Tributes are flowing for beloved Sydney musician Luke Liang, a renowned session musician and former member of indie band Papa vs Pretty, who has passed away at the age of 28.
Liang performed as a guitarist and keyboardist in Papa vs Pretty from 2013 until the band’s breakup in 2014, before going on to perform with the likes of Guy Sebastian, Kim Churchill, Jarryd James, Deep Sea Arcade and Nicole Millar.
In a statement posted to Facebook today, Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDowens said, “I loved hanging out with you and loved getting heaps jealous watching your ridiculous skillz on the guitar and every other instrument. I’m gonna miss you.”
Concert promoter Jeremy Dylan added on Twitter, “Shocked and saddened at the loss of Luke Liang, a lovely man and a musician who seemed capable of impeccably making beautiful music with anyone across the musical spectrum.
“Heartbroken for his family and all my friends who loved and worked with him.”
Music Feeds reporter Emmy Mack, a longtime friend and former bandmate of Liang’s, said in a statement, “Luke was one of the most beautiful, kind-hearted souls to ever touch this planet.
“His incredible talents were renowned throughout the industry, but so was his heart. You rarely saw him without a big goofy smile on his face and it’s a smile that we are all going to miss forever. Rest In Peace my beautiful friend.”
Liang’s former Papa vs Pretty bandmates are yet to comment publicly.
Music Feeds had the pleasure of hosting Liang at its Sydney studio multiple times, including for performances by Papa vs Pretty and Guy Sebastian.
He will be sadly missed.
UPDATE: Luke Liang’s former Papa vs Pretty bandmate Tom Myers has now released a statement.
“We are all naturally devastated, but we’re much stronger if we’re together. It’s been so overwhelming to receive so many well wishes and messages of support,” he says.
Read the full statement, below.
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Tom Myers Statement (30/08/18)
As some of you may or may not know, our dear friend Luke Liang lost his battle with depression two days ago.
I first met Luke in Rhodes shopping centre when i was 16 after a Papa vs Pretty rehearsal in Meadowbank. He was 18 at the time and of course the only one who could buy me cigarettes.
Luke officially joined Papa vs Pretty just before the writing and recording of our second album. He was intimidatingly amazing at his instrument and made our music stand out. I can still hear his playing on it today and its just as masterful.
I will never ever forget our car trips to and from rehearsals, hendrix, singing along to City and Colour, and the ever evolving ‘hi 5’. (My favourite was the ‘try to high 5 as little as possible’ one), 2nd and 3rd breakfasts, butter coffees, Luke’s full vegan Bolognese was an absolute thing of beauty.
After the band broke up, Luke became the absolute “go-to” session guy. Quite simply, he was the best. Keys/Guitar/every other instrument, If you were lucky enough to see Luke play, you’ll understand. My heart aches for all who shared the stage with him, I’ll bet they were the best gigs you’ve ever played.
Luke was perhaps the most impressive man i’ve ever met. Literally anything he turned his hand to he mastered (sometimes in a matter of hours), a willing listener and an incredible mate to all of us.
We are all naturally devastated, but we’re much stronger if we’re together. It’s been so overwhelming to receive so many well wishes and messages of support. Thank you.
Luke’s family is also naturally devastated and coming to terms with the loss. They have requested that sharing the news is done in a respectful manner so as to honour our memory of Luke.
If you need to talk, I am here.
If you want to just hang out, I am here.
I am so sorry for everyone’s loss.
Shocked and saddened at the loss of Luke Liang, a lovely man and a musician who seemed capable of impeccably making beautiful music with anyone across the musical spectrum.
Heartbroken for his family and all my friends who loved and worked with him.
— Jeremy Dylan (@mrjeremydylan) August 30, 2018