The brother of Arbroath singer and drama lecturer, Jamie, Hayes who collapsed while performing with his band, has spoken of the devastation his death has wrought on his family.
Jamie, 50, a former West End theatre production manager and performer, suffered a catastrophic brain bleed while singing with his band, Taxi, in the Station Bar, Arbroath, on Friday December 1.
His brother, John, 54, said Jamie had got to the last song of the night, Rock ‘N’ Roll Star by Oasis, when he took ill.
“He collapsed while singing; on stage doing what he loved best. Nurses who were in the bar and the owner, Paul, and other customers went to help him but it was a catastrophic bleed and nothing could be done.
“Jamie was taken to Ninewells Hospital and we were at his beside when he passed peacefully the following night.”
Jamie, who lectured in technical theatre at Queen Margaret University near Edinburgh leaves his wife and partner of 30 years, Sarah, and eight-year-old daughter, Poppy.
John, a lecturer at Dundee and Angus College, said: “Words cannot express the pain and utter devastation this has wrought on the family, particularly Sarah and Poppy.
“He was a fantastic husband, father, brother-in-law, cousin, nephew, uncle and friend. He was outrageous, charismatic and a tremendous talent. Life will never the the same without him.”
Jamie’s funeral will take place at George Stewart’s chapel on Friday December 15 at noon and then at the crematorium at Friockheim.
A celebration of Jamie’s life, a charity gig, will take place at the Station Bar on June 15 next year, although the family have not yet decided which charity will benefit.
Jamie came from a family rich in artistic tradition. His mother, Maureen, was involved in Abbey Theatre, Arbroath, and his father, Fergie, had played in bands for 40 years.
His only sibling was John, and he was educated at St Thomas Primary School and then Arbroath Academy where gravitated towards the music department, organising concerts and teaching himself to play guitar.
Jamie graduated in drama from Queen Margaret University and then won a scholarship to study musical theatre at the Arts Education Schools in London.
After his year of further study, he preferred production over performing and went to work as a production manager at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London and worked on the stage plays of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins among many other shows.
Jamie was credited with creating the apparatus to allow Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to fly on stage. Interestingly, according to John, Jamie continued the Arbroath connection with the children’s classic because Heather Glaiser (Ripley) from the town had starred in the film version.
Although his focus was production, Jamie did appear on stage with Judi Dench in The Royal Family at the Theatre Royal.
During the 2000s he returned to be stage manager at Dundee Rep before a move to the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.
Around 2015/16, Jamie returned to Queen Margaret University as a lecturer, where he was employed when he died.
The band Taxi, which played rock classics, had been formed two years ago with his cousin, Shaun McQuade and his son, Gibson, and Jamie’s friend, Josh Wright.
In his youth, Jamie had been heavily involved in the arts in Angus. He performed with Angus Minstrels, Arbroath Musical Society, Abbey Theatre, MIDAS, Stagecraft School of Dancing, and Montrose Operatic Society.
John said: “Jamie passed doing what he did best, performing vigorously on the stage with the audience eating out of his hand like an old school rock star, which, of course, he was.”