This page is dedicated to our friend and fellow SFT owner
Loving boyfriend to Beth, adored son of Carolyn and Frank and great
friend to so many people (and pandas) across the
world, Chris died early on May 27th 2010, 10 days after his
With Lisa leaving the label last year and now Chris' sudden
death, SFT Records will be a very different place but Chris
will live on in our hearts and our minds forever. Make no
mistake, everything we do from this point on (label or
otherwise) will be dedicated to the most wonderful of our
friends that left us way too soon.
Michael & Neil
We would like to invite all visitors to this page to
consider donating to the British Heart Foundation.
Chris' girlfriend Beth wrote the following:
"We don't yet know exactly what caused Chris' sudden
death, but it may have been related to a
long-standing heart condition which he was
recovering from after a life-changing operation in
Keeping in mind the years of happiness & higher
quality of life that Chris gained thanks to heart
surgery and medication, his family & I have decided
that rather than receiving flowers we would like to
make a donation to the British Heart Foundation in
On Thursday 10th June 2010 we held a Celebration of Chris'
life at St. Marys Church near Sale where Chris grew up
before he moved to Chorlton with the rest of the SFT family.
Please feel free to watch and listen to the files below,
they are from a recording made that day and the words spoken
(and sung) will go some way to explaining just what this
wonderful young man meant to us all.
people were involved in making the day such a wonderful
affair and I feel some need a mention. For their words, Jed
Shepherd, Ben Holden, Tim Forrest, Neil Wright, Paula Broome
and of course Beth Watson all gave wonderful speeches. For helping to get the video,
slideshow and audio I am in debt to Edward Hambleton and
Gavin Maunsell who gladly gave up so much time. We were
lucky enough to have live music and for that we thank Neil
Wright and Powell Morgan for such beautiful performances. I know these thanks are echoed
by Chris' parents Frank and Carolyn and his girlfriend Beth.
As some of you may know, Chris posted on a couple of
forums, click below to read some great
messages left by those that knew him at Ash-Official.com:
Also below you can read an article I (Michael) wrote for Chris,
this may never get published anywhere else in it's entirety
but we are grateful to the South Manchester Reporter and the
Trafford Metro for quoting it and running their articles
which paid tribute to Chris.
The passing of Mr MCR
When Tony Wilson (aka Mr Manchester) passed away in
2007, the Manchester media went into overdrive to write
fitting tributes to a local legend who touched the lives
of all those around him and led a musical revolution in
the city. Today I write about a young man who in similar
fashion helped quite literally hundreds of young local
musicians, he promoted gigs, was a stage manager, a band
manager and all round nice guy who was always on hand to
offer advice to up and coming talent in the area.
Chris Dart was just 30 years old when he sadly passed
away last week, but in his short time with us the
difference he made to the local music scene should not
be underestimated. He worked for mcr:music in the city
centre for many years, a company with the sole purpose
of promoting and encouraging raw talent. Chris organised
and stage managed between 2 and 3 gigs every week,
making it impossible to quantify just how many people
who's lives he was a part of but one thing we are
absolutely certain of is that he was adored by them
A loveable character, his ability to make those around
him laugh was absolutely second to none and in just a
few short days since his death the number of tributes to
him have been astounding; as the huge posters announcing
his passing at all Hungry Pigeon venues this weekend
will show. Local heroes in Manchester music Liam Frost
and Dutch Uncles were quick to dedicate a song to this
unsung hero (at Hungry Pigeon and The Deaf Institute
respectively). Chris was a huge part of Dutch Uncles
lives and they especially were quick to point out that
the advice and encouragement from Chris Dart helped them
get where they are today.
Chris was also a huge part of a local independent record
label and not only were the majority of bands released
on the label down to his judgement but it's no word of a
lie to say that the now 5 year old label would never had
existed if it weren't for his input.
An absolute legend amongst the vast majority of the
Manchester music scene, his loss will be felt for a very
long time and he will be remembered in this city as long
as anyone could be.
Here's to Mr MCR, we're gonna miss you.
Michael Coates - SFT Records
Below scan courtesy of The
Trafford Metro (M.E.N). A couple of points, Chris was a
music promoter (not producer) and 'Mr MCR' is a
posthumous title I gave to Chris. Overall it's a lovely
article and I'm very grateful for it, especially as they
added the justgiving link.
Pandamonium - A
tribute gig in honour of Chris Dart.
I am pleased to announce a charity gig in honour of Chris
Dart. For those that didn't know Chris, I should mention his
love of Pandas, he visited Pandas at zoos, he had pictures
of them in his room, he wore Panda t-shirts all the time and
remarkably he went to China to look after them as well.
With this in mind, some of his closest
friends in the music industry are getting together to play a
very special gig at Manchester Academy 3 in his honour to
raise money for the sanctuary he volunteered at. The line up
is quite amazing as the poster below will show.
Listen to Michael, Neil and Stuart Avery promote the gig with Caroline Boyd at All FM in Manchester.
Update - The night was a great success and raised over $2000 for the Chinese Panda sanctuary where Chris volunteered! They have since kindly sent us these pictures of the Panda bench they purchased with a tribute to Chris that reads: "In loving memory of Christopher Dart. First UK volunteer to care for Yang Yang."
Check our the videos below and enjoy the incredible performances from Pandamonium.
Filmed by Jon Brady & Chris McGrail and edited by Michael Coates.
Closing Time (Chris McGrail)
Fundraising for a memorial to Chris Dart is
With a little effort and a lot of support from our local
councillors we have raised enough money for a permanent
tribute to our friend. The bench is located at Chorlton
Green near the Horse and Jockey and the below pictures
appear thanks to Adam Cooney.