By Dave Sweetmore
This year hasn't been kind to the music world, with so many important artistes taken from us. Earlier this week it all got far too close to home, when we lost a musical hero that was also my friend.
At the age of just 44, Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill, known to fans all over the world as Gilly, was taken from us. I say Inspiral Carpets drummer, but he was so much more than that. Born in Salford in 1971, at the age of just 14 he found fame with his band Inspiral Carpets, alongside Graham Lambert, Martyn Walsh, Clint Boon and Stephen Holt / Tom Hingley. Hits such as 'This is how it feels' Dragging me Down' 'Saturn 5' 'Joe' and 'She Comes in the fall' made the Oldham based band one of the biggest and most important bands in Manchester music history.
Their last self titled album in 2014 was recognised by many as some of their best work, and only a few weeks ago Gilly was on my Sunday show hinting at new material from the band next year. But Inspiral Carpets aside, Craig Gill was much more than that. He was a club DJ, spending many years at legendary Manchester club The Hacienda. In his hometown of Oldham, he was a DJ at the Tokyo Project, where he more recently got involved with the re launch of the venue. I worked for many years alongside him, he was a master of his craft in all of his fields of work. He taught me a lot, and for that i will always be grateful. More recently, noticing a severe lack of things going on celebrating the amazing history of Manchester music, he formed the Manchester Music Tours, something the city had be missing for a long time. His knowledge, enthusiasm, and experience on the scene saw thousands of tourists from all around the world, as well as many locals, book onto his yellow tour bus to find out more about our amazing musical heritage.
Craig Gill has left a huge gap in the music world, one that perhaps even he wouldn't have expected. He was respected by the biggest bands in the world, with the likes of Liam Gallagher and Ian Brown sending messages of condolences, but also by the many up and coming bands he supported. Gilly was a drummer, a DJ, a historian, but most importantly a husband to Rose, a father to Georgia, Orla and Levon, and a great friend to many.
RIP Gilly, we miss you X