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Greg Gilbert, frontman with British indie rock band Delays, has died aged 44.
He had been suffering from stage four bowel cancer since 2016 and revealed at the time that the cancer had also spread to his lungs.
Back in August, Gilbert shared the news that he’d stopped taking treatment and was now only using pain relief to manage his condition.
“The pains are mostly under control and the nurses here are nothing less than angels,” he told fans. “But I’m now in an uncertain future where I don’t know how long I have and what the days will look like.”
He added: “I still believe in magic, the power of a good gesture and laughter. I want to fill the days ahead with all of these and so much more.”
News of his death was confirmed by his bandmate and brother Aaron Gilbert, via Twitter on Thursday (30 September).
“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,” he wrote.
“Greg died surrounded in the endless love that us and all of you have given him on this journey, and we Weill 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.”
You can see his full statement here:
— Aaron Gilbert (@AaronDelays) September 30, 2021
Gilbert had been documenting his illness via art, poetry and social media posts. In 2019, Gilbert’s poems, which explored his life with cancer, were published as part of the Laureate’s Choice series. His work was personally selected by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy for publication.
Delays formed in 2001 in Southampton and were initially signed to Rough Trade between 2003 and 2006.
Tributes to the musician have poured in from fans and fellow musicians on social media this evening. The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess tweeted: “Heartbreaking news. Much love going out to all the @Delays_ family. Go well Greg. You’ll be remembered and loved.”
Peter Guy said: “Terrible news about Greg Gilbert - he fought such a brave and profoundly moving fight against cancer. I’ll forever cherish the memories of those early @Delays_ gigs with classic singles “Long Time Coming” and “Nearer Than Heaven.” Love to @AaronDelays, his family and friends. RIP.”
While music group Embrace added: “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.”
You can see more tributes here:
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) September 30, 2021
Terrible news about Greg Gilbert - he fought such a brave and profoundly moving fight against cancer. I'll forever cherish the memories of those early @Delays_ gigs with classic singles Long Time Coming and Nearer Than Heaven. Love to @AaronDelays, his family and friends. RIP. 💙 pic.twitter.com/px6G7PH1Ax
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) September 30, 2021
Very very saddening to read of the loss of Greg Gilbert from the Delays. Cancer genuinely is the worst worst worst thing. Long Time Coming is a wonderful single. I have the fondest memories of watching them play it at Summer Sundae as the sun came out :https://t.co/e5njO0q1Qe
— The Popty-Ping Recording Company (@popty_ping_) September 30, 2021
Knew he was close to the end but still a shock. I’d seen Greg sing with @Delays_ many times, we’d had the same manager, he was always an absolute sweetheart to talk with.
The way he appeared to take his illness was beyond courageous. An inspiration.
Love to all of his family.❤️
— Ian Prowse (@IanProwse) September 30, 2021
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 x x
— Embrace (@embrace) September 30, 2021
The group released four albums, including their acclaimed debut album, Faded Seaside Glamour, which entered the Top 20 in the Official UK Albums Chart.