Tribute gig remembers young couple who passed away near London Colney

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 March 2018

Charlie Eccleston (left) and Zaiga Gravenieks (right). Picture: Police.

Charlie Eccleston (left) and Zaiga Gravenieks (right). Picture: Police.


A heavy metal charity gig is being hosted in tribute to a young couple who died in woodland near London Colney.

Charlie Eccleston, 19, and Zaiga Gravenieks, 20, were last seen leaving a Halloween party together on October 31. Their final phone signal could be tracked to the A414 on November 2.

After an extensive search, they were found dead in Shenley on November 5.

Two friends of Charlie and Zaiga’s, Shea Mackay and David Himbury, have organised a concert in their memory and in aid of charity Missing People.

All the bands in the line-up - Draugr, Gevaudan, Cerberus Unchained and Negative Frame - knew the couple personally.

Charlie himself was a singer and guitarist for a doom metal band called Desert Smokers, and their album Void of Smoke was released on December 29.

Shea said he met Charlie at a shopping centre and instantly hit it off: “Charlie was absolutely crazy in a very fun way, we basically used to go around causing havoc, but everybody loved him.

“He was a very nice guy, super hyper and non-stop, but so lovely and he always looked after his friends - a very protective friend.”

They used to spend a lot of time together at The Pioneer Club in St Albans.

Shea, who is a member of the band Draugr, introduced Charlie to student Zaiga at one of his gigs about three years ago: “Zaiga was quite a shy person, very much a goth rock chick - the typical person you would see around Camden.

“She was very sweet and caring and trying to have that tough girl image but she was too kind for that. She spent her time doing arts and trying to ride a motorcycle.”

Zaiga was from Harpenden and studying for an art degree at university.

In a tribute on Desert Smoke’s Facebook page, Charlie’s mum Jo Eccleston said: “You weren’t just my son, you were my best friend. When you died, you took 70 per cent of my whole being - my soul - with you, now I’m just dead inside. What am I going to do without you?

“I’m barely holding on. Every day is a fight to keep going.”

The gig is being held at Hitchin’s Club 85 on April 1 at 7pm. Entry is free, with a suggested donation of £5. There will also be a raffle and collection buckets to raise money for the charity.

More news stories


Keen golfers got together to raise £12,000 for a local hospice this summer.

An application to build offices and a garage in Harpenden has sparked fears residents will have to sacrifice privacy and amenity.


A 12th-century church in Flamstead has received a donation to help save its leaking roof and valuable wall paintings.

Yesterday, 15:15

Police are investigating following a crash this morning between Welwyn Hatfield and Wheathampstead which has put a motorcyclist in hospital with life-threatening injuries.


A few years back I was fixing a shed in our garden and had enlisted the help of my young son. We were busy moving rotten pieces of wood from the side of the shed when suddenly I felt sharp stabbing pains in my lower legs. Before I had a chance to investigate my son started screaming in pain and it took a few more seconds to realize that we were trampling on a wasps’ nest!

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards