The Hiding Place Return


Matt Awbery || September 23rd

For those who don't already know, The Hiding Place are one of Stoke's most prominent figure's in rock music, both on and off the stage. The terrible news that guitarist Jonny Wood needed surgery on his back was devastating news for band members and fans alike. I asked singer Dominic Webber about the incident.

Basically, when we filmed the video for Guts a couple of years ago, Jonny hurt his back from rocking out too hard during the shoot. We all thought it was a bit of something and nothing, and his doctor also said it wasn’t serious, so we carried on playing shows and touring and sleeping in the van all the way up until January of this year. Finally, the doctors realised that he actually had a severe slipped disk, and it would require surgery. We carried on playing shows through til around March time, but then decided to take a break so as not to damage Jonny's back further whilst he waited for his surgery. Jonny finally had his spinal surgery a couple of months ago – it went really well, he’s more mobile now than he’d been since first injuring it! He is however enjoying being exempt from any heavy lifting still…

The whole situation obviously had an impact on Jonny.

When it first happened I was like 'shit that's painful', but something that I thought would subside. Unfortunately it got to the point where I was seriously close to pulling out of shows and telling the band I needed to take a break. The boys were pretty awesome about it all to be fair and helped me with anything I needed. The surgeon told me I could be off my feet for a few months and it could take me a while to get back into the swing of things and my first thought was 'fuck what about the band?'

The day after my surgery (after most of the drugs had worn off), I could instantly tell that the pain was already much less. I started walking almost straight away and tried to make my back stronger than it had been before (I'm nearly there!). It has truly put a new perspective on everything - it shows me that I want to be in a band, touring and writing new music more than ever before. I know I went through pain (mentally and physically) but there was no doubt in my mind that I would be back. This is what I want to do and hopefully I'll be stronger because of it. Maybe just calm down a little on stage...

I asked Dom,  front man of The Hiding Place, how the band coped without Jonny, curious to know if writing continued or whether the temporary loss of their energetic guitarist led to things coming to a slight halt.

'We continued rehearsing, and writing music and demoing a few new tracks during the time -Jonny still attended practice up until his surgery, and even then he was only out for about a month. It’s strange really, it’s the first time we’ve taken a bit of a step back from the band in nearly 3 years. The first time where there weren’t immediate plans on the horizon etc. At times it felt like maybe we’d never end up playing shows again, or that everyone would just forget about us.'

Does it feel good to be coming back? I see with a hometown show for starters and a tour in the winter, could you tell us a bit more about that?

'It really does! As I said before, you’d find yourself lying awake at night thinking ‘shit, what if we don’t end up gigging again?!’, so when we booked that hometown show it was like a huge weight had been lifted! The response we had to announcing it was great too – lots of kind words from people who seem to be glad we’re coming back! It was great to be able to announce the December tour too – perfect timing really to jump back on the horse before the end of the year! I can’t really say I’m looking forward to trying to sleep in a van in December though... We’re playing 5 UK dates, some places we’ve been before like Cardiff and Southampton, and some places we haven’t like Cumbria and Hull. Also we’re out with Chapter & Verse, a great band who if they aren’t on your radar yet definitely should be.'

This sets us up nicely to presume next year will be a good one for The Hiding Place?

'We’ve got somethings in place that I’m not at liberty to discuss yet haha – but yes, we’re very excited at what 2017 holds for THP. We definitely want to release new music next year – I think our new material may surprise some people, but it’s definitely got that THP heart and soul to it that people have come to expect from us.'

The Hiding Place will be at The Underground, Saturday 24th September, before heading out on a five date tour with Chapter & Verse in December.