Quireboys’ singer Spike has spoken of his sadness that he will be unable to attend the funeral of drummer Michael Lee tomorrow.

A service for the former Little Angels, Cult, Thin Lizzy and Page & Plant sticksman will take place at Darlington crematorium from 10.45am. And Spike, who worked with Lee for two years both on solo material and with the Quireboys, is still struggling to overcome the sudden death of his friend.

“He was the best drummer I have ever worked with or ever will,” said the Geordie frontman. “He beat a lot of other excellent musicians to some of the top jobs in rock and I was very lucky to get the chance to work with him. The time we spent together recording my solo album was a period I look back on with real fondness.

“I am very disappointed I won’t be able to make Michael’s funeral. We have a gig in the West Midlands on the Tuesday night and in Kendal the following day – I just can’t get over to Darlington. I’m still devastated by the news.”

The Quireboys have been dedicating shows on their current UK tour to Lee and will continue to do so. The drummer died from a serious seizure at his Darlington home last week and tributes have been pouring in from the rock world ever since.