TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Wigan musician who has died.
Chris Gambles, who was the lead singer in Ince-based band Audio Rush, passed away last Monday aged just 49 after a short battle with liver disease.
During the band’s heyday, which lasted for around two years between 2003 and 2005, Audio Rush quickly built up a reputation on the North West music circuit, selling out iconic venues including The Cavern Club in Liverpool and playing across the country.
Chris, who played bass guitar, was also a songwriter and lyricist and wrote one of the band’s best known tunes, She’s Got Them Looks.
A video of the song was being shared online in remembrance of him.
Away from music Chris, who was also known in the Ince area as Slip, was an avid Liverpool FC fan, regularly attending matches at Anfield with his brother Mark, and also going to watch Wigan Athletic with his dad and other members of his family.
He also enjoyed fishing and was a devoted dad to his children Beau, 21, and Hannah, 20. He also spent several years in Australia, where he met his girlfriend, who he later separated from.
He was a joiner and window fitter by trade, and worked at York Windows in Wigan town centre alongside several other family members.
Chris’s stunned family and colleagues from the Wigan music scene paid tribute to him.
His brother Andrew Gambles said: “It’s come as a massive shock to us all, we’re all still numb. Chris and I were best friends as well as brothers. I went a spent a year with him out in Australia and celebrated my 18th birthday there with him, and it was just an amazing time.
“He doted on his two children, they were the meaning in his life and everything he did was for them. He also lived his life to the full and nobody could tell him what to do. He was also sports-mad, especially Liverpool. He had a little Jack Russell terrier which he named Gee after Steven Gerrard, and we’re going to play You’ll Never Walk Alone at the funeral.
“Chris touched a lot of people’s lives and he will be very sadly missed. Nobody who knew him ever had a bad word to say about him.
“Unfortunately he was here for a good time not a long time. It’s such a shame because at the time he died he was making plans and looking forward to the future.”
Former Audio Rush member Chris David, whose wife is also Chris’ cousin, said: “We were all very close in the band. Chris was the proverbial loveable rogue, everyone who knew him absolutely loved him.
“He was a fantastic musician, a great songwriter and a very talented guy. We’ve had some fantastic times together and he’s going to be very sadly missed by a lot of people.”
Chris’ funeral will be held on Friday at Ince Parish Church at 2.30pm, and afterwards at Higher Ince Labour Club.
“Anyone who would like to pay their respects is welcome, and donations will be accepted for Derian House.”