Steel Threads pay tribute to a friend

editorial image

A power folk band has released a single in memory of one of the band member’s closest friends who passed away a decade ago.

Laura Wilcockson, who lives in Huthwaite, joined the Oldham-based Steel Threads back in October and earlier this month, the group released a moving record called Beautiful Friend.

The song was penned shortly after the death of Richard Ashton, who was the best friend of the band’s vocalist and guitarist Neil Wardleworth.

Richard was just 25 when he died and although Neil wrote the lyrics and music shortly after his death, it was only recently that he felt able to complete the track.

“It was very raw and emotional for him at the time,” says Laura, who is originally from Mansfield.

“They had been playing football when Richard passed away. He had a brain aneurysm. It was a very sad time and I don’t think Neil could have done this at the time - but now, 10 years on, he wanted to do it as a tribute.”

Laura says the song, which was released on 11th July, has had a positive reception, while Richard’s family have also thanked the band for releasing the track on the 10th anniversary of his death, describing it as ‘a beautiful song’.

The song is free to download but the band is asking people to make a donation to the WWF, a charity which Richard was passionate about.

Meanwhile, the band members are busy performing gigs and recording their second album, For Those Who Are Left, which they are funding via the Pledge Music website.

The site allows people to donate money in return for a download, a CD or even their own private gig at home, depending on their pledge.

To download the track visit For details visit To support the band visit