Guitarist who featured in Alex Salmond Fringe show dies aged 21

Chris Paterson, who has died aged just 21
Chris Paterson, who has died aged just 21
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Former First Minister Alex Salmond has led tributes to a talented guitarist who died suddenly of a suspected heart attack, aged just 21.

Chris Paterson, from Perth, was a key member of up-and-coming rock band The Carloways.

The ex-SNP leader said: “Dreadful news. Chris was a lovely lad with a fine talent and personality. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts with his family, friends and fellow band members.”

Bandmates described him as “one of the funniest, kindest, beautiful, crazy and lovable people we will ever know”.

The group rose to fame last year when they went on the road with Mr Salmond, as part of his Unleashed tour.

Mr Paterson’s death was announced by his group on social media.

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In a statement, the band said: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of our best friend, brother and guitarist.

“Chris ‘Pat’ Paterson was only 21 years old and was one of the funniest, kindest, beautiful, crazy and loveable people we will ever know.

“Some of the absolute best memories of my life were spent with him and I’d give anything to be back in his old Peugeot on the way to our first ever Belladrum, listening to ‘Shine a Light’ by The Rolling Stones. Unbelievable good times.”

It is understood the band were getting ready to begin work on their debut album.

Rhythm guitarist Charlie Haggart posted online: “What an absolute gent who made everybody laugh so many times.”

The band were on the bill at last weekend’s March Into Pitlochry festival and they recently placed Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.

They are also due to play the Tartan Heart Festival at Beauly, near Inverness, in August.

The Carloways, who play Americana and classic rock and roll, have toured extensively since they formed more than three years ago.

They recently performed a homecoming gig at Perth Racecourse.

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The band landed a touring gig with Mr Salmond after the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh heard them play at a fund-raising gig while she was the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire.

Fans have flooded social media with tributes. Sarah Munro, from Forres, wrote: “So sad. In heaven above. In our heart you be and always remembered in our heart and memory’s we shared as friends, family and the great music you played.”

Almond and Earn councillor Henry Anderson (SNP) added: “Devastated to hear of the loss of Chris, such a talented laddie. Thoughts are with you all and Chris’s family.”