Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Syn

@ Wiki
The Syn is an English band that lasted from 1965 to 1967 and then reunited as a progressive rock band in 2004.

Early years
The roots of The Syn are in an earlier north London R&B band called High Court including Steve Nardelli on guitar and his school friend George Arzimanow on vocals. The band evolved over time and, in 1965, with Nardelli now handling lead vocals and John Painter on guitar, they changed their name to The Syn.

Shortly after, however, The Syn merged with another local band, The Selfs, so Nardelli and Painter were joined by Chris Squire (bass), Andrew Jackman (keys) and Martyn Adelman (drums). The band's first gig, at Nardelli's school Kingsbury County, included covers of "(Love is Like a) Heat Wave" and The Marvelettes' "I'll Keep On Holding On". Paul Korda produced his composition "Merry-go-round" as a demonstration record for the band.

Psychedelic period
John Painter was replaced by Peter Banks and Martyn Adelman was replaced by Gunnar Hákonarson from Iceland. The band also got a new manager, Peter Huggett, former bass player with Lonnie Donegan.

The band moved away from R&B covers and started writing their own material, led by Jackman and Nardelli. Reflecting the musical changes going on around them, they became more influenced by psychedelia. They released two singles titled Created by Clive and 14 Hour Technicolor Dream in 1967.

The band split up in 1967. Both Squire and Banks then joined Mabel Greer's Toyshop which later became Yes.

Nardelli, Jackman and sometimes Squire also worked together after the band split up. Nardelli and Jackman recorded a planned further Syn single, entitled "Sunshine and Make Believe", with session appearances by Tony Kaye on keys and David O'List on guitar. Unfortunately, tapes for this session could not be located in 2004. Jackman recorded another Syn piece with an orchestra, "The Last Performance of the Royal Regimental Very Victorious and Valiant Band", eventually released on the 2004 compilation Original Syn. Another Syn piece, "Mr White's White Flying Machine", was released in 1970 by Ayshea in a session produced by Jackman and with Squire on bass.

The Syn reunion grew out of two events. In 2003, Martyn Adelman contacted the webmaster of a Yes fan site and agreed to do an interview. Steve Nardelli saw this and was put back in touch with Adelman. With Banks too, they met up for lunch and discussed a reunion. Around the same time, Andrew Jackman died and there was a desire to mark his passing.

In 2004, the new band started rehearsals. Banks had brought in keyboard player Gerard Johnson, with whom he had worked on several previous projects. John Wetton was originally to have played bass, but pulled out at the last minute and was replaced by Steve Gee (bassist in progressive rock band Landmarq). The sessions produced new versions of old Syn songs "Illusion" and "Grounded" and an extended new version of Yes' song "Time and a Word". Recordings were carried out at the studio owned by guitarist Paul Stacey. However, Banks did not continue on with the group, and gave an explanation on his web site.

Nardelli continued with the band and, in late 2004, he and Johnson had begun recording on a new song Cathedral of Love when Nardelli asked Squire if he could play on the tune. Squire did and went on to join the band. Paul Stacey became the guitarist and his twin Jeremy Stacey, the drummer. Adelman had chosen to step away from performing, although he remains associated with the band as a photographer—photography rather than drumming having been his career for over 30 years.

The band released their first full studio album Syndestructible in October 2005, with Cathedral of Love coming out beforehand as a single. The lineup of musicians performing on that album is

* Paul Stacey - guitars, engineer, co-producer
* Gerard Johnson - keyboards, co-producer
* Steve Nardelli - vocals
* Jeremy Stacey - drums
* Chris Squire - bass, backing vocals

The More Drama Tour, scheduled to begin in North America in August 2005, was to have seen three acts, The Syn, White and Steve Howe touring together, with Squire, Howe, Alan White and Geoff Downes playing Yes material at the end of the evening (with Kevin Currie of White handling lead vocals). However, the tour was cancelled shortly before it was due to begin. The Syn line-up for the tour was to have comprised:

* Francis Dunnery - guitars
* Gerard Johnson - keyboards
* Steve Nardelli - vocals
* Gary Husband - drums
* Chris Squire - bass

The Syn album line-up debuted live at a show in London at the end of 2005 (assisted by Husband), but for live dates in January 2006, the band was:

* Steve Nardelli - vocals
* Chris Squire - bass guitar
* Gerard Johnson - keyboards
* Shane Theriot - guitar
* Alan White - drums

A UK tour in May was cancelled through poor ticket sales and, on 16 May 2006, Squire announced his departure from the group: "Chris has decided to leave the Syn, and is no longer involved with that band despite reports to the contrary."

Nardelli assembled an album, Armistice Day, combining a new studio track ("Armistice Day", recorded with Johnson and P. Stacey) with live work from 2006. On an October 18, 2006, in a message on, Chris Squire was discouraging fans from purchasing the album. Both Johnson and Stacey left the band too. While a release date in November 2006 was initially announced, legal action saw the album delayed until 2007.

Nardelli has talked of recording two new albums in 2007, however this would be with an all-new line-up without any other prior members of the band. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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The Syn @ You Tube
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Richie Unterberger @ All Music
For a band that only made two singles, Syn are quite well-remembered by British rock collectors, principally because two of their members -- guitarist Peter Banks and bassist Chris Squire -- eventually surfaced in the first lineup of Yes in 1968. Their two singles, both issued in 1967 in the U.K. on Deram, were pretty solid efforts in their own right. These charted their transition from mod to psychedelic guitar rock, rather in the manner of a much more famous British psychedelic cult band from the same era, Tomorrow (with Steve Howe on guitar). Their first single, "Created By Clive," was a foppish Carnaby Street takeoff that the band disliked; the fine B-side, the hard mod pop tune "Grounded," featured high soul harmonies and interplay between organ and sparkling guitar, and was much more indicative of the band's sensibilities.

Their promise really bloomed on their next and last 45, "14 Hour Technicolour Dream," one of the best obscure British psychedelic singles (indeed one of the best British psychedelic singles by any band). Inspired by the 1967 psychedelic London festival of the same name, it was an exhilarating distillation of the best attributes of British pop-psychedelia -- a hook-happy ebullient melody, precise harmonies, unexpected structural twists and turns, Who-like drumming, and tasteful guitar distortion -- into a compact package. It wasn't a hit, though (in fact it was only used as the B-side of "Flowerman"), and the band broke up in early 1968. Banks and Squire played in another psychedelic band, Mabel Greer's Toyshop, for a few months before becoming founder-members of Yes. The four songs from the Syn singles have cropped up on numerous compilations of British psych-pop rarities; all four, and a demo of "Flowerman," also appear on Peter Banks' Can I Play You Something?, a compilation of odds and ends from bands that Banks was involved with prior to joining Yes. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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