Casbah, Sheffield (9/5/01)


I first saw this advertisement for this gig in the N.M.E about 2 weeks before the gig as soon as I saw the advertisement I got very excited. 

I arrived at the Casbah about 2 hours before the gig started to find every member of the band having a meal at  a table. When I saw them there I was just gobsmacked. What made me more gobsmacked was the fact that all of the band stared at me because I was wearing a Witness T-Shirt which I bought when I saw them support the Charlatans. 

After I got over the shock of being 10 yards away from my heroes I went to the bar to get a drink to settle my nerves. After about half an hour drinking with my girlfriend and mate I saw Gerard, Ray, John and Dylan go outside so I thought this is my perfect chance to get my album sleeve signed. 

After about 2 minutes I built up the courage to go and talk to them. So I walked outside (shaking) to go and talk to them so I said to Ray, "will you all sign this for me" which they replied yes. When they finished signing my sleeve I began to talk to the greatest band on the planet (At this point you have got to imagine that I have never met any of my idols so I am shutting myself). 

Anyway after talking about the tour and the new album I wandered inside the venue a very happy man. After seeing loads of crap support bands who's names I have forgot It was time for Witness to take the stage. I made sure I had a good view but that wasn't hard when there was about 40 people inside the venue so I sat on the P.A speaker directly in front of Ray. 

First to take the stage was Jazza followed my Gerard, Dylan and Ray they plugged in there guitars and all of a sudden I heard the familiar opening chords of Scars at this point I cant believe I am breathing distance away from my favorite band playing my favorite song. Throughout the song I sang word by word with Gerard while the crowd looked on with amazement. Then came a string of new songs Dividing Line, Here's One For You and My Boat which all sounded superb My Boat especially. They then played the ever reliable  So far gone and the heartbreaking Still (which nearly reduced me to tears). After more new stuff they played Cause + Effect, Quarantine and the new single You are all my own invention. They then strolled of and for a encore and came back onto Mines and the fantastic Freezing Over Morning . 

That was it they strolled of back to the dressing room leaving me on Cloud 9 and all of the audience wondering why Witness aren't a household name. Finally this was the greatest night of my life I am a experienced gig goer I have seen Oasis at Wembley, R.E.M at Huddersfield and The Verve at Haigh Hall but none of them gigs were as good as what I saw tonight all I have to say is thank you Witness for a night to remember. 

Scott Cooper


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