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Eagles Of Death Metal frontman pays tribute to murdered Briton Nick Alexander

Published 15/11/2016

Nick Alexander was killed while he was working for Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan theatre in Paris
Nick Alexander was killed while he was working for Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan theatre in Paris

Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has taken to the stage at a concert celebrating the life of Nick Alexander - the Briton killed in the Paris attacks in November last year.

Mr Alexander was working as a roadie for the US band when three terrorists stormed the Bataclan theatre on November 13.

He was among 89 people killed in the attack.

Hughes appeared moved as he paid tribute to his friend on stage at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London - just days after the first anniversary of the massacre.

Dressed in white, he told the crowd as he closed his set: "I'm going to do an acapella song, specifically for my dear friend Nick, who I miss every day.

"And I think what's happening here is one of the most beautiful things you could have asked for.

"The only answer that there is for things that are terrible is love and beauty and peace, and right now you are proving that beyond a shadow of doubt."

Hughes's performance comes after it was claimed he was turned away from Sting's concert at the Bataclan on Saturday by the venue's management.

The American singer provoked anger in the months following the massacre when he suggested Bataclan security staff were at fault in the attack, but later apologised.

Hughes was joined on the line-up for the gig - dubbed A Peaceful Noise - by rockstars including Maximo Park, Travis frontman Fran Healy, Supergrass's Gaz Coombes and Chas And Dave.

Zoe Alexander, Mr Alexander's sister, said the family had marked the first anniversary of the attacks in Paris and had watched Sting perform at the Bataclan as the venue re-opened for the first time.

She told the Press Association: "It was very important for us to stand side-by-side with the other families that had gone through the same experience. There is great strength to be gained there."

She added: "It was a very powerful experience but it had a very strong and determined energy ... But also a very joyful energy. There was a very celebratory tone about it.

"While we must not forget what happened we need to carry on making music - and the message from that was really clear."

Ms Alexander, 43, said the tribute concert on Tuesday night was "very personal" to her brother - and many of the performers had worked with him on tour and been his friend.

Healy, of Travis, first met Mr Alexander in the catering tent during a gig in Glasgow on the band's 2009-2010 tour.

"We saw each other throughout the tour but that was the first time I met him and I always remember thinking, 'He's really really cool'," he said ahead of the concert.

Before performing a stripped-back set, including hits Driftwood and Turn, Healy told the crowd that he believed music venues were "holier than churches".

He said: "We hang our troubles in the cloakroom and get lost. We get found, we drop our guards. There are no strangers at a gig. We are all in the band.

"So what happened in Paris last year was all the more awful because of this - on our turf, in our church.

"So we are here tonight in this special place to honour Nick the only way we know how - through live music."

The crowd paused for a minute's "peaceful noise" following a set by singer-song writer Frank Turner, with the whole audience rising to their feet to applaud Mr Alexander's life in a moving tribute.

The concert marked the official launch of the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust, which aims to provide musical equipment to small charities and vulnerable groups across the country.

Ms Alexander told the Press Association she would remember her brother as someone who "approached life head-on".

"He packed a lot into those 35 years so we will remember him in that way - as somebody who embraced life and forged their own path," she said.

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