Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Home grown Americana pary 1 - Witness

This week I thought I'd feature a couple of bands that sound like they come from deep in the heart of America rather than in  Suffolk and Lancs.

First up is Wigan band Witness who were still un named when they were signed. Initially helped then hindered by a friendship to Nick McCabe of the Verve. The constant comparisons with that band are odd in the extreme as the 2 sounded nothing like each other. If anything the band Witness most remind me off is REM, with maybe a dash of Tom Petty

Over 2 lps Witness went about producing songs of the quality that REM could have done with over their later lps. Both lps , Before the Calm and Under the Sun garnered rave reviews (with the debut especially having the music press all a froth) which didn't translate to any kind of sales

The big record label shenanigans (this time Universal) meant as usual one rejected lp and some strange promotional placing of songs , in this case 2 on the soundtrack of American Pie 2!!

The band eventually split after they were dropped by the label, ending with a hometown gig in Wigan.

I've posted my favourite track , which comes from the second lp , despite the world weary vocals has the kind of  down beat but up beat feel that Elbow have since made their own

Closing up - Witness

There is a comprehensive band site here with reviews , interviews and discography

You can buy both lps here where Amazon has the second lp for a ridiculously cheap 33p!!


  1. I really like this band.
    Their albums are strangely labelled as 'Jazz' in iPod genre so it's a bit odd when they pop up on 'Shuffle' in between Miles and Coltrane...

  2. i wonder who does those classifications and if after a big night out their finger slips on the keyboard next morning

    steps as death metal?

  3. There is a Miracle Mile album (BT I think) that is listed as 'Punk'.
    Ooh er...


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