Bobby Gillespie has offered a full tribute to his Primal Scream band mate Martin Duffy.
The keyboard player grew up in Birmingham, and was drawn into the orbit of seminal indie group Felt as a teenager. Entering the studio as a 16 year old, he lit up the band’s finest work, adding baroque flourishes to Lawrence’s magnificent songwriting.
Felt signed to Creation Records, with Martin Duffy becoming friends with Primal Scream. Playing on their first two records, he joined the band officially in 1991 and helped drive them to incredible heights.
Sadly, news of Martin Duffy’s passing was confirmed earlier today (December 20th). He passed away following a fall at the weekend, in which he suffered a brain injury.
A lengthy series of tributes have been made to this much-loved figure, who notably stepped in to help The Charlatans complete their Knebworth slot alongside Oasis in 1996 after the passing of Rob Collins.
Bobby Gillespie saluted “a beautiful soul” with a lengthy, tender, and emotional statement. The frontman said: “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.”
“He could play piano to the level where he was feted not just by his peers in British music, but old school master American musicians such as James Luther Dickinson, Roger Hawkins & David Hood & producer Tom Dowd.”
Recalling sessions alongside Dr. John and Funkadelic guru George Clinton, Bobby explained: “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. He never played the same thing twice, ever. He was all about ‘the moment’, better have that ‘record’ button on when Duffy was on fire. His timing was unique, funky and ALWAYS behind the beat.”
Closing, Bobby Gillespie mourned his band mate, and a close friend. “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.”
Find the statement in full below.