Acoustic tour - HMV, Gloucester (17/6/99)

On the subject of Wigan bands and to add to the live stories thing, I saw Witness a few months ago as they did a short acoustic set at my local record (HMV) store's opening gala thing.

There were a few teenyboppers remaining from a TV star-turned-singer (Adam someone??) and when singer Gerard Starkie and guitarist James Chan came out and eased into one of  their typically quiet numbers, the confusion was evident on these kids'  faces!!!  Like, "oh god, they're actually making music"!!!  Ha!! 

 I was quietly enjoying it, apart from my frustration at the engineer who  insisted on turning down Chan's guitar volume in favour of Starkie's voice... the guitar was beautiful, Chan sure can play... I forget the track name, but it was their third song and Chan got this weird gadget out and held it OVER the strings, not touching them, and as he played the neck accordingly, this beautiful sound, like a howl, but far sweeter, for once I can't find words to describe it, this sound was just so perfect... the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and a little nerve up the side of my head just started buzzin'!!!  Weird, I had only ever felt that nerve when a chiropractor's finger pressed firmly on a sore shoulder muscle!!!  Ha haaa... 

But yup, that was a beautiful sound, and it turned the afternoon into a very relaxing one... he announced the last song as "Scars" but I had to go and catch my bus...  I left there smiling and confident that with better production on the album, this band was gonna be one I would listen to again and again...  still haven't felt that nerve going since, though... :-)

Ben Rumbold


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