NEWS LETTER MARCH 2010
STILL ROCKING AFTER ALL THIS TIME
As someone who takes an interest in Bands and live music you will
understand that artistic and personal differences between musicians
generally prevent Bands from working together for long periods.
Over time, these differences have caused the break up of many outfits
including some very well known Acts. The following is an account
of the formation and development of one Band, a group that with
remarkably few changes and a single minded approach to their music,
has delivered live shows to thousands of people over the last twenty
years. Yes, Revival celebrate twenty years together this year and
show no sign of slowing down. The majority now have a Bus Pass rather
than a Back Stage Pass and setting up and breaking down the gear
does take just a bit longer than it did, but the passion and enthusiasm
for their music and the unquenchable desire to entertain their audience
July 16th 2010 at Mapperley Sports and Social Club is set to be
Revivals Birthday Party. A chance to look back over the years and
hear some of the music that is associated with Revival, brought
to life in such a way that we are all transported back through the
years. Can it really be that long?
In October 1989, Geoff. Wilkinson and Geoff. Ellis took their electric
guitars to Swanwick Hall for a weekend away with St. Mark's church,
Woodthorpe, with the sole intention of accompanying songs at the
services. For a laugh, Geoff Wilkinson decided secretly to volunteer
them both for a guitar duet at the Saturday evening concert. "Wonderful
Land" and "FBI" were brushed up (they had known them perfectly only
twenty-five years earlier!) and performed to an unsuspecting audience.
The result was amazing and quite unexpected; rapturous applause
from over a hundred people who were obviously trying desperately
to recall their youth!
In the bar later that evening, someone from the audience came up
with the idea of the two Geoffs, getting together with others to
form a Rock and Roll band that could play at a "60's Night" in the
Spring of 1990. Geoff Wilkinson's brother Bryan and church organist
Richard Marsden were obvious choices, but a drummer and a singer
were not so easy to find. It was then that Bryan suggested Ken Pritchett
(who used to sing with the Wilkinsons years earlyer in a group called
the "Talismen"). Luckily, Bryan still had Ken's phone number - who
readily agreed. Evan Thompson - a mere youngster at the side of
the other seasoned veterans - came along from the Nottingham Christian
Centre as a drummer. With the help of Steve Potts (who had access
to microphones and P.A. equipment), a friend who made shiny Teddy
Boy jackets and the band's wives who carefully "gelled" their husbands
hair (or the hair they could find), the first of Revival's dances
The band members were petrified, the hall was packed and everyone
had a tremendous time - and raised £800 for the church. AND they
made a half page spread in the Nottingham Evening Post!!
Little did anyone know then how things would snowball. Other organisations
asked the band to play and within a year they were accepting gigs
at weddings, silver weddings, Churches, Schools, 40th. and 50th.
Birthday parties, Golf Clubs etc. They had the honour of playing
at most of the big hotels in the City of Nottingham, County Hall,
the Dome at Kelham Hall (Southwell) and some functions where the
audience paid £45 each to see them (though there was a five course
meal including smoked salmon and waitress service - and it was for
In the twenty years that Revival has been together, there have
only been three changes in personnel. Evan found it hard taking
a service in church at 8am on Sunday after playing until 1am the
night before and in 1992 was happy to hand over to Allan Woolley
who remained as the band's drummer until retiring due to ill health
in August 2008. He was replaced by Alan Yeo who is now enjoying
his second year with the band. Richard Marsden handed over responsibility
for keyboards to Jim Kirby six years ago, when business and family
commitments became too great.
Currently, Revival performs nearly every week; they have branched
out into theatres as well as dance halls. They have played at the
London Guild Hall, Nottingham's Albert Hall, Nottingham's Wollaton
Park, Commodore International, Arnold's open air Festival, recorded
a session at Pebble Mill for radio and broadcast a live 30-minute
spot for BBC Radio Nottingham. The band also played at Nottingham's
Concert Hall in January 2005.
The fan's mailing list grows continually, as does the amount of
equipment the band has on stage! It is a sobering thought that Revival
began almost by accident and years later is being asked to play
with some of the top professional bands of the 60's. So far, they
have supported Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dave Berry and Cliff Bennett
and the Rebel Rousers. It is also an astounding fact that since
1990 they've played for countless charitable institutions, which
have grossed an estimated £185,000. Cancer Research UK has presented
a certificate to each band member in recognition of their fund-raising
for the charity. Revival are also proud to have been nominated by
the Rotary Club of Nottingham (North) for Citizens of the Year.
It's good that so many people have benefited from a bunch of old
wrinkly wannabes having the time of their lives!
Fortunately this is a story without an ending. The Band diary continues
to fill up more than a year in front with a wide range of events
and venues, each organiser being confident that Revival will bring
something special to their evening. After all this time rehearsals
are still a vital part the Band's ethos, old favourites are revisited
and new material, once selected, must be performed to Revivals exacting
standards before it is added to the live set.
The real joy of Revivals success is the reaction of the Audience
to the music that they play. Without an Audience to share these
special musical moments the journey would not have been possible.
Thank you all for your support and here's to the future.