TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Birkenhead musician whose band enjoyed success in the early 1990s. 

Steve Soar, who has died aged 54 following a short illness, played bass in indie band Scorpio Rising who formed in Birkenhead in 1989.

The band, who also featured Mickey Banks on vocals, Martin Atherton on guitar, Sploote Lead on guitar and Colin Owens on drums, came to the attention of the UK music press in 1991 with the release of their Watermelon single which lead to headlining dates across the UK and rave reviews of the live shows.

Scorpio Rising toured the UK with Smashing Pumpkins, Pop Will Eat Itself, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Eat and Senseless Things  culminating with appearances at Finsbury Park and Reading Festival in 1992. Scorpio Rising then recorded their one and only full-length album, Pig Symphony for the Sire record label before splitting in 1994.

Wirral Globe: Scorpio Rising and friends during the early 1990s (pic: Paul Edwards) Scorpio Rising and friends during the early 1990s (pic: Paul Edwards)

Marc Jones, who managed Scorpio Rising, said: "Steve was a brilliant bass player and such an integral part of the band's early success.

"Being in a band, particularly one with a bit of success is wonderful! In some ways, the happiest days of your lives....travelling around the country with your mates playing gigs and wowing audiences and then partying until you fall asleep when the adrenaline finally stops and best thing is, the next day it starts all over again.

"Our success was short lived, same as most bands, but we had three amazing years at it and had some of the most amazing experiences along the way making friends that have become lifelong buddies."

A post on the band's Facebook page read: "Steve was a brilliant bass player, an integral part of Scorpio Rising, always full of mischief and fun and a really great guy."