Gone but never forgotten. Mark died suddenly on 19th March 2009. He lit up so many lives not least of all ours. He was our friend and bandmate and we miss him more than words can describe. We will carry him forever in our hearts and our music. He is and always will be a True Deceiver.

Mark's wife Patsy would like to thank everyone for their kind messages and thoughts about Mark. 12.4.09.


Mark Mitchell died suddenly at the age of 51 on Thursday 19th March. Mark‘s fiddle playing was the signature sound to Surrey based folk/ roots rock band The True Deceivers. Mark learnt classical violin at an early age but gladly gave it up to play guitar in various ska and punk bands in the early 80’s. One of many trips to his beloved Ireland resulted in a bet that Mark couldn’t remember how to play the fiddle. He never looked back. A mainstay of another hugely popular local band, The Blazing Homesteads, Mark took to the stage at such notable events as Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport Convention’s Cropredy. Mark’s distinctive fiddle playing was always in demand and he recorded with many artists including an appearance on Bap Kennedy’s album, Hillbilly Shakespeare. Mark was a family man who loved to spend time with his wife Patsy and 2 children, Leila and Ruari. He adored visiting their second home in Ireland, a seemingly endless project that was going to be completed one day. At home in that laid back environment Mark would take his fiddle down the local pub and join in with the usual after hours musical jam. A naturally talented musician with a fabulous ear for melody, Mark could pick up a tune within seconds and always added his own unique touch to lift it to another level.

Everyone who met Mark will remember him as a genuinely kind and generous man. Never one to wear a watch Mark had time for everyone. He had that happy knack of being genuinely interested in what anyone wanted to talk about, whether strangers or friends. A larger than life character in so many ways Mark would fit naturally into any environment. An instantly recognisable personality, no one who met Mark will ever forget him.

It is for his fiddle playing that Mark will be best remembered and his memory will live on in the wonderful music he made. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten. The True Deceivers

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------You would think that after six weeks it would be easier to accept the reality of Mark’s passing and yet somehow it is even harder to believe from this distance. Having seen him in his usual good form at Scratchers on the Saturday it just doesn’t seem possible that it was the last time, and so unfair that we didn’t have the chance to tell him how good he was, how much we loved hearing him play. We hope he knew.
Mark was a figure who made an impression right from the start, although if you’d been told he was in a band without hearing him play you’d have put him down as a heavy metal guitarist. Once he picked up his fiddle however there was no doubt that here was a master of his instrument, a man who could mix coruscating fierce numbers with haunting plangent melodies, make you get up on your feet or utter a heartfelt sigh. Whenever we were with somebody seeing the band for the first time the first thing they said was always “God, the fiddle player’s good” before settling back and enjoying the band as a whole.
It’s impossible to replace Mark as a musician. Of course the band must carry on playing, the music must go on. We hope that you guys can find the way forward to continue in a way that Mark would be proud of and you can be sure that whatever you do, be it nu-metal or barbershop quartet, your friends will be there to support you.
We hope that Patsy and the children can find some small comfort in this time of great sadness in knowing how much joy Mark brought to so many people. We are fortunate to be able to hear him every time we play our Homesteads and True Deceivers cd’s and remember this lovely man who was a true musician’s musician, never flash, although he had the talent to justify it, but modest and brilliant, and missed.
With our love
John & Jo

So sorry to hear about Mark. Devastating news for all you guys and a great loss to all who loved him. A great talent. I'm lost for words. Trevor Rapson

What dreadful news. Please send my sincere sympathies to Patti and their 2 kids. My thoughts are with you and the rest of the band as well. You were a close knit team and I can only imagine how devastated you all must be. Clive Pinder

He was a childhood friend and we got reacquainted with Mark only 3 years ago. I will miss him enormously. He was a larger than life character and impossible to replace. Hugh Fairs

I'm so sorry to hear this news. We were only talking about Mark in the shop this Saturday, as Charlie (my guitar sales assistant) had met him once. Please pass on our condolences. Neil Collins. Surrey Music Store.

Just wanted to say how sorry we were to hear about Mark - it's absolutely devastating and I can't imagine how awful Patsy, his kids and you guys must be feeling. It's such a shame that someone as nice as Mark has left us before he should have - there was so much more for him to stay around for. I bet the angels harps will be taking second place to his fiddle up in heaven, they won't be able to match his musical skills. Teresa and Mick Punter

I was really shocked to hear the news about Mark, as I am sure you all were.
As usual we really enjoyed the gig at Scratchers two weeks ago and Mark seemed at his best.
Mark has given us a great deal of pleasure over the last few years and unlike most of us he has left a great musical legacy to remember him by.
Please pass on my condolences to his family. John Worgan

How tragic to lose such a big character at such an early age. We feel really sad about it and know he will be sorely missed. Our hearts reach out to you all over there. Allan and Daphne Broad

I am so sorry to hear about Mark. What a shock. I thought he was fab and will always remember how cool a fiddle could sound if he was playng it.  Mel Wilson

Sorry to hear the news. I bumped into him in london a year ago. my thoughts are with his family. Karl Hagen

I don't know what to say ...I shook his hand not three weeks ago, I'm so sorry for all of you , I will miss him he was a good friend and musician, please forward my condolences to his family. Duncan Siggers

Unbelieveable. Please pass on my personal condolences and also from all at the City Club. Trevor Bossom

Words fail me, what a tragic loss. Mark struck me as such a genuine man with a great senses of life and of course his wonderful feel of music. You will always be welcome here. I hope you can find a way to continue with your terrific sound. Thinking of you all. Fi. The Compasses Inn, Gomshall

I am so very sad to read of Mark's death. I wish all the guys in the band, Mark's family and friends much Love & Strength right now. Peace & Love. Rob Guthrie

Sorry to hear about Mark. Thoughts with the family and friends. Guy Gillam

I’m really very sorry to hear about Mark and you have my condolences. It must have been such an awful shock for everyone. Mark Tyrrell

Im quite stunned by this sad news. With kind regards and much sympathy to his family. Steve Kennedy

Very shocked an' stunned. I'm so sorry for you all. Sincere condolences to you guys and Mark's family. Stevie One Bloke One Mandolin

I am so sorry to hear about Mark there is nothing I can think of that could possibly make that situation any better. God Bless. JC Mac

Dreadful news. I'm so sorry. Richard Miguda

I'm sure Mark would want you to continue as a band but I know he's irreplaceable. Even though I have only been following your band for a few years, Mark has been on my mind ever since you announced his death.  My friend and I only just saw you a few weeks back in Gomshall so I'm glad I got to see him one last time, he was a brilliant fiddle player and no doubt a very good man, husband and father.  I'm sure his family miss him very much. Sue Verschoyle

It must be so, so, hard for all of you who knew him well, as a friend, and as an integral part of a superb band. He was a big man, with a big heart, and big hands and fingers that conjured up every emotion from that fiddle........joy, celebration, sweetness, sadness......all of life came through those strings and that bow. I simply loved to hear him play. There were never any half measures at Deceivers gigs with Mark around. He was always full-on. 
I didn't know him well, but I felt I did, because he was so welcoming and friendly, with a quick smile and easy conversation. His passing leaves a big hole in the universe, and wherever he is on his continuing journey through the next dimension, then you can be sure his soul is kicking up a storm somewhere over the rainbow. 
Good luck to you all. If it's any help. I think Mark would want you to take the True Deceivers on into the future. He'll be around whenever you play.....you can be sure of that......and of course he'll be expecting a song celebrating his life......when you feel the time is right.  
Peace, love and light. Josie Kemp

Our thoughts and sympathies are with the band and of course Mark’s family. Mark Wyllie 

I was saddened by the news about Mark he was a lovely guy & great musician. I am sure everyone will miss him. Vanessa Hammond

We're so sorry to hear about Mark passing. It's incredibly sad that a guy as young as he was should be taken away from his family. He was a great guy to chat to & we always enjoyed his company - it was a real treat to play the gig at Woking FC with you guys & Miffy really enjoyed playing alongside Mark that night.
I remember having a long conversation with Mark over a few beers at Blissfields a couple of years ago & he really was a pleasure to be around. Although we could'nt claim to have known him all that well, we'll certainly miss him. He was a fabulous musician & many, many people will remember him with great fondness for the major part he played in the band. Big Tall Paul & Miffy.

There are no words that I can really put together, to express my sorrow to Marks family and his second family The True Deceivers. Mark was a truly talented, remarkable guy. With the relatively short time we have known Mark, he became one of our good friends.We are all so saddened, to hear he has now passed away. I have some words I would like to say in memory of Mark to him.

"In our hearts everyday, is where you are always close
in every step along the way.
Even though for now we have to say goodbye,
We know you'll always be with us in spirit,
and our memories in every way.
Rest in piece dear friend." Laura Fitch & The Fitch Family

Heartfelt condolences . Americana Woman

I'm so sorry to hear this news. Mark's death must be a terrible loss. I just wanted you to know you are all in my thought's. Autumn's Child

You dont know me, but i heard the news from the organisers at bearded theory and trev at the city club guildford about mark. im stunned, had plenty of nice chats with mark on my journeys south over last few years, lovely bloke, my thoughts go out to his family.. ive got a great foto somewhere of me and mark at city fest, but cant find it now, it was a running joke with my friends about how similar we looked, couldnt see it myself except for the beard. Thanks for your time. Sparky

I'm so sorry for your loss! God Bless! MartyZ

A big man, with a big heart and an even bigger smile. I'll miss him. Keith Woodhouse

Very stunned by the news about Mark. Our thoughts are with you and Marks Wife and Children.
Teresa & Mick

My deepest sympathies to you and your fellow bandmates...heaven has yet another great muso!
Please pass on my condolences to Mark's family,

Terribly sorry for your loss. Please stay well. Thomas Bailey

So sorry to hear of your tragic loss love to all joe, tom and kevin

So sorry to hear the news, always had a laugh with him when doing the sound for chase rocks. Absolutely shocked. Dave (Davros)

Please accept our deep and sincere condolences at this time our thoughts are with you all and his family. Best Wishes. Oxjam Kent & Surrey

I am so sorry to hear the news. Mark was a lovely bloke and my thoughts are with all of you. Rich Bryan. Bearded Theory Festival

Just wanted to personally send condolences to Mark and his family and all his friends - my thoughts go out to you all. John (Fez R Uz)

Our thoughts are with his family and all those affected. Spike

I'm gobsmacked that such a true gent has been taken away from us. I first met Mark way back at Guilfest where they seemed to play every year for years in a band called The Blazing Homesteads then to see him play at Cityfest with the great True Deceivers  where he would always take time out to talk even when i was pissed and a nuisance like all of the band would.Last year was good to see them away from home at Bearded Theory. My thought at this time goes to Marks wife and childred And all of the members of The True Deceivers. Crazyhorse

Really sorry to hear the news - 51 is no age at all. Keef

Love and bubbles to Mark's family..and the other Deceivers. Something Else

Please let me express my heartfelt sorrow and condolences to you and the rest of the band, Mark's family and friends, at this tragic loss. Nick. Inhibitions.

So sorry to hear the sad news of Mark---it must be such a shock for you all--and his family---he was so talented. Jayne & Miguel Bruguera

I can't believe this news, shocking. I didn't know Mark apart from when watching you play but I admired his playing hugely. I hope you're all able to keep going with TD so the music can be a tribute. All the best. Malcolm Thacker

Shocking. Thinking of you and Mark's family and friends. Muriel Quilter

Don't really know what to say other than what a loss. Rob & Louise Quigley

RIP. x Fubab