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The Urban Voodoo Machine: Fiddler died fighting heroin addiction

The Urban Voodoo Machine frontman Paul-Ronney Angel has spoken of his heartbreak after the death of fiddler Robb ‘The Kid’ Skipper, who took an accidental heroin overdose at the weekend.

The 28-year-old, best known as guitarist of indie band The Holloways, passed away during a trip to Thailand where he was trying to clean up.

Angel has recalled the pair’s final phone conversation on the Urban Voodoo Machine website. He reports: “Robb said, ‘We’ve been mates for 10 years this month,’ I replied, ‘And we’ll be mates for many more years to come’ – not knowing it would be the last time I ever spoke to him.

“He seemed really positive about life. This time he was going to get well and get his life back on track. Several visits to rehab in the UK hadn’t worked, but this time he was determined to get clean and sorted, be able to look after his family and get back into playing music.

“Robb said, ‘I’ll be back next month, bro, but I think it’s too early for me to go on the road with you guys.’ I replied, ‘Take your time and get well – but if you’re up for it we’ve started work on the next album, and we’ve got some tracks that needs your killer fiddle on it.’ He said, ‘That would be great, can’t wait.’

“I am really sad he won’t be contributing to our fourth studio album. When I named the last record Love, Drink & Death I never thought a member of the band would be dead only three weeks after its release. He was proud to be a part of this album, and I’m very happy to have shared the time I had with him.”

Angel is particularly saddened that Skipper played on both recorded versions of UVM track Heroin (Put My Brothers In The Ground) without taking lessons from the lyrics. The frontman says: “If you’re reading this, please can you do me a favour and not even try heroin? It only leads to tragedy like this. It will fuck your life up as well as others around you. Please, brothers and sisters – don’t go there.”

Speaking of his late colleague’s performance of The Clash track Bankrobber with Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, Angel says: “You really could not make this shit up – he might only have lived 28 years, but hell, did he pack in some action in that time!”

Skipper leaves a wife and baby daughter, a sister and his parents.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.