Delays lead singer Greg Gilbert dies aged 44

·3-min read

Greg Gilbert, frontman of indie rock band Delays, has died of bowel cancer at the age of 44.

His brother Aaron, who plays keyboards in the group, announced the news on Twitter in a lengthy tribute.

Gilbert was diagnosed in 2016 and documented his illness and treatment on social media through poetry and art.

In August, he told his followers he had stopped treatment and was receiving only pain relief at a hospice.

In his tribute, Aaron wrote: “I have no idea how to do this right now, but this afternoon at 2:22; we walked my brother back home to somewhere out there in the ether.

“Greg died surrounded in the endless love that us and all of you have given him on this journey, and we will never be able to fully express how much it meant to him (and all of us) to have you by our side lifting us up like a winged army.

“Your messages, your encouragement and your compassion have been our oxygen for the last 5 years.

Greg Gilbert The Delays
Greg Gilbert of Delays (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

“He was my brother and my best friend, and we did everything together, and it was the greatest honour to be with him as he took one last gentle breath before leaving us.”

Addressing the band’s fans, he added: “Thank you for sharing our grief, and for making it easier to carry at times while you were firefighting battles of your own… and thank you for making Greg such a special person in your lives. I’m so glad we all existed at the same time.”

A fundraiser launched by his wife Stacey and called Give4Greg had raised more than £215,000 to pay for his medical treatment.

Formed in Southampton in 2001 and originally called Corky, Delays have released four albums to date including their well-received debut Faded Seaside Glamour.

The band originally consisted of Gilbert, drummer Rowly, bassist Colin Fox and guitarist Dan Hall, who left before Gilbert’s brother Aaron was invited to join.

Gilbert’s falsetto vocals was singled out by critics and became a defining feature of the band’s expansive guitar-heavy sound, which was influenced by The La’s, Cocteau Twins and Manic Street Preachers.

The miniature, photorealistic biro sketches he created following his diagnosis were displayed at Southampton City Art Gallery in 2019, to complement its show Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.

Radio DJ Eddy Temple-Morris was among those paying tribute.

He said: “Greg Gilbert of @Delays_ had the most transcendently beautiful voice I’ve ever heard and it was a reflection of his very soul. My heart breaks for his lovely family, for every friend, colleague and fan.”

Indie rock band Embrace said: “We’re all really sad to hear about the passing of Greg Gilbert. He was a genuinely gifted songwriter, artist and beautiful human being and our thoughts are with his young family and Aaron and the rest of The Delays at this terrible time. Danny, Steve, Mick, Mike and Richard.”

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