Denny Seyton & the Sabres

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Denny Seyton & the Sabres were one of the more promising Liverpool-based bands that never made it, despite getting as far as charting a single, "The Way You Look Tonight," in 1964. Denny Seyton (real…
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Denny Seyton & the Sabres were one of the more promising Liverpool-based bands that never made it, despite getting as far as charting a single, "The Way You Look Tonight," in 1964. Denny Seyton (real name Brian Tarr) was their founder and lead singer, and their most important lineup -- which went through several transitions leading up to that point -- featured songwriter Lally Stott on lead guitar, Mike Logan on organ, John Boyle on bass, and Eden Kane alumnus Dave Saxon on drums. Their sound was R&B-based, and some accounts of their early stage sound compare them to the Rolling Stones. They were signed to Mercury Records' U.K. division (making them sort of the distant musical precursors to Dexy's Midnight Runners), but soon after they began to add harmonies and incorporate pop influences into their work, to emulate the successful sounds of the Beatles, the Searchers, Gerry & the Pacemakers, et al. Denny Seyton & the Sabres played a lot of shows in Hamburg and were regular denizens of the Star-Club circuit, and despite some idiosyncrasies (including recollections of eccentric behavior by Stott), had a dedicated following and seemed to hold a lot of potential. Their first Mercury release, "Tricky Dicky" b/w "Baby What You Want Me to Do," and their second, "Short Fat Fannie" b/w "Give Me Back My Heart," never charted, but their third, "The Way You Look Tonight," was a minor hit, reaching number 48 in England. That taste of success would prove to be fleeting, however, and was never repeated -- they left Mercury for Parlophone (signed as the more contemporary-sounding Denny Seyton Group) later in 1964 and saw no action with "Just a Kiss" b/w "In the Flowers by the Trees." Mercury issued an LP, It's the Gear, comprised of covers of contemporary hits, in 1965 -- that record, a choice collector's piece as of 2003, also failed to chart, and that was the last heard from the group, apart from appearances on compilations such as Mersey Beat 1962-1964 in the 1980s and 2003's Unearthed Merseybeat, the latter offering a superb, thumping cover of "House of Bamboo" and a raucous version of "I'm Gonna Love You Too."