Hundreds of people are reeling from the loss of one of Stroud’s most-loved and most unique characters, Jamie Fletcher.
From the day he was born at Stroud Maternity Hospital on November 30, 1972, to his sudden passing on Thursday, Jamie “touched the hearts of every person he met” and lived up to his motto ‘if you don’t live life on the edge, your taking up too much room’.
Jamie loved music – shown here with his brother-in-law Jeremy
Originally brought up in Nailsworth, where he met his life-long friend Clive Moore at infants school, Jamie loved to make everyone laugh from a very early age.
“He was not out to be popular it just came naturally,” Clive said. “He found an angle of humour in any given situation. He loved to share and make everyone smile.”
Even before he hit his teens Jamie developed a love of music and fondly remembered his first gig at Gloucester Leisure Centre, when his older sister Yvonne, or Nessie as he liked to call her, took him to see Musical Youth at the age of 11.
Jamie had a big heart, and will be sorely missed by many
“It was the start of a beautiful relationship with music,” Jamie remembered in recent weeks.
The relationship developed into a fascination with anything electronic, from keyboards, to synthesisers and computers, as his friend Clive explained.
“Jamie would carry his keyboard in his school bag and it had a voice synthesiser,” Clive said. “As our form tutor called out each individual’s name, Jamie pressed a different key note saying ‘yes miss’. Due to the range of notes some of the answers sounded like Louis Armstrong, others like Minnie Mouse.”
Jamie fell in love with music from a very early age
Despite being self-taught Jamie’s musical talent was obvious, and although he played rugby on the school team while at Archway, and for Cainscross, by the time he’d hit his late teens his creativity, love of music, and sense of adventure led him to move away from sport, and immerse himself in music and travelling.
He played with one of Stroud’s biggest bands Flipside from 1996 to 2005, who were managed by the late Andy Thomas, who was also landlord of the Pelican.
They would rehearse every Saturday in the Zone at the back of the ‘Peli’, and performed there regularly, as well as up and down the country at nightclubs and festivals from Brighton to Liverpool.
Jamie was also a talented artist
Appearing on stage at Ashton Court Festival in Bristol, Brighton Festival, the Lizard Eclipse festival in Cornwall and several performances on Glastonbury’s Avalon stage.
Andy Dunn, guitarist with Flipside, said: “Flipside was a collaborative project which caught the mood of the zeitgeist at the time. The recordings are good but it was essentially a live experience, not many bands were doing this at the time, eight piece, live drum and bass, hip hop, dance dub, it was a spectacle.
“The whole thing was full of creativity but most of all was a hell of a lot of fun and Jamie was always at the centre of all that.”
Such was Jamie’s love of music that when his then girlfriend Kyla gave birth to their daughter he named her Avalon, and although the couple later split they remained firm friends and he often praised her for being a wonderful mother to their 23-year-old daughter.
Jamie worshipped his daughter, who he named after a stage at Glastonbury
“He was always telling me how great my mum was,” Avalon explained. “And that really summed up dad; he was great mates with everyone, including my stepdad, and loved nothing better than to pop in to give me a present, which were usually trainers!”
Lotte Lyster, landlady at the Prince Albert, worked with Jamie when he managed the electronic production stage at the Stroud Fringe Festival and had hoped to get Flipside back together for this year’s festival.
“I remember Jamie’s cheeky smiling face and quick wit from all those years back in the hazy days of the Pelican. He was always a bouncing Tigger of excitement when I popped into rehearsals in the back bar.
“I recently spoke to him about reforming ‘the band’ for a performance at Stroud Fringe 2019 and I can’t even begin to express what a sad shame that Jamie will never grace that stage, or record in a studio again doing what he loved, and did so well.
“It’s the biggest cliche always when you read he was so loved, but I can’t think of many nicest people of all my years in Stroud.”
Jamie’s popularity was unmatched, and his sudden death on Thursday, February 21, has sent shock waves through the community.
“We’ve received hundreds of messages from friends, and people whose hearts he’d touched,” his sister Tracy said.
“As a family we really are over whelmed and so grateful to everyone. It’s been a terrible shock for us all, but everyone’s kind words really does make it easier.”
Since Jamie’s death hundreds of people paid tribute to him describing him as a ‘true legend’.
“Here’s to the memory of Jamie Fletcher, whose kind, funny, generous and charmingly roguish presence has been a constant part of my understanding of Stroud for the last 30 years or more,” said poet Adam Horovitz. “He will be greatly missed.”
“Jammer captivated hearts and minds, across land and sea, always pushing forward the message of love and unity. A true legend, he did Stroud proud,” said Cheroona Sievey.
Mate and DJ partner Jamie Rainbow described him as “a huge musical force in Stroud with a heart as big as the basslines he used to produce.”
Joe Dymond echoed the feeling throughout the Five Valleys, with his tribute: “The stories we are hearing about Jamie is a true testament to how big a heart and soul that man had. If only he could see the wave his passing has caused in Stroud.”
Such is the strength of feeling for Jamie, and his family, that a fund has been set up to cover funeral costs and any additional expenses at this difficult time. It has already raised almost half of the target set by his friend Jake Kirton, and anyone wishing to donate should visit: gofundme.com/jamie-fletcher
Jamie is survived by his father Dave Fletcher, and Hazel, who Jamie always called mum, his sisters Nessie and Tracy, and his brother Stephen.
Blessed with a large family, Jamie’s half-sisters Hayley and Michelle, and step-brother Steve were important to him, as were his many nephews and cousins.
Jamie’s funeral will take place at St Laurence Church, Stroud at 12.30pm on Wednesday, March 13, and is open to everyone.
His family insist the event should instead be a celebration of his life and people are encouraged to wear colourful, casual clothing, the sort of thing that Jamie would have known them to wear.