in Whales, with producer Roger Bain. The music Alquin make changes, less progressive. The songs are shorter, heavier and even funkier. At the release of the album in January 1975 Job Tarenskeen took the place of Paul Weststrate as drummer of the band, because Paul had to join the army.

The single Wheelchair Groupie is a minor success. The album was also released in the United States, but a tour was cancelled at the last minute. A little later Hein Mars leaves the band and is replaced by Rob ten Bokum. Mars completely resigns from the music scene. In this line-up the band starts an extensive Holland-tour.

A year later the band records yet another album, Best Kept Secret, with another bass player Jan Visser. The album is recorded with the help of Vic Smith. On this album they sound funkier than ever. Later that year the band goes on a second Holland-tour, the results of this can be heard on a live album On Tour, that was released the same year.

In 1977 the readers of Oor magazine vote the band as Best Dutch Band. This doesn't, however, prevent them from breaking up. The music climate changed (punk) and there were differences about the musical direction. Job Tarenskeen and Ferdinand Bakker stay together and start another band Meteors. A double compilation album, Crash, was released, with tracks from the five albums.

This isn't the end of the story. On November 18 1995 Alquin does a successful reunion concert in youth center De Eland in Delft. The line up consists of Van Dijk, Bakker, Franssen, Tarenskeen, Ottenhof and Dick Schulte-Nordholt. A year later is involved in a short tour, where they visit some Dutch university cities. And again in 2003 they perform in several cities in the Netherlands and they have plans to release a DVD with a registration of these concerts but also with archive material. The line up this time is: Michel van Dijk (vocals), Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, vocals), Dick Franssen (keyboards), Job Tarenskeen (drums, percussion), Ronald Ottenhoff (saxophone, clarinet), Frans Koenn (bass), Trudie van Starrenburg (backing vocals) en Caroline Dest (backing vocals). In 2003 the new double cd and dvd are released as One More Night. The cd contains also a new Alquin track, Sweet Surrender. In 2004 Alquin returns with a dutch tour. This time with a new bass player, Walter Latuperissa.

(sources:, Oor Popencyclopedie, Nationaal Pop Instituut, Paul Weststrate Album sleeves, Nederpop)