Tributes paid to former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable
Friends and musicians today paid tribute to former Stereophonics drummer turned broadcaster Stuart Cable, who was found dead at his home.
The 40-year-old musician, who was sacked from the band in 2003, was discovered early this morning. The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Fellow Welsh musicians Manic Street Preachers were among those who expressed their shock as they praised the larger-than-life character.
"Whenever you met Stuart, you always walked away with a massive smile on your face," the band said. "Such a gigantic personality which was reflected in his drumming. He really will be missed.
Since he was axed from Stereophonics - which he started with childhood friend, frontman Kelly Jones - Cable had become a radio presenter, with his most recent BBC Radio Wales broadcast just two days ago.
And he had been due to perform at this weekend's Download Festival at Donington Park with his new band Killing For Company.
Cable - known for his mop of shaggy, curly hair - had talked about how his drug use saw him become estranged from the rest of the band before he was given the boot.
In his autobiography Demons And Cocktails, he said: "When we went on tour, coke was never far behind for me and once a show was over I turned into some kind of coke-taking zombie.
"We went from a tight-knit rock band, who were the best of friends, to the two musketeers against the hyperactive junkie clown - and the more we started to drift apart, the more I rebelled and went my own way."
However he is thought to have calmed down in recent years.
Confirming his death today, a police spokeswoman said: "South Wales Police can confirm the sudden death of a 40-year-old man at an address in Llwydcoed, Aberdare, at around 5.30am today.
"Cause of death has not yet been established, however, there are no suspicious circumstances at this stage."
His mother Mabel, 79, said she was still coming to terms with the news.
"Stuart has travelled all over the world with the band and I have worried myself silly," she told the Western Mail newspaper in Cardiff.
"He is now settled down and then this has happens. It has not sunk in yet."
Brother Paul said: "The family has no further comment to make at this stage. It is in the hands of the police."
Among those paying tribute to the musician this morning was Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, who said he was "very shocked" to hear the news of his death.
"He was always lovely when we met."
The death came just hours after his former bandmates played a headline show at the Cardiff City Stadium, and only a few days before one of his new band's highest profile shows at Download.
Their debut album Lost Art Of Deception was due to be released later this year.
Welsh comedian and TV presenter Rob Brydon - who was at the Stereophonics show on Saturday - spoke of his sadness today.
"Terribly sad news about Stuart Cable, such a lovely, warm, funny, talented man," he said.
Download Festival promoter Andy Copping said: "Stuart was a great character, as well as a good friend, and well-loved in the rock music scene and will be sorely missed."
Jones and Cable had lived in the same street during their childhood in Cwmaman in south Wales.
The group originally formed as Tragic Love Company, but landed a record deal after changing their name. They released debut album Word Gets Around in 1997, then scored a string of top 40 hits.
A Brit Award for best new band followed in 1998.
He was sacked in September 2003 because of "commitment" issues following the release of the band's third LP.
Frontman Kelly Jones said at the time that the decision to axe him was "heartbreaking" but months of effort to resolve the situation had failed.
Shortly before, the pair had been involved in a physical fight during a break in Paris with their then-girlfriends, as their relationship deteriorated.
Recalling the sacking in his book, Cable said: "It was the darkest time of my entire life."
He added: "Until that point in my life, I had never ever considered something as stupid as suicide, but that night (as Stereophonics played a homecoming show at Cardiff's Millennium stadium a few months later) I could really understand why people get depressed enough to do it."
Cable had often seemed a little apart from the rest of the band, happier to clown around than his two bandmates.
He also embraced the world of showbiz more than the others by fronting his own Welsh TV show Cable TV and having a celebrity girlfriend - at the time of his sacking he was dating presenter Lisa Rodgers.
Cable went on to have a successful radio career, fronting shows at various times for Kerrang! Radio and XFM, and later BBC Radio Wales.
Well-wishers and fans of Mr Cable have been leaving bouquets of flowers outside his home as news of the death spread today.
Two police officers have been standing vigil at the entranceway to the large detached property where he lived.
Bouquet after bouquet has been left throughout the day as a stream of visitors pull up briefly outside to drop off their own floral tributes.
Neighbour Steve Boutkam, 50, said news of the death had been a "big shock to the community".
"It has come as a bit of a shock to say the least. I heard the police arrive early this morning. There were four or five police cars.
"He has two rottweiler dogs and you could hear them barking and there was a lot of activity.
"Then at around 8.30am a hearse went in so you knew the news wasn't good."
He said that Mr Cable was a "low profile" neighbour who was friendly and would always give a wave as he came and went.
"Everybody keeps themselves to themselves around here, that is the sort of community it is," he said.
"You would hear him playing drums on a Sunday. People would be in and out I assumed they were other band members.
"But he was from the valleys area. He was regarded as the local boy who done good. This is all a great shame."
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