The Gandharvas revived: A '90s rock band makes its return to the stage

The Prince George Playhouse will be welcoming a blast from the past this weekend when it hosts a new incarnation of the '90s-era band the Gandharvas. 

The Gandharvas — formed in 1989 in London, Ontario — was a successful alternative rock band that was nominated for a Juno for Best New Group in 1995 and went on to achieve success with singles like Downtime.

The band broke up in 2000 and its different members took their own paths. Speaking to host Carolina de Ryk from CBC's Daybreak North, vocalist Paul Jago says it was the right thing to do at the time.

"We were all growing apart and getting involved in different things; it was getting harder and harder to get together to do even practices. And other interests and just decided to let everyone go and pursue those instead of dragging it out," Jago said.

Jago moved to Vancouver from Ontario and ended up pursuing graduate studies in geology. 

After working in the U.S. for a while, Jago eventually applied for a job in Prince George where he now works as a geologist. 

"He fought [coming to Prince George] like the devil," his wife Aidyl Jago said, laughing. "[But] we've been here for eight years now."

"The longest we've been anywhere," Paul added.

While music is an important part of their life — wife Aidyl is also an accomplished vocalist — it's been more of an informal presence.

Last Christmas, however, when brother Noel Jago flew out from Toronto to spend time with the family, the brothers put on an impromptu morning jam. 

"[They were] in their socks and drinking coffee," Aidyl said. 

"And then that kind of gave rise to the idea that well, if we can do this in the basement? Why can't we do this on a proper stage?"

The Prince George concert — dubbed "Unearthing the Gandharvas with Paul Jago and the Jago Family Values Band" — will feature the brothers and wife Aidyl as well as special musical guests from the Prince George community.

"There are still fans out there. We are contacted by people all the time — just these really heartfelt really personal messages," Aidyl said.

"It's never about making money. It's about putting music into the universe."

The concert takes place on Dec. 28.