Tributes have poured in over the last 24 hours since the announcement of the tragic death of The Lapelles frontman Gary Watson.
The singer from East Kilbride fell into the River Clyde on Saturday night (August 13). He was pulled from the water but lost his fight for life in the early hours of Sunday, on what would have been his 22nd birthday.
In a statement yesterday, fellow members of The Lapelles - Jack Anderson, Leon Green, Christopher Ballantyne and Jamie Holmes - said: “It is with shock and sadness that we have to let you know that Gary sadly passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a tragic accident.
"Today was his birthday. We are lost for words and struggling to process it. It doesn’t seem real. Gary was a creative force, a man who without his vision this band wouldn't exist. We have lost a friend, a brother, a hero. At the moment it doesn't seem real. We send our deepest condolences to Gary's family and would appreciate your respect in allowing them & us some peace whilst we grieve.
"Forever in our hearts, with peace you go. X”
The Lapelles were on the cusp of big time success, having played a number of high-profile tour dates and supported the likes of The Last Shadow Puppets, Blossoms, The View and The Kooks. The band were due to undertake a UK tour in October and were to open for The Jesus and Mary Chain in Glasgow later this month.
Little Indie first write about the band in May, when we hailed them as One To Watch.
The Lapelles manager Murray Curnow, who also handles Royal Blood, paid tribute to Watson on Facebook:
“I'm not sure any words will really do justice to the loss many of us feel today. Gary was an inspiration, an infectious character that channelled everything there is to be a nice, honest, well-rounded human being.
"Always a pleasure on the phone as he was in person, he made only but friends across his musical traverse. An extremely talented musician, songwriter and vocalist, his tragic loss today prevents a true talent being fully realised and recognised.
"My condolences and heart go out to Gary's family, the band, and his friends. Whilst I still can't comprehend his loss, I take heart in seeing the abundance of kind sentiments toward both Gary & the band during this terrible time, demonstrating exactly the kind of impression he
has had on so many people. Including myself. An absolute joy to manage, to befriend, to learn from, and I can only imagine the things he would've achieved.”
Franz Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: “We’re so sad to
hear of the tragic passing of Gary Watson, a lovely and talented man. Thoughts are with his family, friends & band.”
The Kooks, Baby Strange and The Sherlocks have all also paid tribute to Watson on Twitter.