During the 1990s Mark Hankins played guitar in the New Seekers' backing band. In 2002, when Marty Kristian called it quits, Mark stepped forward to take his place.
Mark grew up in Devon. He learned to play the guitar at an early age and cut his musical teeth playing with a number of local groups. In 1969, the year when Keith Potger formed the New Seekers, Mark left home to attend University in London. In his spare time he and some his friends formed a group called Palomino. The band played on the London pub and club scene and turned professional after graduating. In September 1972 Palomino supported Neil Sedaka at the Royal Albert Hall, just five months after the New Seekers had made their début there. Having landed a recording contract with RCA, Palomino recorded material for an album, which sadly for them, never saw the light of day. The group did, however, appear on a novelty record by Alcatraz featuring Kirk Houston (an alias for the broadcaster Noel Edmonds).
Shortly after this Mark formed a new band called Randy, featuring Neil Coleman (drums), George Lloyd (lead guitar) and Brian 'Wally' Wallis (bass). Playing Eagles-style country rock, the band released its first and only album, Lady Luck, in 1974. After two years of touring Mark decided that he'd had enough of the music business and spent the next few years teaching.
He returned to the recording studios in 1979, recording an album and single with a Devon-based band called Heroes. Formed by Chris Bradford (vocals, guitar) and featuring Mark on guitar and vocals, the band's line-up was completed by Pete Lennon (lead guitar), Dave Powell (drums) and ex-Randy band-member Brian 'Wally" Wallis on bass guitar.
In 1980 Matk recorded a single with the former lead singer of Sweet, Brian Connolly. During the '80s he continued to work as a session musician and in 1984 played on a single by another ex-member of Sweet, Andy Scott.
New Seekers, photographed in 2005.
Pictured (left to right):
Mark Hankins, Donna Jones, Paul Layton, Francine Rees and Mick Flinn.