Band History

November '88   /  Trip to Lindisfarne David Fitzgerald, on a trip to Lindisfarne (shown left) is 'overwhelmed by the sense of history and atmosphere on that Holy Island'. He wrote in his diary 'I sense an incredible feeling of unity with the previous inhabitants. I am challenged by the lives of these early saints and our 1980's materialistic interpretation of Christianity. We certainly seem to have lost a lot of inner peace and serenity that this place echoes. I feel personally too locked into the cares of this earthly life; a life that centres itself on money, work, career, status and other material things - almost a slave to them'. David was affected deeply by his experience and looking more deeply at the source of inspiration of Lindisfarne, traced it back to .

The source of Christianity in this country came largely from this beautiful isle, shedding light on much of pagan Britain. Columba sailed to from Ireland in AD563 and set up a monastery which became a missionary base from which Christianity spread throughout Scotland and northern Britain.

Thus the idea of the band was formed as David shared his experiences with Dave Bainbridge, and the two suddenly had a focus for music for the band they had been thinking of getting together.

June '89 Iona's debut gig at Thurston Upper School, Suffolk, England.
Promoted by Paul Heffer.
David Fitzgerald: saxes/flutes/recorder/tin whistle.
Dave Bainbridge: keyboards/electric guitar.
Caroline Bonnett: support.

July '89 The two Daves spend a few days on . They also record an demo consisting of four tracks at friend Neil Costello's studio in Derbyshire UK. The tracks are 'White Sands', 'Trilogy', 'Beijing' and 'Flight of the Wild Goose'.
August '89 First gig with Joanne on the fringe at Greenbelt Festival, Northants, England.
David Fitzgerald: saxes/flutes/recorder/tin whistle.
Dave Bainbridge: keyboards/electric guitar.
Joanne Hogg: vocal/keyboard.

November '89 - March '90   /  Debut Album Recorded David Fitzgerald: saxes/flutes/recorder/tin whistle.
Dave Bainbridge: keyboards/electric guitar.
Joanne Hogg: vocal/keyboard.
Guests include Terl Bryant, Tim Harries, Troy Donockley and Peter Whitfield (strings).

May '90   /  Debut Album Released Debut album released with Word UK (on the What label).
August '90   /  Concerts, Festivals & Gigs Open air charity concert (in aid of victims of oppression in Equador) behind the 'Pickerel' pub, Suffolk, England. 400 people attend. David, Dave, Jo + guest Tim Franks (drums).

Flevo festival, Holland. 8,000 people attend.

Christian Artists Seminar, De Bron, Holland. David, Dave, Jo + Frank Van Essen (drums/percussion).
N.B. we were looking for someone to replace the sequenced synth bass module we were using which, although very reliable, lacked a certain charisma and stage presence! Mike Haughton, a friend of the two Daves, who was at the Flevo gig suggested Nick Beggs.

First gigs with Nick guesting, include Greenbelt festival. David, Dave, Jo + Nick Beggs (Chapman Stick/bass), Tim Franks (guesting on drums/percussion). Soon after this Frank Van Essen (drums/percussion) joins the band and Nick continues to guest when other commitments allow.

October '90   /  TV Concert Spoor 7 TV concert, Gouda, Holland. Other artists include Leon Patillo (ex Santana singer).
November '90   /  Video Shoot at Iona Visit the islands of Mull and . Rehearse/write and shoot a video for a Dutch TV company (later released on Videogems).
January '91 - February '91   /  Writing Sessions Further writing sessions. It becomes clear that we have material developing for two separate projects: songs which will eventually be used on 'Beyond These Shores'; and music for a concept work based on the 8th century illuminated manuscript, the 'Book of Kells'.
History by Album:
Iona  ('90)
The Book Of Kells  ('92)
Beyond These Shores  ('93)
Journey Into The Morn  ('96)
Heaven's Bright Sun  ('97)
Woven Cord  ('99)
Open Sky  ('00)
The River Flows: Anthology Vol. 1  ('02)
Songs for Luca  ('03)
Veil of Gossamer  ('04)
Iona  ('04)
The Circling Hour  ('06)
Live In London  ('06)
Songs for Luca 2  ('07)
Live In London  ('08)
Life Journey  ('09)
Raphael's Journey  ('10)
Another Realm  ('11)