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James Cruickshank, the longtime guitarist and keyboardist of Sydney indie rock band The Cruel Sea, has died aged 53, according to reports and tributes posted on social media.
Friends of Cruickshank’s have spoken fondly of the musician, who reportedly died after a battle with cancer. In a Facebook post (below), Cruickshank’s friend Edward Clayton-Jones says the musician “passed away after a hard fight with cancer”.
“I’m very sad at the passing of my dear friend James Cruickshank,” Clayton-Jones says. “He never lost his sense of humour even where so many would whine and complain.
“I’m gonna miss him badly but I’m so glad that I had this friend called James who was a magician who one day just disappeared. I Love you James Cruickshank, ciao bello.”
Edward Abbiati of Italian outfit Lowlands (who worked closely with Cruickshank on their debut album, The Last Call), says the musician was “a true gentleman”.
“Our friend James Cruickshank has left us after a long hard fight with cancer,” Abbiati says on Facebook. “James was an incredible musician… We met him when he came to Italy with Nick Barker for some wonderful shows… So long sweet James.”
In a Facebook post, Cameron Roc Callope of Australian hip hop group Native Ryme says, “The music industry lost a brother today. I lost a brother today. A good mate. A mentor. Rest In Peace James Cruikshank.
“The years spent together and the things I learnt from you, just being around you will never be forgotten.
“Native Ryme scored our first ARIA associated nomination from the works we created. And we enjoyed outrageous tours together. Rest In Peace my old friend. One of the World’s truly master talents. RIP.”
Cruickshank was born in Melbourne in 1962, and joined The Cruel Sea in 1989 when he was 27. He went on to win a string of ARIA Awards with the band, including Best Single, Best Album, Best Group and Australian Song Of The Year in 1994 for the album The Honeymoon Is Over.
Cruickshank also played in indie band Widdershins, and recorded and toured as a solo artist. His third and final solo album was 2011’s Note To Self.
Catch further tributes to James Cruickshank, below.
Watch: James Cruickshank – Lighter Later (Live 2012)
RIP James Cruickshank. Amazing guitarist & keys player. I used to stand in awe of the amazing Cruel Sea live show. http://t.co/Qp5WDBW92A
— worrying too much (@doctormcdougall) October 8, 2015
So sad to hear of the death of james Cruikshank from The Cruel Sea good friend of my hubby. Loved catching up with him . RIP x
— brigid glanville (@brigidglanville) October 8, 2015
RIP James Cruickshank. (Cruel Sea etc). A sad day for music.
— Rhys Muldoon (@rhysam) October 8, 2015
Sad to hear bout the passing of James Cruikshank.The Widdershins were such a wonderful band,as of course were The Cruel Sea .Respect.
— David Bridie (@dbridie) October 8, 2015
Vale James Cruickshank – legendary Oz muso from the Cruel Sea. He was a sweet guy, love to his family & the band.
— nick nobody (@nick__nobody) October 8, 2015
— Cletis Carr (@cletiscarr) October 8, 2015
Image: James Cruickshank / YouTube