Band playing during Clutha tragedy: "I still get flashbacks. You replay it and replay it."

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

Loading Comments

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".

Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

When a dog is not a dog. I go vegan in the city.




Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

why I wanted to be She-Ra Princess of Power or Morten Harket from A-Ha

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.