Without George is a New York City based band formed by singer/guitarist Mark Spellman and guitarist Johnny Holleran in their native West of Ireland.
Having released their debut LP “Without George” featuring 11 original tracks in 2008 the band toured extensively in Ireland & Europe, including support slots with Blondie, Irish acts The Stunning, The Sawdoctors and BellX1 before relocating to NYC in 2011.
Without George’s next release the EP “What Was On My Mind At The Time”, recorded in 2014, in Brooklyn NY, is the 1st to feature NYC based musicians Steve Kortyka, Tristan McCoppin & Steven Spellman supplementing the Irish duo on 5 original compositions with their talents on Saxophone, Bass & Drums respectively.
Vocalists and guitarists, Mark Spellman & Johnny Holleran, billed as Without George, perform both in an acoustic duo setting and in any variety of acoustic & electric line-ups, throughout the North East US. The group are based between NYC and the PA Lehigh Valley region, performing weekly in both markets.
Born from the ashes of local super group Smoked Out, Without George were formed in Cong, Co. Mayo in 2003 when former Tom Noones, Mark & Johnny, together with bassist Damian Mullin, successfully auditioned drummer & guru Chris Green. Holing up in the Loft at Gortnaclassa, the group spent the next year developing their jamming & songwriting skills while performing enough to fund their now out of print EP in the summer of 2005.
That autumn saw the 1st of many line up changes as Without George were reunited with Dave Concannon (Smoked Out, Tom Noones) on drums, vocals & acoustic guitar as Chris spent a year away to continue his studies. Also around this time, the lads relocated their Friday night acoustic show from Eyre Square to Dominic St. & were joined full time by friend and mentor Stephen Monaghan on guitar & vocals as Monroe’s Tavern played host to this 5 piece lineup most every week since, while the group continued to tour Ireland & Western Europe from Donegal to Cork, Amsterdam to Brighton & Galway City to Dublin Town.
2007 saw the group record their debut album “Without George” with producer Andy Reynolds at his Ceol Nua studios in Spiddal, Co Galway. While Stephen’s contribution was limited to vocals on 2 tracks, due to the formation of his group This Nachez, the remaining 4 members cut 11 high energy tracks which perfectly encapsulate the band’s direction at that time, but which hinted at things to come. Joined on 1 track each by friends and collaborators, Geoff Ward on saxophone & Pete Berrill on Trumpet, Without George also had the pleasure of re welcoming Chris to the fold as a guest percussionist just as he took over the acoustic slot at Monroe’s on djembe, where he continues to play Friday nights with Stephen & a few other Without George alumni.
The following couple years found Without George gigging intensely, sometimes aided by Geoff & Pete & with Stephen an ever present on stage. Highlights of this era include the opening of Eyre Square celebration show, playing The Salty Dog Stage at the Electric Picnic, supporting the legendary Blondie at the Galway Arts Festival and headlining the closing night of the Tuam Arts Festival “ Earwig”, while still finding time for multiple support slots to The Saw Doctors, Bell X1 and The Stunning and a succession of brief headlining tours around the country. An afternoon spent with Síle on TG4 brought the band to an unexpected wider and younger audience while previous appearences on popular internet video site, Balcony TV have stirred interest as far as San Francisco, with one promoter begging for a St. Patricks Day visit in 2009.
Following the retirement of Damian & under the shadow of Dave’s forthcoming emigration to Italy, the band embarked on their infamous New York tour of March 09 with a new line up featuring ‘Nachez bass player Dave Donoghue & Chris back behind the kit. The group would continue with this line up for the year’s gigs and the recording of the band’s sophomore effort featuring many of the tracks that are still performed to this day.
2010 brought more line up changes with Ronan Lally replacing Donoghue on bass & vocals for one of the groups wildest summers yet before Johnny & Mark’s relocation to the U.S. ended this chapter in the band’s career.