Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has described keyboardist Martin Duffy as his “soul brother” and a “very special character” following his death aged 55.
illespie said in a tribute on social media that the musician died on Sunday after suffering a brain injury following a fall at his home in Brighton, East Sussex.
Duffy was born in Birmingham in May 1967 and began his career as a member of indie pop band Felt.
He played with Scottish rockers Primal Scream before joining The Charlatans in 1996 following the death of original keyboard player Rob Collins.
Gillespie 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.
“I’ve known Martin since he was a teenager in Felt. He played keyboards on every album of ours from the first to the last. Finally joining the band in 1991.
“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.”
Gillespie said Duffy had been “an autodidact” and “a deep thinker” who was “curious about the world and other cultures”.
He concluded: “He lived to laugh and play music. He was loved by all of us in the Scream. A beautiful soul. We will miss him.”
Tim Burgess, frontman of The Charlatans, said on Twitter: “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.
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“He toured with me in my solo band too – he was a pleasure to spend time with. Safe travels Duffy.”
Happy Mondays singer Rowetta shared a series of heartbreak emojis, while former Oasis guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs tweeted: “Sad sad news Tim.”
Other tributes came from Gruff Rhys, singer for Welsh band Super Furry Animals, Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite and the band Dexys Midnight Runners.
Duffy joined Felt, pioneers of the so-called jangle pop genre, aged 16 after answering an advertisement placed by the group’s mononymous frontman Lawrence that read: “Do You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star?”
He was also a member of 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 also toured as part of Burgess’s live band, playing music from the singer’s solo albums.
Duffy also contributed keys to songs by Oasis, The Chemical Brothers and Beth Orton.
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