THEY were one of the biggest bands on the British reggae circuit.
But tonight, 41 years after their first gig, Huddersfield’s The Inner Mind will take to the stage for possibly their final performance.
They have reunited for a special gig as singer and keyboard player Ian Smith needs urgent surgery on his throat.
And that could mean an end to his music career.
The Inner Mind play a gig at Shepley Cricket Club in Marsh Lane this evening.
The Inner Mind was formed in 1968 and quickly became one of the biggest bands on the then dynamic British reggae scene.
They played in front of huge audiences all around the country and the influential Apollo Club in London billed them as ‘the greatest white reggae band on earth’.
They had a series of successful singles, many recorded in Huddersfield’s King Street Studio.
Their fame increased and they worked on tour with stars such as Desmond Dekker, Bob & Marcia, Bruce Ruffin and Dave & Ansell Collins.
The band stopped playing in 1974, as live reggae music fell out of fashion.
They did not play again until reforming for a wonderful ‘one-off’ gig three years ago at The Station Tavern, Huddersfield, featuring three of the original four members.
This led to further bookings as old and new fans demanded more.
Hearing of Ian’s illness, bass-player and founder member Dave Tattersall wanted the band to have one last gig.
Already booked to play with his other band, Higher Ground, at Shepley Cricket Club, Dave arranged to allow The Inner Mind their final performance on the same bill.
Dave said: “The Inner Mind has been a big part of all of our lives and we had a great time.
“Ian was central to that and we need to see him off into retirement in style.
“His health is the most important thing and everyone will be hoping that he makes a full recovery.
“ But, knowing Ian, he’ll want to give it everything tonight”.
The gig, featuring The Inner Mind and Higher Ground, starts at 7pm.
Admission is free.
Band formed by bass player Dave Tattersal who was with group called The Peppers
He recruited keyboard player and singer Ian Smith, a former schoolfriend at Wheelwright Grammar school, Dewsbury
Other members of original line-up were Toddy Platt (guitar) and Stuart Robinson (drums).
Influences were Spencer Davis Group, Small faces and soul
First reggae gig was 1968 at Huddersfield West Indian Association at invitation of Erroll Babb. They were the only white people at the club.