The year is 1986 and Glasgow band Hipsway release their self-titled debut album. After a year of solid live performance, and promotion, the album finally achieved gold status, 100,000 copies in the UK. Not quite an overnight success, but rather a slow burn, the album selling through word of mouth and the constant nag of the bands big hit single, Honeythief, playing everywhere on the radio.
So far so good, but all was not well. After a 2 month tour round Europe supporting the Eurythmics, their bass player, Johnny McElhone, leaves to form his own band, Texas. This isn’t such a problem for the band as he was quickly replaced by Edinburgh bassist, Gary Houston, who sets off for America with the boys on their 2 month tour of the states.
The band now have American management and have also garnered a top 20 hit in the states with the now ubiquitous Honythief. It seems to make perfect sense to make the follow up record in New York, which they do.
Unfortunately, their estrangement from the London record label, and the departure of their A&R man, caused problems which took so long to resolve, that the band split up in desperation to get away from them. This meant that the second album was released after the band had split up although one single, Your Love, was released before the split.
Skin (vocals) and Pim (guitar), followed their A&R man to his new label, A&M, and recorded a new album, House Called Love, under the name, Witness, and just as it was about to be released the same thing happened… their A&R man departed, leaving them with no one to fight their corner at the label, and so, another excellent album fell by the wayside.
30 years later, Cherry Red release a deluxe edition of the first album and Skin Pim, and Gary decide to play a one off anniversary show in Glasgow, it sells out in 2 days. As luck would have it the concert hall they are playing, ABC Glasgow, has a cancellation for the night before their gig and ask if the band want to play an extra show, which duly sells out in 4 days. The warm up show in Edinburgh sells out through social media and word of mouth.
The strength of feeling and warmth from the fans to the band is rewarded with three great shows, many people saying it was their favourite gig of 2016. The reaction has prompted Skin and Pim to begin writing together again and they hope to have some new material released by summer 2017. They also have plans for more shows both in the summer, and at Christmas.