AFTER being diagnosed with throat and neck cancer, singer Ian Smith thought his four-decade musical career was over.
As a member of Huddersfield’s reggae band The Inner Mind, they had to stop gigging in October 2009 when Ian needed treatment.
Ian had to go for mouth and neck cancer operations and feared he would never perform again as he was the band’s vocalist and keyboard player.
But the 62-year-old has come out fighting – he is back on form and The Inner Mind are going back on the road.
Ian, of Linthwaite, said: “I had cancer of the throat and want other people going through it to have some hope that you can come out of it all right.
“We did some farewell gigs because we all thought I’d never be able to sing again but the voice is back.”
Treatment has included slicing part of Ian’s tongue off and he needs a further operation.
But that’s not the only problem Ian has faced – he needed two operations on his hands and faces a third. For a keyboard player, it’s hardly ideal.
“I’m very, very lucky that the cancer didn’t spread,” he added.
“But it was like one thing after another – it’s been like the rise and fall of Reggie Perrin but it’s good to be back.”
Ian has been working as a musician for 46 years and described it as “his life”.
“Cancer could have taken that away, I thought it would,” he added
He’s been doing vocal exercises all patients with throat cancer are required to do in a bid to get their vocal and speech skills back and he also did his own voice exercises which he’d do before a gig.
Together with bandmates Simon Le Geyt, Dave Summers, Dave Tattersall and Jimmy Walsh, The Inner Mind return with a gig at the Foresters Arms, Park Road, at Crosland Moor on Sunday, January 23, from 5.30pm.
It was the scene of one of two farewell gigs in 2009, believing it would be their last.
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’.
The original members were Ian, Jimmy and Dave Tattersall with Finley Topham on guitar who later moved to France, and the late John Dixon. Simon Le Geyt came in on guitar and Dave Summers on trombone.