Tributes to much-loved Morecambe musician

Tributes have poured in after a popular musician died suddenly just days after he recorded vocals for a Christmas charity single.

Monday, 13th November 2017, 3:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:23 pm
Dominic Clayton performing at a family fun day at the The Duke Of Rothesay, Heysham, Morecambe in August. Photo by Julian Brown.

Dominic Clayton was much loved by music fans and musicians alike as the drummer with top Morecambe covers rock band The Bottlenecks.

Aside from his work with The Bottlenecks, Dominic was also a solo singer and guitarist in pubs and venues across the Morecambe area.

Just last Tuesday, the father-of-two from Heysham was in the studio singing on a ‘Band Aid’-style song alongside other local musicians to raise money for children who have cancer (see page nine).

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The Bottlenecks - Simon Thornton, Dominic Clayton, Martin Fleming and Anthony Gregson. Photo by Mike Jackson.

His Facebook page has been inundated with tributes since his death was announced on Sunday night just hours before he was due to perform with The Bottlenecks at Smokey O’Connors pub in Morecambe.

A spokesman for Smokey’s called him “a most talented musician with the biggest smile in the business and most of all a great friend to us all”.

Morecambe DJ Matt Thistlethwaite described him as “a true gentleman” and 
Lancaster singer Paul Akister said he was “one of the nicest and most humble guys around these parts”.

The Bottlenecks are renowned locally for high energy covers of stadium rock classics and have built a huge following as one of the most popular live acts on the Morecambe pub circuit.

The Bottlenecks - Simon Thornton, Dominic Clayton, Martin Fleming and Anthony Gregson. Photo by Mike Jackson.

The four-piece - Dominic, Simon Thornton, Martin Fleming and Anthony Gregson - also appeared at this year’s Morecambe Carnival.

Dominic also toured the world with renowned percussion group Noise Ensemble after beating 2,000 other hopefuls to gain a spot in the band.

He performed at the Olympic Stadium in South Korea in 2007 and the 2008 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

He also worked as a session drummer for pop star Jamelia and appeared on Blue Peter.

Dominic met his wife Michelle, who is from the Philippines, while he was with Noise Ensemble. They have two daughters.

He performed as a solo act at this year’s Morecambe Music Festival and was due to sing at the Morecambe Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday, November 25.

A police spokesman said they were called to an address in Heysham at 4.20pm on Sunday.

He said Dominic was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and later died in hospital. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.