The band can trace its origins back to the mid sixties when some schoolboys got together to form a South-East Essex based band called BURNING DESIRE. The line up included singer / guitarist Ken Christie, bassist Don Hydes and drummer Roger Adley. Later members included guitarists John Elsey and Roger’s brother Wayne Adley although by this time Roger had left the band and moved away. The band finally split in the early seventies and the various members went their separate ways.
In the mid eighties Ken was asked to put a band together for a charity event to be held on Foulness Island. The band consisted of the above line up and THE OLD MAN REVIVAL BAND was born. Around this time, Ken was referred to as The Old Man and this is how the band originally got it’s name. The name was later shortened to THE REVIVAL BAND.
The charity gig was such a great success that the band decided to stay together. Wayne left the band after a couple of years to play in a duo, and Roger left a few years later, achieving success with BACKBEAT.
In stepped Andy Keil on the drums, adding his own formidable style of drive and feel to the back line while also contributing some useful harmonies with his wide vocal range. The band was also joined for a short time during this period by local keyboard played Chris Goodchild, bringing to the band his own style of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis numbers.
Andy eventually moved on in the nineties and was replaced by versatile drummer Dave Kemm who had spent the last few years playing for the popular local band, Australia. At this time the band also added virtuoso guitarist Steve Lowe who had previously played at different times with Ken, Don, John and Roger and had more recently enjoyed success with The Alvin Jones Band.
A couple of years later, and after a fifteen year stint with the band, Don decided to hang up his plectrums and was replaced on bass by Terry Stevens, who had previously achieved international success with Whiskey Mac and had also played with Steve in The Alvin Jones Band. Terry was also able to add some strong vocal harmonies to the band so the line up now boasted 2 lead guitarists and 4 vocalists!
At the turn of the century, the band underwent a major reshuffle when Ken sadly became ill and subsequently left the band, Dave had to leave owing to work commitments, and Steve also decided to leave to spend more time with his family. This left just John and Terry to continue to fulfil the bookings and hold the band together, which they did for a while with a little help from their friends who ably assisted on vocals, guitars, keyboards, trumpet, saxophone and drums. Meanwhile they continued to hold auditions to try and get the band up to full strength again.
Enter Sheila Clark (Andy’s youthful mother-in-law) on lead vocals, who’s wide range of vocal styles led the band in a new direction once more, with the band now able to include songs from Eva Cassidy, Kylie Minogue and Tina Turner amongst others in the repertoire.
Drummer Chris Higginson, who had previously played in the same band as Andy (though not at the same time), was next to join, bringing his multi-pedal, multi-cymbal, multi-style to the back line.
The band kept this line up for almost five years until, following a period of ill health, Sheila moved away. The others continued as a trio for a while, although gratefully getting help sometimes on lead vocals from various singers, including Chris’s wife Helen, Sheila’s daughter Nicki, and keyboard / vocalist Simon Law.
Eventually, following discussions, the band decided it was time to move forwards and were joined in the summer of 2006 by the multi-talented Trevor Marsh who was able to contribute not only on lead vocals, but also keyboards and rhythm guitar to the line-up.
Sadly, following a period of ill health, Terry passed away just before Christmas 2009 and was replaced on bass by the versatile John “spud” Spurling (Jonno to his mates), who had helped the band a lot during Terry’s illness. No audition was necessary as John had been “round the block” and played with many famous acts including Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis over the years. John’s a lefty so watch out Sir Paul McCartney.
On to 2021 and after a painful period with the pandemic restrictions we are happy to say that we continue to move forwards and would like to thank Jonno for his contribution over the last 12 years and wish him every success with his new venture touring the country as bassist in The Country Superstars tribute band, still counting down the days till Christmas.
This gives us an opportunity to welcome the talented Stewart Mills to the band.
Stew is a very experienced bass player who has previously graced stages and recorded with bands including Hackensack, Rock Solid, Heartbeat, The Grandees and more recently the popular and versatile Jukebox Junkies.
We look forward to seeing you all soon with our new line-up.
Trev, John, Chris and Stew.