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Guitarist found hanged at studio

Hope of the States
Hope of the States: Lawrence is pictured second from left

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A guitarist with rising British rockers Hope of the States has been found hanged at an English recording studio.

Police said James Lawrence, 26, was discovered by bandmates hanging from roof timbers at the Real World Studios near Bath, western England, early Thursday. The studio complex in the western English countryside is owned by Peter Gabriel, former singer with Genesis.

Wiltshire police said his body had been discovered by other members of the group.

"In spite of attempts by ambulance staff Mr. Lawrence was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor," said the police, They added they were not treating his death as suspicious.

The six-piece band, from the southern English town of Chichester, were at Real World recording their debut album, due for release in the spring after months spent recording in Russia and then Ireland.

The group had a top 40 hit in Britain with "Enemies/Friends" and recently signed to Sony imprint Seeker after what was described by the NME.com Web site as an "an intense bidding war."

The band, led by singer Sam Herlihy, had recently performed on BBC's "Top of the Pops" and were due to play at the NME awards at the London Astoria next month.

The state-of-the-art Real World studios are a firm favorite with many in the industry and have been used by everyone from Kylie Minogue to the Stereophonics.

They are set in idyllic surroundings with panoramic views and water features.

A studio spokesman said Lawrence's family were too upset and shocked to comment but a statement from the studio and record company was expected later Thursday.


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