Written by: Alex Green
It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but this is the way it is.
The Lapelles were one of the most exciting bands to come out of Scotland in recent years. They had all the melodic ferocity of The Vaccines and the feral grace of the Libertines and they seemed poised to be one of the biggest bands around. Supporting everyone from the Kooks to The Last Shadow Puppets along with a winning T in the Park performance last year indicated that it was only a matter of time before the Lapelles would be a household name.
But then tragedy struck the East Kilbride outfit when singer Gary Watson died in 2016 on his 22nd birthday.
The cause of death was attributed to a freak accident which, according to the Scottish Sun, found the singer falling into the River Clyde. The eighth longest river in the UK and the second longest in Scotland, the River Clyde flows through Glasgow.
The band posted the following day on their Twitter feed: “It’s with shock, heavy hearts and sadness that we have to let you know the news that Gary sadly passed away this morning as a result of injuries sustained in a tragic accident last night. Today was his 22nd birthday. We are lost for words and struggling to process such a tragedy.”
They went on to write on their Facebook page: “Gary was a creative force, a man who without his vision this band wouldn’t exist. We have lost a friend, a brother, a hero. At the moment it doesn’t seem real. We send our deepest condolences to Gary’s family and would appreciate your respect in allowing them & us some peace whilst we grieve.”
With a handful of singles and some unheard material that was being prepped for their debut album, it seemed with Watson’s death that album would never be.
But word came out of the Lapelles’ camp yesterday that an album would indeed be released.
The band wrote:
We are proud to bring you ‘The Lapelles’. Sadly, we’ll never know whether this was the album we were going to make, but it’s an album we’re all immensely proud of.
One of Gary’s aims was to have his music on vinyl, in fact the tracklisting for this record was actually found scrawled on a napkin Gary had stored in his bedroom! So here it is, 10 tracks, a collection of recordings, some studio, some home demos from 2014-2016.
We’d like to thank all of you for your kind words of support that you’ve given us during this difficult period. This album is for you, and we hope you enjoy it.
Chris, Jack, Jamie, Leon. X G.F.W.
The record is available to pre-order on limited edition 12” gatefold vinyl, and those who pre-order will receive an instant free mp3 download of all tracks.