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Background information
Origin Delft, Netherlands
Genres Symphonic rock
Years active October 1987 →

The symphonic rock band Longshanks was formed in October 1987 (in Delft, the Netherlands) as a studio project to record one 'Rush'-like song called "Cycles and Circles" (February 1988). The song was released on tape (in a very limited edition) and attracted a very favourable review in a magazine for symphonic rock (Sym-info no.14, Oct. 1988).

The name of the band refers indirectly to a nickname of the character Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien and so does not refer to the nickname of the English King Edward I.

Longshanks no. 1

The first line-up of Longshanks consisted of:

  • Peter van Heijningen - lead-guitar electric
  • Peter ten Haaft - bass
  • André Kamer - chorus-guitar
  • Rob Boshuijzen - drums
  • Jan van der Lugt - lead-guitar acoustic
  • Alex van de Graaf - vocals

Encouraged by the favourable reactions all around, an attempt was made to convert the studio project into a real band, but due to differences in ambitions and musical skills Longshanks no.1 soon fell apart.

Longshanks no. 2

The founder of Longshanks (André Kamer) and multi-instrumentalist Jan van der Lugt decided to carry on with the studio band in the manner of 'The Alan Parsons Project': a core of two guys of whom one would come up with the lyrics, the concept and the basic musical track of the song (on guitar) and the other had the musical skills to add the right drums-, bass- and even synthesizer-parts.

Just like 'The Alan Parsons Project' they had to rely on guest-musicians to fill in the final parts: the vocals and the solos.

The second line-up of Longshanks consisted of:

  • André Kamer - chorus-guitar
  • Jan van der Lugt - bass, synthesizer and computer-drums
  • Alex van de Graaf - vocals
  • Alexandra den Heijer - vocals
  • Karin den Heijer - vocals
  • Jeroen Steenbeek - lead-guitar electric
  • Martin Krijgsman - lead-guitar electric

Between 1989 and 1993 several songs were recorded on 4-track in Jan van der Lugts home studio. Together with "Cycles and Circles" they were meant to be part of the concept demo "The Quest". This was the track list:

  1. Nightmare
  2. The Awakening
  3. The Travelling-song, part 1
  4. On The Run
  5. Into the Dawn
  6. Cycles and Circles
  7. Dreams
  8. Sunset
  9. Marching towards the Battlefield
  10. The Mourning After
  11. The Travelling-song, part 2

"The Mourning After" turned out to be an unsurpassable problem for the singers and after the departure of lead-singer Alex van de Graaf (at the beginning of 1993) Longshanks no. 2 also fell apart.

Longshanks no. 3

In the spring of 1993 Jan and André recorded the song "Borderline" with vocalist Hans van Lint from the rock band 'Iceparty' (in which at that time both Jan van der Lugt and Jeroen Steenbeek played and for which André often was sound-engineer at their live-performances). Hans later became the lead singer of Dutch symphonic rock band 'For Absent Friends'.

Longshanks no. 4

In 1999 André Kamer moved from Delft to Amersfoort and Longshanks became a one-man-band and started writing instrumental only songs:

  • Bridal Suite (2002–present):
  1. Prelude
  2. Courante
  3. Tango
  • I Have a Dream (2002&2004)

Longshanks no. 5

With the return of singer Alex van de Graaf in February 2007 Longshanks entered yet a new chapter of its history. In February 2008, twenty years (to the day) after the release of their first song "Cycles and Circles" they released a new song called "The Web of Life". Two years later, on April 24, 2010, they crowned their reunion with the release of the CD: "The Return of Longshanks".

The line-up of Longshanks no.5:

  • André Kamer - all instruments
  • Bregje Kaasjager - vocals
  • Alex van de Graaf - vocals

"The Return of Longshanks" track list:

  1. the Web of Life (4:28)
  2. In Dreams (6:47)
  3. the Wandering Merchant (1:57)
  4. Leave Me Alone (5:46)
  5. In the Desert (7:56)
  6. the Bath Song (2:27)
  7. All My Days (2:47)
  8. I Love the Road (5:08)
  9. the Travelling Song, prt.3 (3:28)


  1. I Have A Dream (2008 version) (5:55)
  2. the Wandering Merchant (streetorgan version) (1:54)