The Empty Seats to play their first gig

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The Empty Seats are coming and you can watch them play their first gig on Friday 6th May at the Honeysuckle in Poolstock from 8.30ish.

The band have been using the venue to carry out rehearsals over the past few months and are performing this gig for free to say thanks to the landlord so there is no door charge, just come along, have a few beers, buy a few raffle tickets and of course – listen to the band. It would be great to see you there!

If you can’t make it then you can buy their debut CD for just under a fiver over at the Latics United website with all proceeds going to The Anthony Ramsdale Appeal

Read on to read about The Empty Seats and how they were formed with the following band profile written by Bernard Ramsdale….


Next week will see the launch of a new CD of Wigan Athletic songs put together by a new Wigan Athletic band ‘The Empty Seats’. We’ll have full details in due course but in the meantime, read on and learn about the band who describe themselves a “Celtic Folk Punk Rock combo”

Many moons ago after a few post match pints, Bernard Long and a couple of his mates were talking about forming a Latics band. The original idea was for this band to then record a couple of chants and get them uploaded onto as many Wigan Athletic websites as possible. Nothing ever came of it.

Perhaps this was because none of them had any musical instruments at the time, nor could the lads actually string a tune together! Fast forward a couple of years and the close friends now have their precious instruments and they can actually play them. So round about Christmas time, Gaz Knowles the drummer went out and sorted out a room to rehearse in at the marvelous Honeysuckle Inn run by Thomas Sweeney, in Poolstock. The very room where The Verve performed their first ever gig, not that comparison between the two mega groups can be made in these early days of The Empty Seats’ career.

It was actually Rob Podmore, the guitarist, who came up with the band’s name and from that moment on they were in business. The original idea of just loading a few chants onto websites has now bitten the dust and the band are currently working hard on recording several chants and full songs in honour of their favourite football team. In the tradition of most of the decent football songs, the band have set their musical and lyrical masterclass to the tunes of a very varied mixture of songs, hence the band’s rather non conformist genre as noted above!

Among the groups whose tunes the Empty Seats aim to improve on, are James, REM, The Proclaimers, The Dubliners and the Houghton Weavers, all of whom will be awaiting the royalty cheques with baited breath.

The band have decided to record and produce a CD, and should it turn out to be good enough, they plan to make it available for sale with proceeds of any profit that it makes going towards the charity ‘The Anthony Ramsdale Appeal’ (just search for it on Facebook) that has been set up to enhance the life of a very seriously brain damaged Wigan Athletic supporter, who received those catastrophic injuries after watching the Latics v Spurs 3-3 draw on 14th April 2007.

The long suffering landlord of the Honeysuckle Inn, who puts up with the loud melodic tones on a regular basis is prepared to host a gig, with proceeds going to the same cause, once the band has established itself.

Paul Middleton has since joined the group to help out with guitar and vocal duties and the chants, roared out by a very loud and vociferous group of supporters, well actually, myself, the missus and few folk grabbed from the Honeysuckle Inn bar, have been duly recorded. The chants are actually quite good given the fact they were produced within hours of the final whistle being blown at the DW Stadium of a 0-4 home defeat against Manchester United!

The band have also had a lot of help from Carl on bass. This guy in the words of lead singer Bernard Long, is “a proper treasure, he can actually play for a start”.

In fact when the gig comes off he is trying to get his ‘real’ group to play on the bill along with a proper Soul/Motown band.”

So, with a recording date set and more rehearsals in the pipeline ‘The Empty Seats’ will soon be unleashed on a very unsuspecting Wigan public. Beckoning after their initial gig will be the ball ache of a worldwide tour, and doubtless the band is surely talented enough to be nominated for a few awards in that well known annual ceremony, errr, what’re they called? Oh yes,’The Sh*t Awards’!

Bernard Ramsdale

To find out more and buy online go to

See The Empty Seats Facebook page for further updates:!/pages/The-Empty-Seats/202355319776272

Listen to a sample video of The Empty Seats:!/video/video.php?v=188841351158987&oid=202355319776272&comments





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