Greg Pearle & John Illsley ( Dire Straits )

Greg Pearle & John Illsley ( Dire Straits )

Greg Pearle is an Irish Singer Songwriter from Dublin and based  in Ballina, Co Mayo. This hidden Jewel has being performing all of his life in Ireland.  Anyone who was lucky enough to hear him perform will know instantly that they have experienced something special, His live performances are unforgettable with his unique vocal tone and beautifully crafted tracks. His performance was so inspiring that he was responsible for inspiring Rock n Roll legend " John illsley" out of retirement. Later on both would record the collaborated  Album " Beautiful You " .

The Story behind their epic Meeting.

John Illsley was the bass player with the legendary Dire Straits selling 120 million albums.

John had retired from music and moved to rural Hampshire with his family to focus on passion for painting. He bought a local pub, "The East End Arms" and "The George Hotel" on the Isle of Wight. There he began exhibiting his art to the world.

Everything changed when John met Greg and his Irish rock group Cunla in a pub in Leicestershire. It was March 2005 and John was so impressed with the Band that he took to the stage. This was a huge deal as John had retired from performing on stage in 1993. He joined the band to play a couple of Dire Straits numbers and loved it.. John recalls: “I was asked to play a few tunes with them"." I liked their attitude and the fact that despite the large quantities of Guinness that had been consumed, they could all play very well.”


To coincide with an exhibition of his art in Les Baux de Provence, John was asked to perform some Dire Straits songs.

John Recalled "The Mayor of the town asked me and it’s not done in France to refuse the Mayor ". "I asked Cunla if they could learn some Dire Straits songs and it turned out that Greg was a big fan and knew a lot of the songs already”.

John and Cunla played at the Festival des Alpilles, performing to 1300 people in the Cathedral D’Image in Les Baux de Provence. The show was recorded and John was “pleasantly surprised” by the results. “I initially wanted the band to have a record of their French experience but several people heard it and encouraged us to release it.”

Friendship & Album

John and Greg became friends and John discovered that Greg was a very talented songwriter. “We spent some time knocking his songs into shape then began recording them in Mark Knopfler’s fabulous studio in Hammersmith". "Wait ’till you hear them". "Greg writes brilliant songs and has an amazing voice.”

Greg Pearle will always be remembered for the man who inspired John to find excitement in recording and playing live again. He takes his mark from greats such as Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Chris Rea, Pearle’s gravelly tones are infused with emotion from a well-traveled life.

Their collaborated album didn't get the the accolades it deserved but Greg has absolutely no regrets . Greg Recalls " To work and record an album with one of the greats was an experience I will cherish forever " .

New Band Gypsy


In 2018 Greg decided to go on the road again and formed the Band  "Gypsy".  "Its early days yet but things are starting to really move" , he says.  They were well received in " Brennan's Lane "  Ballina when they launched in early 2019 and now they are a resident Act. Their profile is growing rapidly and 2019 will be a very exciting year for Greg and the Band .

Launch Review

I had the pleasure of being at the launch of Gypsy and enjoyed the performance very much. They have a very cool vibe about them with Fiddle , Banjo / Guitar , Drums , Acoustic / Vocals and Bass . I would describe them as New Age Irish Folk Ballad act with Leonard Cohen and Dire Straits influences . All of the tracks were beautifully and carefully arranged to give the audience an unforgettable experience.

Buy The Album

More Reviews HERE

3 comments on “Greg Pearle & John Illsley ( Dire Straits )”

  1. Today 10th March 2018......I was at a Greg Pearle gig last night in emmets bar in Ballina town.......I think I have just seen the best free gig on planet earth ....amazing voice and I have not witnessed a man sing with such passion ........pure class ......

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