The scene, the community, the planet lost one of the good guys last Monday when Calvin Sewell of Cardiff band Grand Collapse sadly died from heart complications at such a young age. He was a huge presence, in both height and stature. Calvin has left a huge hole in the modern punk scene and more importantly he leaves behind his family, his loved ones and his friends. His loss; our loss, comes as more of a shock than losing someone like Mensi, Pete Shelley or Joe Strummer – those rock stars were iconic, people we looked up to… Calvin was an icon who walked among us; he was one of us, we have lost one of our own, yet one who stood head and shoulders above us (like I said) in both height and stature – but never saw himself as none other than an equal. The times I met with him, played on the same bill or went along to see the band, all you got was a genuine human being, full of wit, raw energy, intelligence and humility. This entire LTW radio show this evening is dedicated to the band Grand Collapse and the memory of Calvin Sewell.
Below the playlist are some tributes from people in the scene…
[all songs by Grand Collapse]
Fucked Up State
Chalk & Flint
Far From The Callous Crowd
National Detective Programme
Along The Dew
Though Bloodshot & Blurry
Ailment (No Cure)
Just Add Water
Memoirs Of Heath Park
The Starting Bell
Fucked Up State
Everyone remembers their first time seeing grand collapse. Just being absolutely blown away by the raw power and the crazy looking front man that could stare a hole through you. Intense and heartfelt lyrics from a man who truly stood up for what he believed in. You couldn’t help but fall in love with the guy. (Dan Pizzatramp)
How do you pay tribute to someone you idolised as much as I did Calvin? It is impossible. Cal was so much more than just Grand Collapse, but used his platform to shout about the things that mattered to him and I know he will be proud that the legacy he’s left through the band reflects who he was as a person. I looked up to him as a friend and a musician more than I’ll ever be able to put into words.
Calvin was an activist, a poet, a fighter and a leader with love and time for anyone and everyone. He was everything he claimed to be and more. He will forever be my reference for the way that people should be treated and I will always be proud to say he was my friend.
I can’t process this news at all but I’m so grateful for the good times shared together and the things Calvin taught us all. All I do know today is that he will never be forgotten and we will miss him forever. Sending all my love to everyone affected by this tragedy. This really hurts. I love you mate. (Jordan Incisions)
Absolutely shocked by the death of Calvin Sewell . We’d played gigs together, drank pints together, shared a few laughs together and would bump into each other here and there. Always a pleasure to see, with good humour and humility despite the astounding performances he would give with Grand Collapse. He was loved across all genres of the DIY punk scene. So sad for his family and close friends. (Nath AFU)
Absolutely devastating news about Calvin Sewell. It has been an honour to release music for this wonderful human and share a stage on many occasions. Sending all my love to his friends and family. His contribution to our scene will never be forgotten. (Andy Davies TNS)
RIP Calvin Sewell, a beacon that burned bright in the punk scene against the injustices of the world (MWJ)
The first time I saw Grand Collapse was in 2012. They were opening for Bad Sam & The Authorities at Le Pub. I didn’t know Calvin at all at the time but, as the show started, I remember him squatting down at the front of the stage with his hood up and his head down before springing into life and giving the kind of ferocious and powerful performance I’d see many more times over the following years. GC went on to become one of my favourite bands and, while Cal and I were never close friends, whenever we met he was about as charming a human being as you could ever hope to meet. A genuine punk icon with the kind of intelligence, wit and dedication most of us could only hope to muster a fraction of. Much love to his family and those closest to him today. RIP Cal, you’ll be missed. (Scott Brassneck Records)
I can’t believe the news this morning. You were the best of us.
Cysgu’n dawel fy hên gyfaill (Garry Davies)
RIP Calvin. A really sound bloke. Absolutely tragic. Hard to process. Bit shell-shocked. A truly sad day. (James Domestic)
Way the worst bit of being a punk is the inevitability that all of these incredible people we all know and love will eventually pass away. Calvin Sewell was a genuinely incredible person and we’re all really lucky to have known him and experience him in different ways, whether at the bar, as a close friend or family member, on record, on stage. I’m so sorry for everyone, especially those close to him. Also, really thankful to have known him, even if it was just at shows and junk. Let’s all try and keep each other safe (Ollie Ward)
Woke up to the horrible news about Calvin, such a loss, hard to process it. Absolutely lovely guy (Shelley Shells)
Devastated on the passing of Calvin Sewell from the mighty Grand Collapse. A genuine and throughout friendly character and amazing performer and just like his father gone way too soon. My condolences to his family, friends! Rest easy mate we will miss you dearly’ (Steve Daniels, Ruin Nation Recs)
(Efa Supertramp) – So gutted to hear about Calvin Sewell What an absolute fireball of joy, energy, resilience and conviction. So lucky to have played many gigs supporting them as Efa Supertramp and Killdren. I feel like Cal took me under his wing a bit, as a fellow Welshie with DIY punk/anarchist/vegan politics – when he asked me to sing on a GC song I was honoured! I’m so glad our voices will forever be etched together on vinyl singing about DIY tours!! ???? His lyrics were so clever (worth reading them all!!!) and in Though Bloodshot & Blurry he referenced all the members of GC and myself and the jobs we were doing at the time to sustain making underground music (mine was crushing limes at The Plough in Bristol at the time!!). I remember the first time seeing Grand Collapse playing at the Red & Black Umbrella, they were so cool I couldn’t believe they were welsh Then I found out Cal spoke Welsh and it made him even cooler! He also sorted out the ‘punk’ who worked for UKBA and assisted with deporting our friends’ family! Then wrote a song about laughing his way home after court. He lived his politics and we all felt the conviction running through his veins during his intense performances. Killdren supported GC at Till the Wheels Fest in October and the room exploded when they played. Absolute legend. Still processing this, but there will never be another friendly giant like him, his smile and banter are so memorable and warming, sending all my love to Grand Collapse and his closest friends and family. Gone too young, and leaving a massive hole in the DIY punk scene. Rest in punk. Cwsg yn swnllyd. Nos Da