THE Sunset Spirit have called time on the band and will play a farewell gig in Dunfermline on Saturday February 15.

The five-piece will say goodbye at PJ Molloy's after struggling to balance their musical ambitions and everyday life.

Lead singer and guitarist, Stuart Shields, said: "I've had people stopping me in the street and saying 'It can't be your last gig!' but that's where we're at.

"It's not a downer. We're going out on a high with a farewell gig, as we thought if we're going to go out, let's go out with a bang.

"Thing is I was about greeting at practice the other night as we sounded so f***** good!"

He explained: "It's not down to 'musical differences' and we're all still pals but it's got to that stage, life gets in the way.

"Most of us have young families and we all work full time so trying to get everyone together was a bit of a stretch.

"Ultimately we were doing all this practice and then couldn't schedule gigs as everyone was so busy."

Stuart, a dad-of-two who works as a welding engineer at Rosyth Dockyard, said: "It's great as a hobby but it's hard to drop everything to sit down and write songs, go to practices, arrange and do gigs.

"It's time consuming, put it that way, and there are fewer places to play now too."

Their final line-up is Stuart, John ‘Giz’ Fraser on bass and percussion, Johnny Kidd on keys, Ronnie Dalrymple on drums and lead guitarist Mike Reilly.

They'll head off into the sunset after PJ's but they've packed a lot into their five years, performing at Rockore, being nominated for last year's live music award in the Press Community Champion Awards, launching an album and headlining a packed out gig for charity in Crossgates.

They've garnered a loyal following, released songs to critical acclaim and even played at the Christmas lights switch-on in Cowdenbeath.

Stuart said: "The most important thing for us was that it didn't just fizzle out and disappear, with people left wondering what happened.

"It needed a clean break. It's a shame as the boys in the band are great guys to get on with socially but musically too, they're great at what they do.

"We've always been lucky to have Johnny, as that man could play in any band he wants, but he's his own worst enemy!

"Wee Mike on the guitar, Ronnie on drums and Gizzy – who taught me to play guitar – on bass, to have guys like that in the band, we've been really lucky."

He added: "If we had a manager we'd still be a band and I asked Stuart Watson, from Lochgelly's Rubber Stamp Promotions, to be our manager, which would take the workload off me.

"He's really helped us over the years, he'd love to do it but he works full-time too and is out there promoting gigs.

"I was a punter at one of his gigs in PJs when he told me the Complete Stone Roses were looking for a singer, and that's how I ended up going there. I've a lot to thank him for."

Stuart said it'll be hard to give up.

He added: "I don't know how I'll deal with it, I'll probably get itchy feet sooner rather than later, but for the time being my mind's set on a break.

"That's 14 years on the bounce I've been in a band.

"I was in a covers band, then the Complete Stone Roses for a few years which was brilliant, don't get me wrong, but with two young kids you can't be at the other end of the country and on the road all the time.

"I decided to stay home and got Sunset Spirit on the go. That started as a few wee practices with the boys but it took off from there, we did a few songs and ended up doing a bloody album!

"Members changed but we went out there and got gigs."

They'll be supported on the night by Cherry Diesel, Moy, Black Diamonds and Steve James with doors open at 7pm and tickets for £7.

And the sun may rise again as he laughed: "Never say never. Maybe we'll have a reunion in five years time if everyone's still here!

"I don't know if we'll ever pick it back up but we've got two new tunes for the set – we can't help ourselves – so maybe we'll surprise ourselves and record them.

"That's still to be decided but they're too good to be forgotten about. Cracking tunes too."