Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay paid a heartfelt tribute to the band’s founding member and original keyboard player Toby Smith, who died from Cancer in April aged 46, during their headline performance at Boardmasters festival on Saturday night.
Toby was a key member of the Acid-Jazz juggernauts from 1992 to 2002 when they released some of their biggest hits, including Virtual Insanity, Cosmic Girl, Space Cowboy, Deeper Underground and Canned Heat, and was responsible for co-writing a lot of the group’s songs with Jay Kay, including 2001’s A Funk Odyssey.
He went on to become a popular producer, working with The Pretenders, Dappy, and producing the music of X Factor winner Matt Cardle at his own Angelic Recording Studios based near Banbury in Oxfordshire. He also managed the band The Hoosiers.
Before singing their international 1994 hit Space Cowboy, a song about friendship, happy times and taking drugs, Jay told the 50,000 strong crowd: ‘I want to say thank you to Toby who wrote all these albums with me. Thank you very much, big up for Tobes, we miss you, he’s up there listening.’
Back in June, Jay, 47, was forced to cancel two London shows due to ongoing back problems and he was clearly delighted to be back performing again and thanked the ‘beautiful’ Boardmasters crowd and fans who were concerned for his health.
‘All the people, you know I did my neck in, bit of a b*****d but thank you everyone who sent messages, really kind of you.’
But the quirky star also admitted ‘F**k me, it ain’t like doing it when you’re 25.’
Jamiroquai won huge praise online after delivering a career-spanning set overlooking Newquay’s Watergate Bay.
Finally got to see Jamiroquai. Still don’t understand, how can you fit that much funk inside one man?
— Loyle (@LoyleCarner) August 12, 2017
Witnessing Shake it on by @JamiroquaiHQ in person last night literally made me so bloody happy. Must see again before the year is out! ❤
— Charlie Eustice (@CGEustice) August 13, 2017
— Linda Ruth Williams (@lindaruth1) August 13, 2017
Wild Beasts, The Vaccines, Pete Tony and Lolye Carner played earlier in the day and were followed at Boardmasters by Idris Elba and Stormzy on Sunday night.