'Lancashire has lost a true gem', say shocked fans, who have paid tribute to 'supremely talented' Jack Anwyl, 27, who was 'always singing'
An outpouring of grief and tributes has flooded in to a ‘happy, bubbly’ and ‘super talented’ young musician from Great Harwood who has suddenly passed away.
As the frontman of local band, Fighting Rhythm, Jack Anwyl was renowned on the music scene, both locally and nationally, as an outstanding singer and guitarist.
The popular musician, from Great Harwood, was originally half of local acoustic duo Bad Cardigan, who were formed in 2011, and performed at gigs and concerts across the UK and beyond.
Known for original and alternative rock, the band appeared at a number of events and festivals across the UK, notably supporting the Levellers and New Model Army in 2015 and appearing at the first live music event to be staged in 140 years at Blackburn Museum in 2014 in the museum’s art gallery.
Mr Anwyl, who also worked for the NHS, subsequently formed part of four part garage punk band Fighting Rhythm in 2019, who again, rose to prominence nationwide and played with The Levellers at the 02 Academy in Brixton, and the O2 Academy in Birmingham.
Yet Fighting Rhythm also amassed huge popularity at venues around the region, appearing at venues locally including Hoghton Tower, Bowland Brewery at Holmes Mill, The Belgrave in Darwen, and the Darwen Live festival to name but a few.
Following the band’s performance at the Beautiful Days Music festival in August in Devon last year, music critic John Robb, of music, culture and media publication, ‘Louder than war’ said of Fighting Rhythm: “There is a genuine passion, dark humour and anger about what they do and you can feel the claustrophobia of growing up in broken town Britain in their music…very much ones to watch."
Local band member and fellow musician Gary Taylor, 36, told LancsLive: “We are just devastated, in the whole of the local music scene.
Jack Anwyl, frontman of Fighting Rhythm, who died suddenly this week
“He was such a lovely guy - and it’s totally out of the blue. He was a wonderful guy and it’s just unbelievably sad. He was always trying to make you laugh and smile - it’s very, very sad. I have known him for around ten years. He was just always happy and joking, and someone he was just absolutely lovely.
“We had a mutual love of a band called City and Colour, and that’s my main memory of him. He was super talented as a singer and guitarist, and an incredible performer. He also worked for the NHS, so I understand, and he was just such a caring character.
“Jack was prolific on the music scene - there were hundreds of people who loved him. When you met up with him, you could just pick up where you’d left off, even if you’d not seen him for ages. He was so cheerful, singing at every opportunity that he could, even if he wasn’t gigging. He did solo stuff as well, and there will be hundreds of people left very sad about his passing.”
The band paid tribute to him as their ‘great friend, brother, joker, confidante, supremely talented frontman and all around beautiful human being’ on their Facebook page, in a statement posted on Thursday, which said: “It’s with unbelievable sadness that we have to share the desperately sad news that our great friend, brother, joker, confidante, supremely talented frontman and all around beautiful human being, Jack Anwyl, who we all dearly loved, passed away yesterday.
“We’ve spoken with his close family and they’ve encouraged everyone whoever met the icon to share memories, photos and videos of him.
“Those who knew him know that he loved to laugh (and share videos of himself performing with The Levellers). It goes without saying that a huge void has been left in all of our lives.”