Tributes to Smiths bassist Andy Rourke pour in following tragic news of his death
‘Well done Andy. We’ll miss you brother’
Manchester music legend and The Smiths bassist, Andy Rourke, has died at the age of 59 — as tributes pour in on social media
The news was announced by guitarist Johnny Marr on social media this morning, (May19th). Tributes to the late star have flooded social media to honour his memory.
According to Marr’s statement, Rourke died following ‘a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer’, as he described his former bandmate, as a ‘supremely gifted musician’.
Marr wrote: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.”
Rourke was best known for being the main bassist for The Smiths between 1982 and 1986, and again from 1986 to 1987.
He played on the Smiths’ classic back catalogue including hits such as This Charming Man and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out – both classic examples of his often boldly melodic style – as well as on solo songs for frontman Morrissey after the group disbanded.
Rourke met Marr when he was 11-years-old, and the pair would often jam together at the music room at their school.
Four years later, after leaving school, Rourke formed The Smiths in Manchester with friend Johnny Marr, singer Morrisey and drummer Mike Joyce, in 1982 — they would go on to become music legends.
In a longer tribute on Instagram, Johnny Marr recalled his relationship with Rourke, writing: “Andy and I met as schoolboys in 1975. We were best friends, going everywhere together.
“When we were fifteen I moved into his house with him and his three brothers and I soon came to realise that my mate was one of those rare people that absolutely no one doesn’t like.”
“Andy and I spent all our time studying music, having fun, and working on becoming the best musicians we could possibly be. Back then Andy was a guitar player and a good one at that, but it was when he picked up the bass that he would find his true calling and his singular talent would flourish.
“Throughout our teens we played in various bands around South Manchester before making our reputations with The Smiths from 1982 to 1987, and it was on those Smiths records that Andy reinvented what it is to be a bass guitar player.
“I was present at every one of Andy’s bass takes on every Smiths session. Sometimes I was there as the producer and sometimes just as his proud mate and cheerleader. Watching him play those dazzling baselines was an absolute privilege and genuinely something to behold.
“But one time which always comes to mind was when I sat next to him at the mixing desk watching him play his bass on the song The Queen Is Dead. It was so impressive that I said to myself ‘I’ll never forget this moment.’
“We maintained our friendship over the years, no matter where we were or what was happening and it is a matter of personal pride as well as sadness that the last time Andy played on stage was with me and my band at Madison Square Garden in September 2022.
“It was a special moment that we shared with my family and his wife and soul mate Francesca. Andy will always be remembered, as a kind and beautiful soul by everyone who knew him, and as a supremely gifted musician by people who love music.
“Well done Andy. We’ll miss you brother. Johnny x.”
Following the news of Rourke’s passing, musicians and members of the industry have flooded social media with tributes to the late bassist.
The Smiths producer Stephen Street wrote: “I am so saddened to hear this news! Andy was a superb musician and a lovely guy. I haven’t been able to read any other news about details yet but I send my deepest condolences and thoughts to his friends and family. RIP”.
Suede bassist Mat Osman wrote: “A total one-off – a rare bassist whose sound you could recognise straight away. I remember so clearly playing that Barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marvelling at this steely funk driving the track along.”
The Charlatans singer Tim Burgess wrote: “Such sad sad news about Andy Rourke – He was an inspirational musician with a style that made so many of us pick up a bass guitar; and the driving force for Manchester Versus Cancer. Our thoughts are with everyone who knew him. Travel well x.”
And, New Order bassist Tom Chapman wrote: “A true inspiration to me and the reason I moved to Manchester to be a musician. One of the best bass players to come out of Manchester.
“If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be in New Order today. My thoughts go to his family and friends.”
M&S share first look inside huge new Stockport store ahead of opening
Shoppers can expect an even ‘bigger, better and fresher’ experience
Marks and Spencer have released first look images of a huge brand new ‘market-style’ Stockport Foodhall ahead of its opening next week.
The retailer has released more details about the massive new Foodhall at Stockport Retail Park to offer residents a picture of how it will look and what to expect before its grand opening on Wednesday June, 14th.
The 16,000 sq ft space promises to offer a ‘fresh market-style design’, with shoppers able to browse displays filled with ‘great quality, trusted value’ produce from the retailer’s Select Farms.
Customers will also be able to pick up freshly baked bread and pastries from its ‘show-stopping’ bakery, including M&S new collection sourdough, which is made using a traditional 30-hour process.
The high street brand confirmed the news of its opening earlier this year where it said it would create more than 70 jobs in the area.
But it has now been confirmed that more than 110 jobs have been created to support the new M&S Foodhall. It comes after the retail giant closed down its Stockport store in Merseyway shopping centre in 2021.
Store Manager, Anna Priest, who has worked at M&S for seven years, said: “We are excited to be sharing a sneak peek of the new Foodhall and are really looking forward to welcoming the community to our new Stockport store when we open next week!
“The new store is packed with so many exciting new features, so we’re really excited to finally open the doors and see local customers experience it for themselves.
“Whether you’re looking for a big family food shop or dropping in for some daily essentials – we’ve got you covered.”
The new M&S Stockport site follows the retailer’s recent announcement it plans to invest £500 million in its store rotation programme, creating over 3,400 new jobs nationwide.
A new full-line store is also set to be created at the former Debenhams site at the Trafford Centre, and another full-line store being created in Liverpool.
Also included in this investment is a new Foodhall in Macclesfield, opening November 30th, and the store in Bury’s the Rock has also been enhanced.
The new Stockport M&S is located at Unit 4B, Stockport Retail Park, Stockport, United Kingdom, SK1 2HH and will be open Monday – Saturday 8am – 8pm, and on Sunday, 10:30am – 4:30pm.
Boy, 15, on e-bike who died after collision with ambulance in Salford named
Local residents and friends have left tributes for the teenager at the scene of the tragedy
A 15-year-old boy riding an e-bike has sadly died after colliding with an ambulance in Salford, after he was followed by the police.
The teenage boy died after crashing into a parked ambulance after being followed by police officers on the afternoon of Thursday, June 10th.
The teenager has been named locally as Saul Cookson.
A huge response of emergency services, including an air ambulance, rushed to the scene at Langworthy Road, Salford, shortly after 2pm.
Officers in a police car began following the teenage boy who was riding an e-bike on Fitzwarren Street at 2pm, but stopped when they were prevented by bollards.
Moments later a ‘collision happened between a cyclist and an ambulance’. Officers were not in pursuit at the point of impact, Greater Manchester Police have said.
The teenager was taken to hospital where he died and the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
A spokesperson for GMP said: “At around 2pm today, GMP traffic officers began following a boy riding an e-bike along Fitzwarren Street in Salford, onto Lower Seedley Road.
“Bollards prevented the police vehicle from continuing to follow the e-bike. A short time later, a road traffic collision occurred between the e-bike and an ambulance on Langworthy Road. The 15-year-old boy riding the e-bike sadly died.
“In line with normal proceedings, the incident has been referred to IOPC, who are now leading the investigation. A cordon remains in place on Langworthy Road.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy who tragically died.”
Locals and friends who knew the 15-year-old have been leaving tributes at the scene of the accident, where a police cordon still remains in place, as flowers have been placed with messages.
One read: “Saul, gone but never forgotten. RIP. I love you always keep smiling your cheeky smile.”
Another said: “Saul. You will always have a special place in my heart. I love you loads my dude.” And a message on a cardboard sign tied to a nearby fence declared: “Kids on bikes don’t kill.”
Mancunian-born brand selling Northern t-shirts and apparel to open first shop
The clothes have proven to be a huge hit amongst northerners
A Mancunian-born Northern slogan clothing brand is opening its first shop next month.
Northern Power Garms was created by makeup artist Jules Daniels, who began selling t-shirts from her house in Manchester after finding herself out of work during the pandemic.
The cool independent clothing and accessories store specialises in hoodies, sweatshirts, t-shirts, baby grows, bags and hats with Northern slang words and phrases such as ‘Ey up’, ‘Absolutely buzzin’ and ‘It’s not grim up north’ — we love this one!
Jules’ idea took off like a rocket and after three years of selling online and gaining over 7,000 followers, her creation Northern Power Garms is now opening its very first in-person shop in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Adding a delightful pop of colour to Horton Street come July, shoppers can treat themselves to trendy garments that show off how proud they are to be Northern, and will be sure to brighten up many a grey rainy day — and there are many!
Beam Design, who curate bespoke interiors, worked with Jules to help bring her vision of a physical shop to life, creating some stunning CGIs – bringing a slice of Miami to Halifax – for us to have a sneak peek at ahead of its completion.
Last week, Jules shared an update on the transformation of her soon-to-be shop as it undergoes a head-to-toe renovation.
In a caption on the Northern Power Garms’ Instagram page, she wrote: “Two weeks ago I was literally clambering over boards trying not to fall down to the basement and die because there was no floor. Now look at it!
“There’s a floor (!!) and boards are going up on the ceiling and walls. It’s properly starting to come together now.
“We’ve had some incredible floor samples from @polyflorltd and paint samples from @crownpaintsuk – have you seen the visuals we posted, from Helena at @beamdesigninteriors? I could cry with happiness that the team and I will get to work here, every day!
“I met up with a gorgeous new supplier today too! We have some BEAUTIFUL earrings ready to stock, all handmade by Lauren at @plainjaynedesign – if you’re into colour, sparkle and WOW, then these are for you!
“There’s just so much going on, and honestly we cannot wait to get open and welcome you all in! Have you been past the shop? Let us know!”
At the minute, the determined entrepreneur is working hard alongside a team of builders and designers at fitting out the unit along Westgate Arcade, as well as running her online business and updating followers on social media.
But once it’s open, shoppers and curious browsers can expect to step into a world of pretty pastels and modern terrazzo tables with a colour scheme that brings sunny Miami to Halifax, with carefully crafted garments that embody the heart and soul of northernness.
Check out Northern Power Garms online for more, and make sure to visit the shop and its stylish apparel when it opens in July.