|Genres||Psychedelic, psychedelic pop, psychedelic rock, psychedelic soul, soul, R&B|
|Past members||Steve Corduner
Mick Barakan(Shane Fontayne)
Byzantium were an English psychedelic music band of the 1970s who released three albums and performed one Peel Session. They are perhaps best remembered for their role in the early careers of Shane Fontayne, Chaz Jankel and Robin Sylvester.
Formed as a school band at UCS, Hampstead, London the original lineup included Nico Ramsden, Robin Lamble & Stevie Corduner who were soon joined by Chas Jankel. Robin Sylvester and Jamie Rubinstein, who were both also studying at UCS were both contributors at this time, Jamie by way of songwriting and Robin in his role of recording engineer, arranger and later joint producer.
In 1972 Lamble, Jankel, Ramsden and Corduner recorded Byzantium, engineered by Roy Thomas Baker and produced by Stuart Taylor & Robin Sylvester at Trident Studios, London, on which Rubenstein, Alan Skidmore (sax) and Frank Ricotti (timpani) appeared as a guests. Between the recording and the release of the album, Ramsden left, and Rubenstein and Barakan rejoined.
The following album Seasons Changing featured Lamble, Jankel, Barakan, Rubenstein and Corduner, augmented by B. J. Cole on pedal steel, Ricotti on Percussion and David Hentschel and Sylvester on synthesisers. Jankel’s interest was moving towards soul music, so he left, and shortly after A&M dropped Byzantium.
In 1974 they recorded Live and Studio with a band line up comprising Jamie Rubenstein on 12 string guitar, guitarist Mick Barakan (later known as Shane Fontayne), bassist Robin Lamble and drummer Steve Corduner. The album, comprising one side of 5 studio tracks and one of 3 live tracks, predominantly in a psychedelic style, was self produced as a promotion, the back cover stating "Byzantium are seeking a hard working agency, recording company & publishing company". Only 100 were pressed, making it extremely collectable, and although "fans considered it their best set, ..... few were actually in a position to know".
The band played their only Peel Session in April 1974, by which time their line up was Rubinstein, Barakan, Lamble and Corduner. Byzantium continued touring until late in 1975 when they played their final concert at The Roundhouse.
The Irish Byzantium
- Steve Corduner - later recorded with Nasty Pop, Twist and Nico.
- Shane Fontayne(Mick Barakan) - later worked with Ian Hunter, Bruce Springsteen, Van Zant, Chris Botti, Joe Cocker and others.
- David Hentschel - worked with artists including Elton John, Van der Graaf Generator, Renaissance and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
- Chaz Jankel became known for his co-writing with Ian Dury, performed with many other artists and had a successful solo career.
- Robin Lamble - had a long career with Al Stewart, but also played with Juice Newton and others.
- Nico Ramsden - played with Mike Oldfield and recorded with Gong, Rick Wakeman, Sad Cafe, The Proclaimers and others.
- Jamie Rubenstein - gave up the music business, and must not be confused with the guitarist of the same name in rap band "Borialis"
- Robin Sylvester - engineered many Rory Gallagher albums, played bass for Christine McVie and others, and still plays in Ratdog.
- "Oh Darling" / "Move with the time" 1971
- "Flashing Silver Hope" 1971
- "Suzie Bumkins Griddled Fiddle" 1972
- "What a Coincidence" / "My Season’s Changing with the Sun" (A&M) 1973
- Live and Studio (Private Pressing) 1974 Re-released on CD (Arkama) 2005, with 4 bonus tracks
- Byzantium (A&M) 1972
- Seasons Changing (A&M) 1973
- Sleevenotes to CD re-release of Greasy Truckers Party
- Joynson, Vernon (2006). The Tapestry of Delights Revisited. Borderline Productions. pp. 136 & 625. ISBN 1-899855-15-7.
- Brewster, Bill. "Interview with Chas Jankel 2002". Originally published in "Faith" Reproduced on DJHistories.com. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- Greene, Jo-Ann. "Review of CD Re-Release of Live and Studio". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Cover photo of Vinyl edition of Live & Studio". 991. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- "Peel Session for Byzantium". BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- Riekels, H.T. "Biography of Byzantium". Prog Archives.
- "Last FM Entries for "Byzantium"". Last FM. Retrieved 28 July 2010.[dead link]
- "Credits for Steve Corduner". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Credits for Shane Fontayne". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Credits for David Hentschel". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Credits for Chas Jankel". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Credits for Robin Lamble". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Cretits for Nico Ramsen". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Credits for Robin Sylvester". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 July 2010.