Tributes to talented bassist

LORNA MARSH Tributes have poured in for a well known and popular Norfolk musician who died suddenly aged just 29. Ben Shepherd was in Norwich band Lalia, who were one of the finalists in the EDP Next Big Thing competition in 2005.

LORNA MARSH

Tributes have poured in for a well known and popular Norfolk musician who died suddenly aged just 29.

Ben Shepherd was in Norwich band Lalia, who were one of the finalists in the prestigious EDP Next Big Thing competition in 2005, but was branching out to form his own project.

He died in the early hours of Tuesday morning but the cause is not yet known. There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

His best friend James Butcher, of local record label MQ Projects and gig organisers Norwich Pop Underground Convention (NPUC), said the loss had come as a complete shock to Ben's friends and family who were struggling to come to terms with it.

Annie Catwoman, of local music promoters Wombat-Wombat and with whom Ben lodged, said: "It goes without saying that Ben will be greatly missed by everyone who appreciated the breadth and depth of his interests and talents, as well as his gentle manner and dry wit."

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A poster called Tristar who broke the news on Norfolk music scene internet forum the Darkside wrote: "He had so many friends, as he was such a great, friendly person and was very active in the local music scene. I'm going to miss him a hell of a lot."

Another poster called G replied: "This has completely shocked me. I have played a few gigs with Ben and he was always a really

nice guy. Always chatting, offering advice, etc."

ScottyJimb wrote: "I am really shocked to hear this too, he was a really nice chap and always willing to stop and have a chat with you about something or another."

Ben was the bassist for Lalia who built up

a good reputation on the Norwich music

scene playing PJ Harvey-influenced alternative pop.

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