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Tour goes on for punk band Runnin' Riot after singer Colin McQuillan dies at 45

By Amanda Ferguson

A punk band from Northern Ireland has vowed the show will go on – despite the death of their lead singer.

Colin McQuillan of Runnin' Riot passed away in his sleep in the middle of a UK tour, where they were supporting Lars Frederksen's Old Firm Casuals.

The punk community is in shock at the loss of the much loved figure – behind Lost Generation, Divide & Conquer and Drunk & Disorderly – who was just 45 years old. An autopsy is due to be carried out.

Colin's band mates took to Facebook to announce their "brother and comrade" had died on Monday morning.

"Anyone who knew Colin knows his passion for music and his love for Runnin' Riot and our family/fans," a statement said.

"We would like to thank Lars and The Old Firm Casuals for their unwavering support at this time, and pulling the tour would never have been an option for Colin. So with our blessing the show must go on.

"For now our priority is getting Colin home to the arms of Belfast town. Our love and thoughts go out to Nikki and Colin's extended family.

"Sleep well tonight mate, Marty, Ralph and Eden."

Meanwhile, other friends and fans paid tribute to the charismatic punk musician who formed the Belfast band in the 1990s.

Former Runnin' Riot drummer Graham McVea told the Belfast Telegraph: "I had known Colin for years, he was a magnificent guy with a big heart. He loved music. He was a passionate, passionate, passionate guy, he loved the band. He lived for the band.

"He brought them up from nothing to have fans all over the world. It was great to be his friend."

Fans from all over the UK, Ireland and beyond paid tribute to the singer on social media sites.

One fan said: "RIP to Colin McQuillan a loss to music."

Another said: "RIP Colin Mcquillan, I was privileged enough to see Runnin Riot in Dublin a few years ago, you will be missed!"

Another added: "So sad to hear bout Colin McQuillan. We spoke a little on Sunday night. Always put a smile on yr face. Thinkin of his family & the lads RIP."

He is survived by partner Nikki.

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