Tributes have poured in for a ‘talented, happy and life-loving’ Chesterfield musician who passed away at the age of just 21.
James Umney, who was the drummer in local band Clear Vinyl, died in a car crash on Friday, August 2.
The community has been rocked by his tragic death, which comes at a time when the band were beginning to enjoy their first taste of success.
They had recently been picked up by the BBC’s new music ‘Introducing’ show and played well-received gigs at festivals in the UK and Europe this summer including Germany’s Darmstadt.
With the blessing of James’s devastated family, his bandmates are set to hold a fundraising gig in his memory at the Leadmill in Sheffield.
A statement on the band’s Facebook page reads: “There is nothing we can put in this status to truly show you how much of an amazing human being he was and is.
“To those of you who knew him, James was always smiling and cracking a joke even in the most serious of situations.
“This has hit us all really hard but after speaking to each other over the last few days, and with the full support of James’ family, we’re going to push on.
“We started this as a group of five lads with a dream and although it is going to be incredibly difficult and will take some time, we are going to carry on his dream and do our best to make him proud. Everything we do from this moment on is for him.”
The memorial gig, which will take place on November 15, will see Clear Vinyl and special guests play their own music as well as specially chosen covers of some of James’ favourite songs.
Profits raised from the gig as well as the band’s new single, Foolish, will benefit Jessie’s Fund which helps sick and disabled children through the therapeutic use of music.
The band said they ‘couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate James’ life than by helping others learn to enjoy the creative aspects of music’.
A Just Giving page also launched for Jessie’s Fund by James’s family has already surpassed its £2,500 target.
Hundreds of tributes have left on social media.
Mel Hall said: “Lads, we came to see you at Queen’s Park last week.
“Just a group of lads having the time of their lives, playing sound tunes you wrote, hoping the crowd might have a good time too, and maybe that one day your dreams would come true.
“It was a really beautiful thing see. I am so sorry you have lost your buddy- a hilarious, talented drummer is the heart of a band.”
Charlotte Norman said: “James was in an IT class I was in at college, complaining about having to be there, as he wanted to be doing his music class instead. Always laughing and joking with his friends, such a lovely lad.”
Francis Astoria said: “He helped produce my band’s first song that eventually got on to the radio. Couldn’t have done it without him and he did it in his own time and never complained. Such a cool guy.”
Callum O’Neill said: “James was one of my best friends and I will hold every conversation we had so close to my heart.
“He completely made me who I am today and I will always be thankful for that. James, I love you.”
To find out more about the charity or donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamesumney.
Tickets for the gig go on sale on Wednesday, August 14 from www.leadmill.co.uk.