Based In Sligo, Ireland / email: showbands@gmsproductions.com

CLICK FOR:     FREE FORUM        HOME PAGE        GUESTBOOK      MAKE A DONATION

Arrivals Showband Photo Gallery (1965-1971)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

While the majority of major bands during the showband came out of Dublin and Belfast, Ireland's third largest city, Cork, also produced many fine bands. Of course, The Dixies were Cork's most famous export, but The Regal Showband (based in Bantry) was another band that did very well in the early days of the showband era.

In 1965, The Regal had a huge hit with I Need You sung by Declan Ryan. Despite the single's success (it reached number six on the Irish charts), the band shocked the local entertainment scene when they announced that four members were leaving to form a new band, The Arrivals. Declan Ryan (vocals), Des McAlea (sax-a.k.a Des Lee), Mick Aherne (guitar) and Beno Haussmann (drums) departed the band and were the subject of a major marketing campaign headed up by their first manager Murt Lucey who with his brother at that time owned two of the most successful ballrooms in Co. Cork. To complete the new band, they recruited Mick's brother, Will Aherne on bass, Tony Neenan (trumpet) and Billy Curtin (sax). Billy had previously been playing with the Swingtime Aces. The band went on the road in late 1965 and had a modest hit in 1966 with their first single, My Wishful Dreaming.

In January, 1967, the band went on its first tour of the United States, playing mostly in the New York area, but also going on to Chicago and Toronto.

In June 1967 Declan Ryan left the band and we think rejoined the Regal and Des Lee took over as  lead vocalist. However, just as he was about to release his first single with the band, Des took up the lucrative offer to join the Miami Showband (by coincidence, they had just suffered the loss of more than half the band to the breakaway Sands). The Miami were much bigger than the Arrivals and although at the time, his decision was to be expected, it would prove to be one of the most fateful decisions of any musician's life eight years later. 

At that stage, The Arrivals signed Kevin Kane as lead vocalist from a very successful semi-pro Cork band called The Vards. At the same time, Nicky Kirwan replaced Benno as drummer. Kevin was introduced to the dancing public through an advert in Spotlight's Sept 28th edition as the "Great New Voice of '67." The band released two singles with Kevin out front, neither of which reached the charts and in 1969, Kevin left the band and formed a local group in Cork City.

The Arrivals signed Jimmy Fanning who had featured as lead vocalist on a first time major hit for an Irish beat group – The Stranger's version of Look Out, Here Comes Tomorrow. However, Jimmy (from Balbriggin, Co. Dublin) soon felt working with a Cork based band was not going to work for him so he left after a few dates, leaving the band without a lead singer again.

It was then that the band looked to their own and Will Aherne, Mick’s brother became the lead vocalist. Later that year, the band released two very impressive singles. Unfortunately, despite their best attempts, the band still couldn't crack the national ballroom circuit like they wanted and finally broke up in 1970.

But the story of the Arrivals was not over. About a year later, the boys decided to reform, but on a part time basis only. They enjoyed tremendous success on the local scene, which they put down to the lessons they had learned from their first time around. The band lasted a number of years but gradually with members moving on, etc., it all came to an end several years later.            

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Arrivals - 1966 (LR) Arrivals Showband Arrivals Showband - '65 Kevin Kane (LR) Declan Ryan
Arrivals - 1968 (RK) Arrivals (GF) Des Lee - 1967 Billy Curtin - 1967 Arrivals Live-1967
Kevin Kane - 1967 Arrivals - 1969

Arrivals

Arrivals - 1967 Arrivals - 1968
Arrivals - 1967 Arrivals - 1970 Arrivals - 1969 Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF)
Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF)
Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF) Arrivals (RF) Coming Soon Coming Soon
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Sax/Vocals Sax Trumpet
1965 Declan
Ryan
Mick
Ahern
Will
Ahern
Benno
Haussmann
Des "Lee"
McAlea
Billy
Curtin
Tony
Neenan
1967   Mick
Ahern
Will
Ahern
Nicky
Kirwan
Des "Lee"
McAlea
Billy
Curtin
Tony
Neenan
1967 Kevin
Kane
Mick
Ahern
Will
Ahern
Nicky
Kirwan
  Billy
Curtin
Tony
Neenan
1969 Jim
Fanning
Mick
Ahern
Will
Ahern
Nicky
Kirwan
  Billy
Curtin
Tony
Neenan
1969   Mick
Ahern
Will
Ahern
Nicky
Kirwan
  Billy
Curtin
Tony
Neenan

Discography

My Wishful Dreaming / Beyond The Shadow (Declan Ryan)
Emerald Records - MD 1050 - 1966
Thanks To Love / Fool No One (Kevin Kane)
Tribune Records - TRS.109 - 1967
Sady The Cleaning Lady / Ten Guitars (Kevin Kane)
Target Records - 7N.17632 - 1968
Feelin' So Good (Skooby Doo) / She's About A Mover (Will Ahern)
Pye Records - 7N.17761 - 1969
Sweet Caroline / He Don't Deserve You Anymore (Will Ahern)
Honey Records - COMB.14 - 1969

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?   (More to come)

  Declan Ryan:
  Mick Ahern:
  Will Ahern:
Benno Haussmann - RIP:
Des Lee (McAlea): Des, of course, went on from the Arrivals to join Dickie Rock and the Miami when Murty Quinn split to form the Sands in 1967. Des survived the attack on the Miami showband and in late 1975 he reformed the band along with Ray Millar and Stephen Travers. After a couple of years he broke away and formed Starband. Starband did well on the dance circuit and in 1981 Des put together the Des Lee Band. In the mid 1980's Des emigrated to South Africa where he lived and performed for many years. Around 2009, he returned to Ireland to front the revamped Miami and still appears regularly across the country.  
Billy Curtin - RIP: We received the sad news that Billy sadly passed away on January, 12, 2012 after a brief illness. Brother of Kerry Blues' musicians, Alfie, John and D.J. Curtin, Billy played sax with the Swingtime Aces and the Arrivals Showband until 1971. After leaving the showbands, Billy played with the Guinness Jazz Band and was still playing music up until three months before his passing. He had been playing music up until three months before his passing.  
Tony Neenan - RIP:
  Kevin Kane:
  Nicky Kirwan:
  Jim Fanning:

Back

 


© 2002-2014 GMS Productions

In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006