Punk singer Bailey, who grew up in NI, dies at 65

Chris Bailey, lead singer of Australian band The Saints who grew up in Northern Ireland, has died aged 65.

The group announced the news on Facebook on Monday.

“It is with great pain in our hearts that we must inform you of the passing of Chris Bailey, singer and songwriter for The Saints, on (Saturday) April 9, 2022,” the statement read.

“Chris lived a life of poetry and music and got stranded on a Saturday night.”

The cause of his death has not been revealed.

Bailey was born in Nanyuki, Kenya to Irish parents, but grew up in Belfast, until the age of seven when his family emigrated to Australia.

The singer’s family settled in Brisbane, Queensland, and he and his sister Margaret attended a high school where Bailey’s band members Ed Kuepper and Ivor Hay were also students.

They formed the band The Saints in 1973. Their first hit was in the UK with the classic punk anthem (I’m) Stranded, making the band the first punk band outside the US to release a record. It was followed in 1977 by the album of the same name which saw the Saints move to London.

Alasdair Ward joined on bass but the band’s progress suffered after they fell out with their label EMI while in the UK capital.

The music community and fans paid tribute to Bailey on social media.

Kuepper wrote on Twitter: “Very sad to confirm the news of Chris Bailey’s death this weekend. Chris and I met when we were about 14 while incarcerated at Oxley High School and have become close friends who then morphed into what I always thought was an extremely strong artistic partnership.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better singer. My deepest condolences to his wife Elisabet, his sisters Margaret, Carol and Maureen and the rest of his family and loved ones,” he added.

Australian actor Rhys Muldoon wrote: “RIP Chris Bailey. One of our biggest. I had the pleasure of staying at his amazing hiking home in Queen St, Woollahra. He was incredibly generous, wickedly funny, and exactly what a rock star should be. Legend.”

Writer and activist Celeste Liddle added: “Vale. I am devastated. A total legend.

Kuepper and Hay left the group in 1979, although the latter joined Bailey in The Saints in London for a time while Ward eventually left to join The Damned.

Bailey continued to release albums as The Saints until King of the Sun in 2012 and toured under the band name.

He also maintained a significant solo output with seven separate albums and collaborated frequently, including with Nick Cave and Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde.

Comments are closed.