Man dies at Swell Season gig

 

Swell Season, the Oscar-winning Irish act fronted by Glen Hansard, have said they are "shocked and saddened" by the news that a man died during one of their concerts in California earlier this week.

According to reports, the band were performing at the Sartoga Mountain Winery last night when the man appeared to jump from the roof of a building near a lightening rig onto the stage.

The San Jose Mercury News said the band had just finished a song and that Hansard was engaged in banter with the audience when the incident happened. The man was pronounced dead by a doctor at the venue.

The newspaper said that Hansard was among a number of people who attempted to revive the man.

The incident was later confirmed by the Santa Clara County Sherriff's Office.

The group, which is currently touring the US, were due to conclude their North American tour this weekend, issued a statement on the incident via their Myspace page today.

"The band, crew and all involved with them are shocked and saddened by the unfortunate events of last night. Our hearts go out to the victim who decided to take his own life at last night's gig in the City Winery, in Saratoga and to his friends and family," the group said.

Hansard, who began his musical career as a busker on Dublin's Grafton Street before forming The Frames in the late 1980s, began performing and recording as The Swell Season with Czech musician Markéta Irglová in 2006. The two rose to prominence after they starred in the Dublin-based film Once.

The Swell Season were awarded Academy Awards in 2008 for best original song for Falling Slowly, which featured in the movie.

The band's second album Strict Joy, which was released last year, was shortlisted for the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year.