Tickets: $180[adv]/$220[door] incl. one standard drink
It’s now over ten years – 1997 to be exact – since singer/songwriter Gerard Starkie and guitarist Ray Chan formed indie rock band Witness in the northern England town of Wigan. United by a love of Neil Young and REM, Chan’s animated, effects-laden guitars provided the perfect backdrop to Starkie’s angelic vocal and brooding lyrics, and with the addition of John Langley on drums and Dylan Keeton on bass, the band were soon snapped up by Island Records on the strength of a promising demo tape.
In 1999, Witness’ first album, Before The Calm, was released to critical acclaim and TV appearances on MTV’s Five Night Stand and Later With Jools Holland followed, as did tours supporting bands such as The Charlatans, Doves, Wilco and Embrace in between their own headline shows. The second album, 2001’s Under A Sun, led to main stage slots at all the major UK festivals including Glastonbury, Reading and the V Festival. One of their tracks, their Americana-tinged single ‘Here’s One For You’, appeared on American Pie 2.
After a hiatus that saw Starkie release a solo album and Chan move to Hong Kong, the two forming members reunited for a successful gig at Grappa’s Cellar Bar last October and are currently working on material for a third album. Catch them at the Fringe, backed by ex-members of local band the Academy, on June 13.
innisfallen, the famous Irish island, becomes the name of the nearly-forgotten band. After REALlusion, their first album release in August 2007, their inspiration has been on a long hiatus. Has the band's inspiration been washed away by reality? Erik Piece, the singer and guitarist, does not think so. He tried an instrument he has never made friends with - the piano, hoping to bring some sentiment which guitar sounds cannot achieve. It worked - some new songs are out, with the collaboration of Sam Tsang (guitars), Mike Lam (bass/vocals) and Cheong Ho (drums). It will be the new interpretation of their views on life; it will be the new innisfallen.
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