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Winter's Reign

From: Dublin

Active: 1981-89


Lineup (ca 1983): Lineup (ca 1986):


Note: I am aware that this entry is far from complete and does not track lineup changes correctly. As such, it doesn't even begin to tell the full Winters Reign story. But don't just whinge about it, send me the missing details!

Long-lived pop-metal band from Dublin founded by the Larkin brothers and managed by Joe Wynne, who'd previously managed the Mama's Boys. Future boy band impressario Louis Walsh was their booking agent. Their publisher in Ireland was RCI Records.

The original band made "The Mini Album" (1983) which was recorded over a number of years. It is highly rated by fans of the style, comparable to early Bon Jovi.

There was a series of lineup changes from 1984 onwards. Brian Heffernan left in 1984, replaced by Paul Dixon and Mick Cavanagh joined as guitarist/keyboards. A number of singles were released on labels like Scoff, Pussy and their own Q Records during this period (1984-86). The Larkin/Larkin/Cavanagh/Dixon/McMillan lineup began work on the follow up LP "The Beginning" at Westland Studios in Dublin. This was the bands first serious experience of the studio environment. The album was recorded in installments, so to speak, as funds allowed for more studio time.

After a Saturday night gig in Cavan, there was a major argument between Leo Larkin and manager Joe Wynne. This was the culmination of a power struggle between the two. Leo saw the band as his creation but Joe dictated policy as manager. Leo left the band as a result, and Billy followed him. In retrospect it seems odd that the Larkins left their own band! Stuart MacMillan left aswell, probably out of loyalty to the Larkins. The remaining three band members, Mick Cavanagh, Paul Dixon and Robbie Hurley continued as Winter's Reign. Robbie Poole became the drummer (Nigel Glockler of Saxon also played with the band at some point); Eoin O Donnell played guitar at some point.

By the time "In The Beginning" was completed, the lineup was Rob Hurley (vocals), Mick Cavanagh (guitar), Rod Pepper (bass) and Wataru T. Noguchi (drums). This lineup played the Moscow Peace Festival at some point (anyone know the details) so presumably good quality footage exists somwhere.

The Larkin brothers later returned as Foundation and Venture. They were also involved in Touchdown.

The band appeared on TV many times. Check the Videos page for links.


• The Mini Album
mini-LP - Q Records - Q101 - IRL - 1983
Distributed by Stoic Records. The first press included a free copy on cassette.

• I Close My Eyes / Karen 2
7" - Q Records - Q102 - 1983 - no PS?

A-side off the mini-LP, B-side is another version of "Karen"; a rare single, possibly promo only

• Save It / I Keep Trying
7" - Scoff Records - DT033 - IRL - 1984 - PS

• Karen / I'm Getting Out
7" - Scoff Records - DT035 - IRL - 1984 - company sleeve

• Is This The End / Can You Keep A Secret
7" - Pussy Records - PU 020 - IRL - 1985 - PS?

• Do I Have To Call Your Name Again / Somewhere
7" - Q Records - Q 103 - IRL - 1986 - PS
Rare charity single issued on behalf of the Irish Wheelchair Association

• White Fury / instrumental version
7" - Q Records - Q104 - IRL - 1986? - PS

• Love Games / A Quickie
7" - Q Records - Q105 - IRL - 1986? - PS?

• White Fury / I Don't Know Why
7" - Kink Company - 3653 - France - 1987 - PS

• The Beginning
lp+7" Loop/Link Records - LOPL 501 - UK - 1987 - limited edition free single (no PS)
LP - Ultraprima/Link Records - 331803 - UK - 1987
LP - FM Records - FM 0054 - Greece - 1988
CD - Link Records - 3063 - France - 1987

• Rock Me / A Quickie
7" - Loop Records - LOOP 10 - 1988 - no PS
free w/The Beginning LP; note the date is correct, both sides are (p) & (c) 1988.

• Tears Fall / Dearg Doom (In remembrance of Horslips)
7" - War Records - WAR1 - IRL - 1989

Note the inscription which reads "Jim, please play this if you like it!" is signed by Louis Walsh, the boyband manager.

• Ticket To Ride / What Do You Call It
7" - War Records - WAR2 - 1989 - PS
Charity single. Beatles cover on A-side.

Notes:: Lineup: Robbie Hurley - lead vocals & keyboards; Mick Cavanagh - lead guitar; Robbie Block - keyboards; Rodney Pepper - bass; Wataru Nogughi - drums & percussion.

• Love Is All They Need / Last Time
7" - Supraphon 11-0348-7-311, Czech 1990 - PS

• Go For Gold / Mayday
7" - GWR Records - GWR17 - UK - June 1990 - PS

Cover artwork by Jim Fitzpatrick

• s/t
LP - GWR Records - ??? - UK - (1990) unreleased


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

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