Friday 9 November 2012

John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen a highlight of Dublin Beatles Festival in 2013

Also features The Choking Smokers, Revolver and The Gandhis
The Dublin Beatles Festival has announced four of the bands confirmed to perform at the Festival next year; John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen, The Choking Smokers, Revolver and The Gandhis. A four day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the only Dublin performances of the world’s most iconic rock group, the Festival will feature more than 20 Irish and international bands in city centre venues from Thursday 7th November to Sunday 10th November 2013.

The Beatles at Dublin airport 7th November, 1963
Used with the permission of Damian Smyth
The Festival is delighted to announce that John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen will perform in 2013. Each of the band was a member of John Lennon’s first group, The Quarrymen, with three of them being founding members along with John. John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen reformed in 1997, and since then have entertained audiences worldwide with their mesmerising performances of the music which influenced the birth of The Beatles – the skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll of the 1950s.

Making their first Irish appearance, The Choking Smokers, a south of France trio, will deliver a powerful live show with their trademark energy and savage garage rock sound. They have performed at major international festivals including Beatle Week in Liverpool and Beatles Day in Belgium, and in 2013, will also premiere at the prestigious Abbey Road on the River Beatle festival in the USA.

Revolver, a four-piece band from Dundee in Scotland named after the iconic 1966 album, are acclaimed for their live performances of many of The Beatles classic album tracks recorded from 1965 onwards. They are highly sought after by Beatle festivals around the world, having built up an exceptional reputation based on the quality of their musicianship and the precision of their pitch-perfect harmonies, and have performed two sold-out gigs in Dublin previously.

In an innovative programming choice, the Dublin Beatles Festival has invited a number of established and rising contemporary Irish acts to perform a selection of their favourite Beatle songs, along with some of their own material. Among these are The Gandhis, considered by many to be one of the finest Irish bands to emerge in recent years. Their second album, After Autumn, was released earlier this year, and Hot Press described it as “a very fine record” with “timeless melodies, organic textures and deft harmonies”.
The Festival opens in exactly one year on 7th November 2013 with a very special event in The Gresham Hotel, where The Beatles stayed on 7th November 1963. Other city centre venues featured include the Grand Social on Lower Liffey Street and the Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay, while a Beatles Film Festival will run at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Temple Bar. The Festival also offers panel discussions, art exhibitions, fashion displays, memorabilia fairs, street art, and a number of surprises programmed to delight Beatle fans, as well as contemporary music and culture fans, in city centre venues and on the streets of Dublin.

The Festival also issues a call to Beatle fans who attended the two shows in the Adelphi Cinema on Middle Abbey Street on Thursday, November 7th 1963, particularly if they kept their tickets, or have photos or stories to share, to get in touch by emailing

Booking and additional programme details will be released in April 2013.

John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen - the band who were on stage with John Lennon on Saturday, July 6th, 1957 (the day that Lennon first met Paul McCartney) - reformed in 1997 in order to celebrate that most momentous meeting. They are Colin Hanton, Len Garry, Rod Davis and John Duff Lowe. Hanton played drums with The Quarrymen from 1956 until 1959, appearing many times with John, Paul and George. Garry played tea-chest bass from 1956 until 1958, and Davis played banjo from 1956 until mid-1957, when he was replaced in the band by Paul McCartney. Duff Lowe was a long time friend of Paul McCartney. They first met at a chorister audition at Liverpool Cathedral in 1953. He joined The Quarrymen in February 1958, and his piano playing can be heard on the first song The Beatles ever recorded – In Spite of All the Danger (1958). Hanton played drums on that recording too. The song can be heard on The Beatles’ Anthology 1 released in 1995.
Formed in 2007, The Choking Smokers have played all over Europe in Beatle events including Beatles Day in Mons (Belgium), Scottish Beatles Weekend in Dundee (Scotland) and Beatle Week in Liverpool (England), and will be the first French tribute band to play at the Abbey Road on the River festival in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, in May 2013. The Choking Smokers are Xavier Mattei (drums, vocals), Pierrick Butty (bass, vocals) and Florent Bossu (guitar, vocals).

Since forming in 2008, Revolver have built up an impressive live reputation, touring the UK and Europe, and they have also performed twice at Abbey Road on the River in the USA. A four piece from Dundee, members Iain Muir (guitar, vocals), Ross Nicoll (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Nick Forbes (bass, vocals) and Michael Benbow (drums, vocals) pride themselves on performing authentic representations of a wide range of classic songs from The Beatles. In 2011, they recreated the iconic Beatles 1969 Savile Row Apple Headquarters rooftop gig in Dundee as part of the first Scottish Beatles Weekend, and are consistently one of the most popular bands at International Beatle Week in Liverpool.

Dublin based four piece band The Gandhis met as history students in Maynooth College. They are Aidan McKelvey (guitar, vocals), Conor Deasy (lead guitar, vocals), Niall Cullen (bass, vocals), and Barry O’Reilly (drums, vocals). To date, the band have released two critically acclaimed albums on 1969 Records – You Are My Friend (2009) and After Autumn (2012). They have performed sell-out gigs across Ireland and the UK, and have appeared at festivals including the Electric Picnic and Indiependence.

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