In a week that had already seen the sad passing of first Scott Walker and then Ranking Roger, we awoke yesterday morning to the news that the Liverpool-based duo of Her’shad been tragically killed in a car crash in Arizona. The band’s two members – Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading – were travelling to a gig in Santa Ana, California with their tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson when they were involved in a road accident. All three men died as a result of this head-on collision.
Stephen Fitzpatrick (lead vocals and guitar) and Auden Laading (bass guitar and backing vocals) met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and Her’s emerged from this friendship, with the duo releasing their first track ‘Dorothy’ in April 2016. A nine-track compilation Songs of Her’s followed in May 2017 with their debut full-length album Invitation to Her’s being released in August of last year.
Their recorded music was fabulous, but it was in the live arena where Her’s truly came to life. I had the great fortune to have caught them twice, first in April 2017 in the hot and sweaty surroundings of the Fulford Arms in York and then four months later under canvas at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival in Scotland.
Different locations, totally different environments but both experiences turned out exactly the same; each show was a prime example of how best to bottle effervescence, energy, and excitement, shake it all up and then just watch it explode right across the stage in what was a wonderful maelstrom of skittering motion, self-effacing humour and some delightfully off-piste popular tunes.
Ably supported by third band member Pierce Brosnan – whose primary role, in truth, was more of a watching brief – Her’s had such a bright future lying ahead of them. But it is in these incredibly unfair and tragic circumstances and with such profound sadness that they will never be able to fully realise that tremendous potential.
Photo of Her’s at Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival, August 2017: Simon Godley
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.