Band Recalls Clutha Tragedy

11 April 2014, 14:54

The band playing in the Clutha bar when a police helicopter crashed into the crowded pub say they are haunted by what they saw.

Esperanza were unhurt, although there are some mental scars from the crash which killed 10 people in Glasgow on November 29 last year.

In their first interview since the tragedy, frontman Jake Barr said the band are finding ways to help each other recover. He told The Big Issue: "The music is what's carrying us. We all strive for each other."

The nine-piece band are back on stage together, recently as a support act for The Beat. Some members have had counselling and some have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the magazine.

Bass player Jess Combe, 24, who was eventually allowed back into the pub to get her guitar, is looking forward to being able to sleep properly again.

She said of the guitar: "I put new strings on it because I just couldn't bear touching it. But it was nice having it back. I felt there was a part of me missing."

Gary Anderson, the band's manager, stepped back into the dust and debris minutes after the accident and saw shocking scenes of people lying hurt and unconscious inside the pub.

He told The Big Issue: "I needed to go back in. I had friends in there. Inside, it was dark ... People who looked like bomb-blast or war zone victims. It was clear that there were some already gone.

"I was shouting names, trying to account for everybody. I still get flashbacks. You replay it and replay it.

"You question yourself - could I have done more?"

Esperanza decided to continue playing together following a tear-filled talk soon after the accident.

The band's first live shows since the crash were in January.

Drummer Jason Good recalls their experience of being back onstage as "like something was pulling us through it".

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