GIG NEWS : Birthday gig on 4 December in Glasgow to honour Glasgow musician who died of a brain tumour

Photo credit Andy Lochrie

Birthday gig to honour Glasgow musician who died of brain tumour

A woman who lost her 32-year-old husband to an aggressive brain tumour, is organising a fundraising gig in Glasgow on what would have been his birthday to help find a cure for the devastating disease.

Dale Barclay’s wife, Laura, 30, from Elderslie, a singer/songwriter (who performs under the name Laura St Jude) is putting on and performing in the gig at Stereo in Renfield Lane, Glasgow on Sunday 4 December from 7pm to honour Dale on what should have been Dale’s 37th birthday.

Other bands playing, all based in Glasgow and all “dear friends” of Dale’s for many years, will be The Leather Corridor in their first gig appearance in two years “for our old pal Dale Barclay”, Natalie Pryce – a four-piece bluesy, country and garage band who say their music is about life and death, love and sorrow, sex and dreams and Boab – real name Robbie Houston, (also known as frontman for the rock band Sweaty Palms) who will be performing his solo project of soundtrack-inspired acoustic songs.

Laura said she is organising the event to raise funds for the charity Brain Tumour Research “in honour of Dale and the fire he lit in our hearts and bellies. Dale lived for music. His passion was infectious. He was such a huge presence on the music scene, inspiring so many. Putting on a show with our friends while raising funds felt like the most fitting way to honour his legacy.”

 To pay tribute to Dale who was frontman and lead guitarist of The Amazing Snakeheads, known for their album Amphetamine Ballads, each band will include a cover of a song written by Dale in their performance.

Laura and Dale met on the Glasgow music scene in 2012 when Laura was 20 and Dale was 26. Laura had gone to one of The Amazing Snakeheads’ gigs and got talking to Dale. They hit it off immediately and got together.

Laura said: “Watching Dale perform was something else; like he’d been taken over by a power bigger than himself. He felt each note with every ounce of his being. Dale forged a path for many other young budding working-class musicians in the community, always offering words of support and encouragement to anyone who needed it. He had a heart of pure gold.”

In late 2017, Dale was diagnosed with an incurable glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumour after a series of seizures, vomiting and a severe headache. He underwent surgery, as well as the standard treatment of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Laura said: “The survival prognosis for GBM is 12 to 18 months, but by the time Dale was diagnosed, four weeks after his first seizure, we had so little time left together. Despite knowing the grim facts about GBM, Dale was adamant we had to stay positive. We spent most of our days writing and recording, talking, eating and meditating. He was always so resilient, but I suppose he had little choice after his diagnosis.”

A series of scans indicated his tumour was stable, so it was devastating to learn, in July 2018, after three seizures in a row, that the tumour had doubled in size. Dale was adamant he wanted to undergo a second surgery but was told by his oncologist there was little point as the tumour would simply grow back.

The couple decided to crowdfund for a private craniotomy which took place in Harley Street in September 2018. The operation went well and Dale was discharged three days later.

Tragically upon returning home, Dale suffered a catastrophic seizure on, lost consciousness and passed away in ICU on 25 September 2018.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Earlier this year, Laura set up a Fundraising Group for Brain Tumour Research called the Dale Barclay Fund to help find a cure for brain tumours. She has also finished a song Dale wrote called Wild at Heart in his memory which she has released both digitally and on vinyl, with all profits going to Brain Tumour Research.

Less than 12% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. GBM is the most commonly diagnosed high-grade brain tumour in adults but treatment options have barely changed in decades and there is no cure.

Matthew Price, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are very grateful to Laura for organising this concert to honour Dale and help find a cure so that other couples don’t continue to be wrenched apart by this devastating disease.

 “Sadly, with one in three people knowing someone with a brain tumour, Dale’s story is not unique. Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this but it’s only by working together that we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure. We’re really grateful to Laura for her support in setting up the Dale Barclay Fund. We hope people who read about Dale’s loss will be inspired to buy a copy of ‘Wild at Heart’ and/or go to the gig.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

For tickets priced at £12 and further info, go to

To buy a copy of Wild at Heart go to

To donate to the Dale Barclay Fund go to  or to donate £5 to Brain Tumour Research text DALE to 70085. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message.

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