Friday 16 November 2018

John Revs up for reunion gig

Dundalk Out and About

John McIntyre looks forward to Revs reunion gig.
John McIntyre looks forward to Revs reunion gig.

Had history been slightly different local guitarist John McIntyre might still be living the rock and roll lifestyle, playing concerts and festivals around the globe and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bono.

John, along with Rory Gallagher and Michael O'Donnell from Donegal were The Revs, the Irish indie rock band which 'nearly made it'.

Now, as The Revs are set to play a reunion gig in The Academy, Dublin on Saturday, John looks back on their spell as Ireland's next big thing.

Just two years after they were formed, The Revs were nominated in both Best Rock Band and Best Newcomer categories at the 2002 Meteor Music Awards. Although they lost out to U2 in the Best Rock Band category, The Revs came away with The Best Newcomer award and the following year they were voted 3rd in the Hot Press readers poll behind U2 and The Frames.

'We got together because we really loved to play music,' recalls John. 'We recorded a number of albums and singles and would have been regarded as one of the top five Irish bands at the time. We played all the big festivals like Slane, Witness, Oxigen, Reading, and Leeds. We played all around Europe and also went to the United Stages and Australia.'

Their music has featured in films such as 'PS I Love You' and 'Tara Road' and was used as the introduction to the Dave Fanning Show for a number of years.

'For the whole time we were together, we achieved an awful lot,' he says.

However, the irony of their initial success saw them struggle to make the big time.

'We had great success with a single which wasn't really the type of music we wanted to play and as we went on, we realised the importance of being the band we wanted to be but just didn't get the breaks to go to the next level,' says John.

During their seven years on the road, John says they had some amazing times.

'When I was growing up I loved listening to the music of U2 and Radiohead, so it was incredible to get to meet them and talk to them on a peer to peer level, rather than as fans. It was great to be able to talk to all those musicians who were really nice and willingly gave us advice,'

There was a lot of interest in the band on both sides of the Atlantic, but John says that they 'never had all the pieces of the jig saw together' in order to

'We saw bands like Snow Patrol and The Fratellis coming up and began to wonder if it was ever going to happen for us. There was just the feeling that it had run its course.'

'I don't think any of us have any regrets about folding up,, We had a lot of success, we got to see a lot of the world, got to meet wonderful people, stayed in really nice hotels. We had our day.'

John, had of course, also married fellow musician Zoe Conway in 2006. They had first met when they were doing music lessons at school, he at the De La Salle and she at St Louis. They reconnected at a John Spillane gig in The Spirit Store.

The music didn't stop for John who now enjoys a successful musical career with Zoe, with whom he has released a number of albums and toured throughout Ireland and Europe. The couple also organised the Feile na Tana traditional music festival which took place in Carlingford last weekend.

'When you're young you just want to go away and see the world,' he muses. 'Now when myself and Zoe go away, we choose our work selectively so that it fits around our lives and family.'

He was however, delighted to play a reunion gig with his old band mates Rory Gallagher and Michael O'Donnell in Whelan's last year. 'It was great fun and was sold out and then MCD, who are one of the biggest promoters in Ireland, got in touch with us and asked us to do another gig so we are playing at The Academy in Dublin on Saturday.

He laughs when asked what's next for The Revs. 'Who knows?' he says.

The Argus