BiografieLife-long pals Richard Lowe and Rob Bendelow formed their first band - ´Lammergier´ - during the mid 70´s, together with folk-guitarist-turned-rock-bassist Barry Yates.

Following their first live performance in 1977, the band gigged extensively across the English ´Midlands´ during the ensuing years. The standard of those ´live´ performances, combined with their unique brand of symphonic rock, saw Lammergier amass a large and loyal following of fans. Then a new decade arrived, and with it some major developments for the Matlock-based rockers...

Having played with a variety of drummers and vocalists, the ideal line-up finally crystallised:

John Thorne on drums

Steve Bettney on lead vocals

Barry Yates on bass

Richard Lowe on keyboards

& Rob Bendelow on guitar.

And their named changed from SARACEN. But the music remained the same; an ever-growing repertoire of powerful, guitar-oriented rock, amply laced with lush keyboards and evocative vocals. After several months ´off the road´, with time spent putting the finishing touches to their new ´live´ show, the Lads re-emerged as ´Saracen´ in January of 1981. And this time with plans for a debut album!

During the summer of that year the now famous ´Heroes, Saints & Fools´ album was recorded, at Fairview Studios in Beverley, England. Released in October ´81, it was received with critical acclaim, and is still regarded as a ´classic´ of it´s genre even today, over twenty years on!

Initially released on an independent label - ´Nucleus´ - it wasn´t long before a deal was struck with major players ´Polygram´. A nationwide tour followed, as the album entered the ´Top 50´.

Sadly, illness forced Barry Yates to retire from the band, who were then joined by bassist Jason Gardner.

Saracen tracks received regular airplay on Tommy Vance´s ´Friday Night Rock Show´, culminating in a ´live´ session being broadcast in January 1982. Yet, inexplicably and to many people´s surprise, this proved to be the pinnacle of Saracen´s reign.

Saracen recorded their second single - ´We Have Arrived´ - then following the departure of Thorne and Bendelow during the winter of 1983, the band signed with Neat Records, to record and release their follow-up platter ´Change Of Heart´.

The album signalled a change of direction too, and the new-look Saracen continued to gig extensively, until finally ´closing the book´ in mid-1985.

That appeared to be the end of the Saracen saga, until Rob Bendelow released his solo ´Templar´ album - ´Come To The Light´ - in January 2000 (Check out the ´Templar´ area on this website).

Following great reviews in the rock media, Now And Then Records were able, at long last, to track down no less than three of Saracen´s founder members, and resurrect their musical dynasty with a 3-album record deal.

The line-up of Saracen for the Red Sky album was

Steve Bettney - vocals Richard Lowe - keyboards

Rob Bendelow - guitar Jamie Little - drums

Richard Bendelow - bass

Musically, it features re-works of several old Saracen classics, as well as new tracks written during the last 2/3 years. As one website put it on hearing the news, "the Lords of Epic Rock are back"!

Red Sky is available on-line from this site as one half the special ´Boxed Set´, released in January 2006 by Escape Music.

Saracen are now well advanced with the recording of their next album - VOX IN EXCELSO. For the latest news on this, go to the ´Vox In Excelso´ section of this website. Founder member Richard Lowe, whilst staying close to the band, has now retired from active participation; Saracen´s new keyboard player is Paul Bradder.

After nearly two decades in ´retirement´, Saracen are back with a vengence, bringing their unique brand of heavy symphonic rock to music fans around the globe.

Quelle: - Heroes, Saints & Fools

1983 - Change Of Heart

2003 - Red Sky

2006 - Vox In Excelso


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Red Sky / Heroes, Saints & Fools - Cover
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Vox In Excelso - Cover
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