A Witness were one of many bands that briefly appeared on my musical horizon in the mid 1980s who seemed to release one or two singles then disappeared. Rather obviously it was on John Peel’s show that I heard them, and I’m sure they did a session or two as well. Today’s track, Red Snake, was released as a 12″ single, not their first but by far and away their best. A relentless rather discordant jangly-guitar sound with a half-sneering half-shouty vocal. Absolutely no idea what the song is about, quite possibly a red snake, but then again maybe not. I’m 99.99% convinced it was never on Top of the Pops, and also did not trouble the Top 30 singles charts. Which is a great pity because it is quite magnificent. PLAY LOUD
And while putting this piece together, I looked at the rather obvious online source and discovered that, tragically, founding member and guitarist Rick Aitken died in a climbing accident in Scotland in 1989. The band disbanded shortly after. Between their formation and demise, 1982-89 they released one album, I Am John’s Pancreas, and 5 EPs, and one compilation album.
mp3 : A Witness – Red Snake
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