Grant Sievwright

Grant was a friend. I have just heard that he died, in late Summer, in Paris after undergoing surgery following sudden stomach pains. He was 36.

He was a fantastic musician: the sort of fellow who would pick up a guitar at a party and turn it into an impromptu concert. Before his move to Paris, he was the first person I’d think of when I had a spare ticket to a gig. It rare to find him able to take you up on the offer. Usually, he’d turn me down with a plausible excuse – something which made it physically impossible for him to come along. He’d be at the Love Parade in Berlin. Or hanging from a ledge, half way up a mountain. Or part way through cooking veggieburgers round a campfire in the Rockies. Or tied up helping to prosecute Rwandan war crimes.

He was also absurdly humble.

Whenever you saw Grant, he’d have an adventure to share. He taught me how to play the didgeridoo, circular breathing and all, and then lent me his instrument – and dumped about 100 boxes of his possessions in my spare room – while he took a year off, mid career, to travel around the United States.

I’m completely astounded that he is dead. He was quite possibly the fittest person I know. He ate no meat, and drank fruit shakes with spirulina powder. He was a ski instructor. He could probably yogic fly. If he had fallen off a glacier, or been attacked by a bear, I’d be less surprised that I am. It just seems so unlikely that he should be dead, at such an age, of something as prosaic as acute intestinal problems.

Grant Sievwright was an absolutely genuine person in a world of counterfeits. He was a really lovely fellow, and a good friend. I’ll miss him terribly.