Quireboys frontman Spike has admitted it’s too soon to decide the future of his new band after the tragic death of former Free man Andy Fraser last night.
Spike’s Free House – the supergroup due to feature Fraser, Simon Kirke, Thunder’s Luke Morley, Magnum’s Mark Stanway and the Geordie frontman – was booked to play a string of shows this summer.
The group was set to begin rehearsals at the end of May before a main stage slot at the Sweden Rock Festival in June.
“What we do with that is for another time,” said Spike. “Right now it’s the farthest thing from my mind. The shows are booked but I have no idea how we’ll move on.”
Spike’s Free House were set to debut in Newcastle at the city’s Riverside venue on May 27 before playing shows in Sheffield and Bilston.
Following their Sweden Rock set the supergroup had inked in back-to-back Borderline shows in London.
Fraser and Kirke were due to play live together for the first time in 40 years – mixing Free classic with the music of Scottish singer-songwrier Frankie Miller.
“It’s just devastating,” added Spike. “I know he’d battled serious illnesses for years but as far as I know he was doing fine. It was a huge shock.
“My heart goes out to his two daughters and Andy’s family and friends. I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now.
“He was so looking forward to playing with Simon [Kirke] again and reviving those old Free classics and the work of Frankie Miller.
“Everyone involved in the Spike’s Free House project was getting ready for the rehearsals in May. The flights were booked, the studio space was set aside and we just couldn’t wait to get going.
“I just can’t believe it. We were going to do a few shows around the Sweden Rock festival and then see what the reaction was like. Andy and the rest of the boys were ready to take it further.
“It’s too early to even think about what we might do now. Everyone needs time to reflect on this and come to terms with what is a very, very sad time.
“It’s a sad time for fans of Free and the whole of the rock world. Andy was a supreme musician and very brave man. He’ll be sorely missed.”
Fraser and Kirke worked together on Spike’s critically acclaimed 100% Pure Frankie Miller album released in 2014.
The duo had been keen to work on music Miller had written but never released and the project was finally wrapped up earlier last year.
Both were fans of the iconic Scot and Spike added: “It was a labour of love for all of us. We all shared a love for Frankie’s music.”
It is understood Fraser, 62, was found collapsed near his Californian home earlier yesterday but no further details have been released.