Keyboardist Martin Duffy of Primal Fear and The Charlatans dies aged 55

Martin Duffy, the keyboardist for the bands Primal Scream and The Charlatans, has died at the age of 55, being described as “beautiful soul”.

martin duffy dies aged 55

Duffy began his career in the 1980s with the cult indie band Felt, before he joined Primal Scream ahead of their 1991 album Screamadelica

In 1996, Duffy began performing with The Charlatans. The Birmingham-born artist would also feature on songs by Oasis and the Chemical Brothers.

Tim Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans, described Duffy’s death as “another tragic loss of a beautiful soul”.


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Primal Scream’s frontman Bobby Gillespie called Duffy a “soul brother” and a “very special character”, adding: “He had a love and understanding of music on a deep spiritual level. Music meant everything to him… Martin was the most musically talented of all of us. His style combined elements of country, blues and soul, all of which he had a God given natural feel for.

“Martin was also in possession of a unique wit. He had a swift eye for the absurd, the surreal and the ridiculous,” Gillespie continued. 

“He lived to laugh and play music. He was loved by all of us in the Scream. A beautiful soul. We will miss him.”

Primal Scream’s bassist Simone Marie Butler, meanwhile, tweeted: “No words x i miss u already Duff. This is the saddest day and i’m [in] tears writing this. So loved x”.

Duffy played on every Primal Scream album, and became part of The Charlatans outfit after the death of Rob Collins in a car crash, just three weeks before the band were due to play at Knebworth.

“Martin Duffy stepped in to save The Charlatans when we lost Rob,” Burgess wrote, commemorating Duffy’s death. “He played with us at Knebworth and was a true friend. He toured with me in my solo band too – he was a pleasure to spend time with. Safe travels Duffy.”

Duffy released a solo album on Burgess’ record label in 2014.

His brother, BBC journalist Steve Duffy, announced the news on Twitter, writing: “It is with great sadness that we make known that Martin suffered a brain injury after a fall and passed away peacefully.

“Everyone who knew Martin loved him; he was the real deal, our shining star.

“He had a gift with music but even more of one with people. Love you Martin, proud of what you did and all you were. We’re with you brother xx.”

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