Craig Gill, drummer for long-running Manchester band Inspiral Carpets, has died at age 44. The band broke the news via their Facebook this morning:

It's with heavy hearts that we announce the death of our drummer and close friend, Craig Gill.

We are all absolutely devastated by the news. Craig was our brother.

We were honoured to work alongside him for the last 30 years.

To say that we'll miss him is an understatement.

He was the beating heart of the Inspirals in more ways than one.

Our love and thoughts go out to all of Craig's family and friends and especially his wife, Rose and their beautiful children, Georgia, Orla and Levon.

xxx

Clint, Graham, Martyn, Stephen

Craig was a founding member of Inspiral Carpets, who were a key band in the "baggy" scene that included Happy Mondays, The Charlatans and The Stone Roses. (Noel Gallagher used to be their roadie.) The band had a string of hit UK singles, many of which got played in U.S. on college and commercial alternative radio, including "This is How it Feels," "Dragging Me Down," "Two Worlds Collide" and "I Want You" and Craig's syncopated style was as key an element as Boon's Hammond organ. In 2014 the band, with original singer Stephen Holt (replacing Tom Hingley who sang on almost all their records), released Inspiral Carpets, their first album in 20 years. Craig also ran Manchester Music Tours, which took visitors to key locales from the city's music history.

Craig, you'll be missed. Rest in peace.

Some classic Inspiral Carpets videos, as well as tributes from fellow musicians, below.