Artist News

Dave Harper from Frankie & The Heartstrings dies

By | Published on Friday 27 August 2021

Dave Harper, drummer with Frankie & The Heartstrings, has died, aged 43.

In a statement yesterday, the band said: “We are desperately sad to announce that our dearest friend and drummer Dave Harper passed away in hospital last night. Where do we even start to describe what kind of person he was and what he meant to so many? This legend was unforgettable and we’re heartbroken over this loss”.

The band subsequently announced a Crowdfunder campaign to raise money for Harper’s family. On the Crowdfunder site they wrote: “Following an unexpected decline in health, Dave passed away on Wednesday 25th of August 2021 at the age of 43, leaving behind his devoted wife Ruth and little boy Sonny. No one saw this coming, not least his family, so lets chuck some coffers in the pot and make them feel loved as we loved Dave”.

Harper joined with Frankie Francis and Michael McKnight to form Frankie & The Heartstrings in 2008, with the band releasing a debut EP the following year on their own label Pop Sex Ltd. That label then allied with Wichita Recordings on three subsequent albums, most recently 2015’s ‘Decency’. Harper and the band also set up their own record shop, Pop Recs Ltd, in home town Sunderland.

Among the other artists paying tribute to Harper yesterday were The Cribs, who said on Facebook: “We are all deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dave Harper. The Cribs and Frankie & The Heartstrings shared many nights on the road together, as label mates and spiritual brothers. Dave was a dynamo on and off stage, and a true champion of independent, grassroots music. He will be remembered for his deep commitment to his home town, his irrepressible spirit, and of course the sense of community he built with Pop Recs – the absolute definition of DIY culture”.