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Martin Duffy, Primal Scream Musician, Has Died Aged 55

Martin Duffy on stage in Glasgow in 2019
Martin Duffy on stage in Glasgow in 2019

Martin Duffy on stage in Glasgow in 2019

Primal Scream musician Martin Duffy has died at the age of 55.

Duffy was best known for having played keyboards as a member of Primal Scream since 1989, as well as his work with the bands Felt and the Charlatans.

A statement from Bobby Gillespie posted on the group’s official Instagram page on Tuesday afternoon said: “Hard to write this. We never know how to speak around death other than polite platitudes.

“All I want to say is that our soul brother Martin Duffy passed away on Sunday. He suffered a brain injury due to a fall at his home in Brighton. We in Primal Scream are all so sad.”

Bobby’s statement continued: “Martin was a very special character. He had a love and understanding of music on a deep spiritual level. Music meant everything to him.

“He loved literature and was well read and erudite. An autodidact. A deep thinker, curious about the world and other cultures. Always visiting museums in every city we played or looking for Neolithic stones in remote places. Opinionated and stubborn in his views.”

Bobby concluded: “Martin was also in possession of a unique wit. He had a swift eye for the absurd, the surreal and the ridiculous. He lived to laugh and play music.

“He was loved by all of us in the Scream. A beautiful soul. We will miss him.

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess was among the first to comment on the news of Duffy’s death on Twitter, writing: “Another tragic loss of a beautiful soul.”

Reflecting on his work with the late keyboardist, Tim remembered him as a “pleasure to spend time with”, adding: “Safe travels Duffy.”

Duffy was born in Birmingham, and began his professional music career in the mid-80s when he joined the indie rock group Felt at the age of 16.

He went on to play keyboards on Primal Scream’s first two albums, before joining the group on a permanent basis in 1989, remaining a member of the band until his death.

Primal Scream performing in 2016, with Duffy pictured on keyboards
Primal Scream performing in 2016, with Duffy pictured on keyboards

Primal Scream performing in 2016, with Duffy pictured on keyboards

In addition to his work with Primal Scream, Duffy went on to tour with the group The Charlatans following the death of founding member Rob Collins, most notably playing with the band when they played at Knebworth in 1996, in support of Oasis.

A year later, he contributed keyboards to their 1997 album Tellin’ Stories.

In more recent history, Duffy formed the supergroup The Chavs with his Charlatans bandmate Tim Burgess and Carl Barat, of The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things fame.

Duffy released his first solo album in 2014, which was titled Assorted Promenades.