David Longdon, the frontman of British prog rock band Big Big Train, has died aged 56.
Longdon died following an accident, the band confirmed in a statement shared with Prog.
“Big Big Train are extremely saddened to announce the death of David Longdon this afternoon in hospital in Nottingham, UK at the age of 56 following an accident in the early hours of Friday morning,” the band wrote. “He is survived by his two daughters Amelia and Eloise, his mother Vera and his partner Sarah Ewing.”
The band’s bassist and founder Greg Spawton said: “It is unspeakably cruel that a quirk of fate in the early hours of yesterday morning has deprived him and his loved ones of a happy future together and all of the opportunities, both personal and musical, that awaited him next year and beyond.”
Steve Hackett, former guitarist with Genesis, tweeted: “I’m very sad to hear of David Longdon’s passing. He was a lovely guy and had a wonderful voice. He sounded fabulous singing on the vocal version of Spectral Mornings.”
“We are so terribly sorry to hear this news,” Marillion said in a short statement. “He was a kind and lovely man. We shall miss him. Sending love to his family and friends.”
I’m very sad to hear of David Longdon’s passing. He was a lovely guy and had a wonderful voice. He sounded fabulous singing on the vocal version of Spectral Mornings. https://t.co/Y5hCsHUwdc
— Steve Hackett (@HackettOfficial) November 20, 2021
Big Big Train formed in Bournemouth in 1990, with Longdon joining the band alongside Nick D’Virgilio in 2009. ‘The Underfall’s Yard’ was the first album that marked Longdon’s on-record appearance with the band. Their latest studio album ‘Common Ground’ was released in July 2021 and Longdon will feature on the forthcoming Big Big Train record ‘Welcome To The Planet’, due for release in January 2022.
Last year, Longdon released a collaboration with the late folk musician and Fairport Convention singer Judy Dyble under the name Dyble Longdon. The album ‘Between A Breath And A Breath’ was released shortly after Dyble’s death from lung cancer. According to the band’s statement, Longdon had been in the studio working on a new solo album the day before his accident.
Read more tributes to Longdon below:
I adore @bigbigtrain & David Longdon was a superb frontman. His passing is a huge loss to music, & like many others l’m in shock. If you never saw him perform you missed out. Here he is with a fabulous version of Spectral Mornings by @HackettOfficial https://t.co/3FS8Rd9v9q
— Tony Pollard (@ProfTonyPollard) November 20, 2021
I was shocked to hear of the passing of Big Big Train’s David Longdon. In 2018, Nick D’Virgilio and I played David’s song Telling The Bees. I’d like to share this and send condolences to Nick, the band and David’s partner Sarah at this sad time. https://t.co/kBmFOD7L3W
— neal morse (@nealmorse) November 21, 2021
I cannot believe the news about David Longdon. A true gentleman and a fantastic musician, my thoughts are with his family, Greg and the band.
— Frost* (@Here_Be_Frost) November 20, 2021
We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our musical collaborator & dear friend David Longdon.
We are fortunate to have wonderful memories of making & performing music with David that will be treasured always.
Sending love and light to David’s family & friends https://t.co/HpRymtllGX
— Downes Braide Association. (@TheRealDBAMusic) November 20, 2021
This is my favourite photograph of @bigbigtrain’s David Longdon, whose life was so cruelly cut short on Saturday. This is how I’ll remember him for as long as I live. pic.twitter.com/ivaGRAPTVA
— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) November 22, 2021
The band said they would issue a further statement soon about their 2022 concerts, including their long-delayed debut US tour.