Martin Duffy, a keyboardist for Primal Scream and a veteran of UK rock music, passed away at age 55.
Tim Burgess, the frontman and co-founder of the British band The Charlatans, shared the news on Twitter on Tuesday and called Duffy “a wonderful soul.”
The reason of death has not been made public.
The death of Terry Hall, the lead vocalist of the groundbreaking ska band The Specials, who was also confirmed to have passed away on the same day, is another blow to the UK music scene.
When Martin Duffy filled in for The Charlatans temporarily after keyboardist Rob Collins was killed in a vehicle accident in 1996, Burgess recognized his contribution to the band.
Burgess remarked, “Another awful loss of a beautiful soul.”
Martin Duffy, who played with us at Knebworth and was a great friend, intervened to preserve The Charlatans after we lost Rob. He toured with me in my solo band as well, and he was fun to be around. Have a safe trip, Duffy.
Fans and other musicians have praised an artist on social media who had a significant impact on the experimental early sound of the UK indie-rock scene.
Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, a former Oasis guitarist, tweeted: “Horrible, sad news.”
Very sad news: Someone who we toured with alongside Primal Scream and who was a terrific person in general has passed away, according to the UK band Asian Dub Foundation. ADF salutes brilliant keyboardist Martin Duffy.
Martin Duffy, who was born in Birmingham in 1967, is said to have grown up loving the music of the day, with a special fondness for The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, as well as the burgeoning UK punk and two-tone genres of the late 1970s.
At the age of 16, Martin Duffy responded to Lawrence Hayward’s advertisement asking, “Do you want to be a rock’n’roll star?” and went on to join the indie rock group Felt.
Duffy made a mark as a pianist when contributing to Primal Scream’s first two albums as the band was creating a constant buzz with their brand of chirpy guitar-driven pop.
Martin Duffy made his mark with 1991’s Screamadelica, a groundbreaking record that merged indie-aesthetics rock’s with the experimental and unsettling sounds of acid dance and techno. After Felt split up in 1989, Martin Duffy joined Primal Scream permanently.
At that point, Martin Duffy had also developed a reputation for being a wild man.
Huw Price, the album’s studio engineer, claims that he was constantly on task when it came to the work.
He told Guitar.com that “he had a naughty sense of humor, delighted in Zen jokes, and was frequently the worse for wear.”
“I had the feeling that some of them were running a protracted experiment to see how wasted he had to be until he couldn’t play any more. Duffy, though, was a musical angel whenever he played Jam’s Yamaha grand piano.”
Along with his work with Primal Scream, Duffy was always looking for new projects. He had previously collaborated with The Charlatans, Paul Weller, Beth Orton, Steve Mason, and the music for the 2018 British movie Wild Rose.
Duffy also found the time to work on Assorted Promenades, his sole solo record.
The instrumental and experimental piece, which was published in 2016, received attention for its diverse soundscapes, which ranged from shimmering piano arpeggios to the utilization of field recordings, such as the sounds of low-flying planes passing by.
It does come down to melody, he said, even if you wrap things up in the newest technology, according to the rock and pop culture website The Quietus.
“While I also enjoy a lot of avant-garde music, a nice melody is what I consider to be advanced.
It’s extremely impressionistic since I’m not relying on a vocal or lyric because this [record] is instrumental.
Martin Duffy’s final album with Primal Scream, the underwhelming Chaosmosis, was released in 2016. The previous year, he appeared on Bobby Gillespie’s duet album with Jehnny Beth, Utopian Ashes.