A few students in Delft start a group in 1968. It is called Threshold Fear and they mainly play rhythm 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 (Negram NG 245), the track was produced by Peter Vink who later on would form Finch.

At the end of 1971 the group changes it's name to Alquin, named after the student society and rehearsal room Alcuin. They also change the drummer Terlaak goes and Paul Westrate comes. In 1972 they perform in Paradiso for the first time with the new name. Due to their growing reputation a record deal with Polydor is closed and they record their debut album Marks, produced by Hans van Oosterhout. The album is mainly a mix of rock, jazz and classical music. 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 most innovative band. They also give a good performance at the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands. In England the band has a performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test. A second album, The Mountain Queen is recorded, with the help of producer Don Lawrence. For fans of progressive rock, this is probably their best effort. In 1974 the band tours with The Golden Earring and The Who in England and Germany.

In 1975 there are some changes. A fulltime vocalist is added to the line up: Michel van Dijk, who sang with Brainbox and Ekseption. But also the music they make changes, less progressive. The songs are shorter, heavier and even funkier. This can be heard on the album Nobody Can Wait Forever, produced by Roger Bain. During the recordings Paul Weststrate leaves the band, and the drum parts are taken over by Job Tarenskeen. 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.

Pinkpop 1973 poster

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 Latupeirissa.
In the fall of 2004 Alquin starts recording a brand new album, Blue Planet, in Delft. It is released in the fall of 2005.

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

Alquin 1995