Martin Duffy: Primal Scream, The Charlatans and Felt keyboardist, dies aged 55

20 December 2022, 13:02 | Updated: 20 December 2022, 13:28

Martin Duffy has sadly died at at the age of 55
Martin Duffy has sadly died at at the age of 55. Picture: Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty

The news of the keyboardist's passing was confirmed by The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess and Creation Records boss Alan McGee.

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Primal Scream and The Charlatans keyboardist Martin Duffy has died at age 55.

The news was confirmed by The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess and Creation Records founder Alan McGee, who signed Primal Scream to his label in the 1980s.

Taking to Twitter, Burgess wrote: "Another tragic loss of a beautiful soul. Martin Duffy stepped in to save The Charlatans when we lost Rob - 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".

"More sad news," McGee wrote on Instagram. "Martin Duffy gone yesterday .. lovely guy so sad."

Duffy, who grew up in Birmingham, joined indie-pop band Felt, who also signed with Creation Records, when he was 16, before joining Bobby Gillespie's Primal Scream - going from part-time to a full-time member.

He was part of the line-up when the band released its third album Screamadelica in 1991, their first commercially successful album and the winner of the inaugural Mercury Prize the following year.

The musician also famously stepped in at the last minute to play with The Charlatans when they supported Oasis at Knebworth in 1996, following the death of their own keyboard player Rob Collins in a car crash just a few weeks earlier. He also went on to help finish the band's fifth album Tellin' Stories, which was being recorded that year.

Duffy was also a member of the rock supergroup The Chavs, formed in 2004 by former Libertines guitarist Carl Barat and Burgess alongside drummer Andy Burrows from Razorlight. In 2012 he performed as part of another supergroup at a fundraising concert at Manchester Cathedral, this time featuring Burgess and Mark Collins of The Charlatans with Peter Hook of New Order.

In recent years he toured as part of Burgess's live band, playing music from the singer's solo albums. Throughout his career, he also contributed keys to songs by Oasis, The Chemical Brothers and Beth Orton.

Liam Gallagher was among those paying tribute, writing on Twitter: "RIP DUFFY PRIMAL SCREAM DYA KNOW WHAT I MEAN LG."

READ MORE: The Specials frontman Terry Hall dies aged 63

Cherry Red Records, Felt's first label before Creation, shared a statement, saying: "We're sad to hear the news that Martin Duffy has passed away. An amazing musician who made incredible contributions to every album he played on, he will be missed. A true rock 'n' roll star."

Music journalist Paul Stokes posted a photo of Duffy on Twitter, and wrote: "Martin Duffy made so many important contributions to so many great records. His performance with @thecharlatans at Knebworth in the aftermath of Rob Collins death was a moment of pure emotional brilliance. He will be truly missed."

Electro band Asian Dub Foundation tweeted: "Very sad news, someone we toured with alongside #PrimalScream and a fantastic person all round has left us. Brilliant keyboardist #MartinDuffy ADF salute you, thanks for all the good vibes."

Happy Mondays singer Rowetta shared a series of heartbroken emojis, while former Oasis guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs tweeted in response to Burgess: "Sad sad news Tim."

No details of the cause of Duffy's death have been announced.

It news comes less than 24 hours after the announcement of the loss of another music star, The Specials frontman Terry Hall.

READ MORE: The celebrities and public figures we lost in 2022


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