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Monday, June 17, 2024

ROX Alive talks to Sacrilege founder Bill Beadle!

Founder member Bill Beadle Lead Vocalist/Guitarist and band songwriter formed Sacrilege in 1982/83 with best friend Alex Cookson. After advertising in Melody Maker they were joined by Rick Burgess on Drums and Steve Barrs on Bass.

The Band Recorded 4 tracks for a Demo in 1983. Bill’s dad sent off the Demo without the band knowing and it was picked out off many thousand of tapes and Records as one 6 bands to be the best new band of 1983 and appear on Television on the 6 episode David Jensen show which on their week also featured The Stranglers and U2. From the TV appearance followed a UK tour of smaller venues finishing with a gig at London’s Marquee. The band were then asked to play on John Glovers independent compilation album which was to feature Saxon, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and a few more bands that were being Billed under the banner “New Wave Of British Heavy metal”. Unfortunately this got cancelled at the last moment when one of John Glovers other bands, Go West, got a Number one hit and all monies were put into promoting them and the album was sadly put on the back burner.
The band were also in line to support Iron Maiden but the day before the band were to play in front of Neil Harris, the drummer split his hand open so bad he couldn’t play the gig. In 1983 Sacrilege Recorded the Gates Of Hell Album, which at the time was classed as a Demo. Sacrilege had a line up change Late in 1984 and were joined by Max Chan (Bass) and Steve On (Drums) In that year they made their second Demo.
Sacrilege ended when Bill stopped playing for about 25 years between 1987 and 2012 after getting disillusioned with a number of things and decided to raise a family.

In 2007 Bill decided to rerecord the old Sacrilege songs and write and record new material. After meeting guitarist Pekka Loikkenan online and living in Finland, Pekka put the solo’s to Bills new work. In 2009 the album Sacrilege was released. Sacrilege were back and sounding great. Due to the distance between Bill and Pekka Bill sort after a more local guitarist and Met Terry Steward.
Terry and Pekka can be heard on the bands 3rd album The Unknown soldier which came out in 2011. Late 2011 Bill wrote The Album The Wraith which is based on the TV Series Stargate Atlantis, he also asked friend Neil Abnett to play on this album. Neil was so impressed with all the Sacrilege music he persuaded Bill to play Live again.
In The 80s Sacrilege always had a theatrical stage show no matter whether they were playing a pub, club or festival and fans loved it. 
You will be pleased to know that the band still put on the show they were renown for. Sacrilege made their return to the stage on 25th October 2012 with new band members. In 2013 Sacrilege released Sacrosanct. After a few member changes trying to find the right combination Bill met with Neil Turnbull who was in NWOBHM band Dervish in the 80s and struck up a great relationship and both had the same vision to take Sacrilege forward. Now joined by Jeff Roland on Bass and Tony Vanner on Lead Guitar Sacrilege are back, following the successful Release of six6six their latest and in the bands view best sacrilege album yet. You gotta check out Court of The Insane. The album is no messing full on metal. 

Make sure you catch them live too. Their coming to a venue near you including the August gig at the legendary Carr & Horses with our dear friends Gypsys Kiss.

We recently caught up with Bill to get the beef on Sacrilege past and present….

Okay, Bill, let’s get acquainted. Did you have a musical childhood?

Not really, I was in the choir at school and had a few piano lessons but that’s all.

When you left school did you form any bands or was Sacrilege your first?

Sacrilege was my first and only band in fact I didn’t even think about starting a band till I was 22.

How and when did Sacrilege form? What made you pick the people you formed the band with?

I formed sacrilege in 1981, my best friend Alex Cookson lived next door to a guitarist who was in a band called Dogwatch and gave him lessons and so I thought I’d learn Bass but its not the best instrument to write songs so I learnt a very basic way of playing guitar and found I could write better than I play lol after writing half a dozen songs I said to Alex let’s advertise in Melody Maker to see who’s interested in joining us, Steve Barrs replied who played Bass and My Friend Peter Tarling knew a drummer called Rick Burgess and we went to a local studio for a few hours and we had a band! 

Why the name Sacrilege?

I was originally going to call us Blizzard but when Ozzy came back to play he of course called his band Blizzard of Oz so we couldn’t call ourselves that anymore, it’s strange because I’ve always been a massive Sabbath fan as you can probably hear in my writing so for Ozzy to do that figured lol 
So while watching TV one night the film Demetrius and the Gladiators was on and Victoria mature the star was watching the Romans throw the dead from the colosseum into this big pit and said this is Sacrilege and and w]that was it we will be Sacrilege in fact the Track in the arena is about that film and band name. 

Was the early times of the band easy or were there problems?

Oh many problems and never easy it’s the reason I stopped playing for so long. I was arranging gigs, rehearsals. Writing the songs, picking everyone up as I had a van and dropping them home and being young I just got fed up with it, it’s also hard to get gigs when venues want you to guarantee a certain number of people will turn up which just starting out was impossible so yes many problems.

You did a triple of demos  in 83/84. How did they go?

Great fun making them, really pleased how they came out, I can remember being up all night to record them and going straight to play Sunday football the next morning so went straight from rehearsal and before kick off there’s myself and 4 friends head banging in the car listening to the tape lol

I seem to remember you were played on the Friday Rock Show?

We played on the David Jensen show as one of the best new bands of 1982, it was a six show series and we played the same day as U2 and the stranglers, in fact we played on TV before we played a live gig! My dad sent our demo to the TV company without me knowing so we got a call saying it had been picked out of the thousands of records and tapes sent in so you can imagine how shocked we were?

What happed after 84? You went quiet on us!

The first line up didn’t really work out with Steve on Bass so we had to change and then for various reasons things were never really stable so the gigs got fewer and we did less and less till I decided to stop in 86 or 87

What made you get Sacrilege together again for your first full length, self titled album?

I never really planned on playing live again to be honest it was only that in 2007 I listened to the old demo and technology had moved on so much that I wondered what those old tracks would sound like so built a studio in my garden and started to re-record them with drum machines and me playing bass, rhythm and vocals, they sounded ok but playing lead is not something I can do so I asked a guy who I’d heard on the internet to put some solos to the songs giving him my basic ideas of the solo and he kindly did a fantastic job, his name is Pekka Loikkenan, in fact I liked it so much I wrote more and more songs and kept sending them to him but he had his own band and eventually said could I find someone local this I did and it was then suggested I play live again, well I’d done all that of course but I was persuaded to do one show at The Red Lion Gravesend in 2012 and thoroughly enjoyed it, the guys who played with me were in a covers band and couldn’t play that often so I decided to start getting people in to join me and it’s taken a long time to get the band right although I have Jeff Rolland on Bass who has been with me since 2013.

The band lineup has been unsettled hasn’t it? 

Neil Turnbull join me also in 2013 and the three of us got on great but we never could find the right lead guitarist until Tony Vanner joined late 2015 and stayed with us until 2019 when he retired.

Is this why there has been long periods between albums or do you have other stuff in your life that keeps you busy?

I wrote a lot at the beginning but yes getting new members in, goodness knows how many lead guitarists I’ve had, has been challenging as I didn’t feel like writing knew stuff while getting new guys up to scratch with the music we already had although we do have 7 albums and a compilation album 6 were written between 2007 and 2019. 

Court of The Insane was your most recent album, released 2019. How did recording and writing go?

I enjoyed writing this one as felt it was my best writing, I thought Six6six was good (well I would wouldn’t I lol) but really felt Court of the insane was different although keeping the sacrilege style at the same time. Our manager Valeria Campagnale organised the superb video we shot in Italy for the title track and had a fantastic time there.

Who’s in the band?

After Tony retired we got Paul Macnamara in and we all got on really well until last year after playing the Agglutination festival in Italy both Paul and Neil decided to retire in fact I was going to stop as well until I had a chat with Jeff who wanted to continue so now the line up is
Bill Beadle Rhythm guitar, vocals, keyboards 
Jeff Rolland Bass
Pete Aindow Lead guitar (Pete had a short stint with us in the early 80s)
Phill Seaman Drums

Your doing live shows which is great to hear including the legendary Cart and Horses and with our mates Gypsy’s Kiss. Got any more concerts lined up?

Yes we have Mearfest 31st August where Gypsy’s Kiss and General Jack will also be playing then Nene valley rock festival 8th sept,the Carlisle Hastings 28th sept, Melbourn rock club 23rd nov and kings hall Nuneaton 30th nov with Quartz and General jack and Hastings again on 27th Dec for our Christmas show.

And what about a new EP or album?

We are about to start recording a new album in the next month or so.

And finally, is there anything you wanna say to the Sacrilege fans out there?

Just More information 

thank everyone who comes to our shows and supports us and live music, they are the reason we play and we hope to see as many of you as possible in the coming months. 

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