Montrose heavy rock band If All Else Fails will return to the music circuit this week, following the illness of one of the band members, MoFest by supporting the headline act.
The local group will take to stage at Montrose Town Hall on Friday, supporting Northern Irish indie rockers Ash, along with Glasgow-based rock trio, The Amorettes.
Back in September, If All Else Fails were forced to cut short a series of live performances when bassist Lewis Paton was rushed to Ninewells Hospital with severe abdominal pain.
Lewis (31) suffers from Crohn’s Disease, a crippling bowel disease with no known cure.
Following several surgical procedures, including the removal of a large section of his bowel, Lewis was finally released from hospital in January.
Although he has had to make many modifications to his lifestyle, Lewis told The Review that he has never felt more alive.
“When you are being prepared for surgery and are told that there is a good chance you won’t make it out the other side, it does change your outlook on life.
“I feel lucky to be alive and am determined to make the most of every day that the doctors have given me,” he said.
With such a high profile gig as their comeback performance, Lewis is relishing the prospect of returning to live performance.
He said: “Every day that I was in hospital, I thought about the day when I could strap my bass on, plug in and get back onstage with my amazing bandmates.
“They stood by me when I was ill and I can’t wait to stand beside them in Montrose Town Hall on Friday.”
The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their half-hour set supporting Ash at the Town Hall, as well as their own 90 minute gig at Harry’s Bar on Sunday.
Drummer Jamie Kinghorn told The Review: “Supporting Ash is a genuine honour for us. We are big fans of the band and are really excited to see them in Montrose. And the fact that we are opening for them is just amazing.
“If you see any of us out and about over the weekend, expect to see huge smiles on our faces!”
Singer Stuart Thomson added: “Ash were the first band I ever saw live so this is a genuine dream come true for me, personally. If we are lucky enough to meet them backstage I will be a totally embarrassing fanboy!”
The band say that they have never been busier. Rallying to support their bandmate, singer Stuart, guitarist Scott Grant and drummer Jamie turned their talents to charity work.
They donated the income from sales of their CDs and t-shirts; produced a video to raise awareness of the Chron’s Disease featuring appearances from many world-renowned musicians; and writing, recording and releasing a single inspired by Paton’s struggle which peaked at number two in the iTunes metal chart, the band have raised more £1000, which will be donated to Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK).
Guitarist Scott Grant said: “Lewis is more than just a bandmate – he is our brother. We were devastated when he became so ill, but it has been great to be able to bring something positive from the situation.
“There have been a lot of tears, but being able to do our bit to support Lewis and make a contribution to CCUK has been really rewarding.”