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Virgil Howe 9/2017

September 11, 2017 – Virgil Howe was born on September 23, 1975 in London, England, the second son to Yes founding member/ guitarist Steve Howe. He played on several of his father’s projects: he performed on keys, alongside his brother Dylan Howe on drums, for the Steve Howe solo albums The Grand Scheme of Things (1993) and Spectrum (2005). He was in Steve Howe’s Remedy band, who released an album Elements (2003), toured the UK and then released a live DVD. He wrote and performed on a piece on his father’s 2011 release Time. He also plays drums on 11 tracks of Steve Howe’s Anthology 2: Groups and Collaborations that were largely recorded in the 1980s. Under the name The Verge, Virgil Howe produced the Yes Remixes album, released 2003.

Nexus, due November 2017, is a joint album by Virgil & Steve Howe, due on InsideOut. Father Steve described the album: “Most of the credit goes to Virgil on this; it’s Virgil’s bed and melodies but I’ve come in to add a little bit more.”

Howe was in The Dirty Feel, with Kerim ‘Kez’ Gunes (bass, vocals) and Nick Hirsch (guitar, vocals; died 2012). A debut single, “Get Down and Love In”, had a limited UK release in 2004. They were signed to DirtE.

In 2005, the band took part in MTV’s A-Cut amateur band competition. In 2005, Howe formed The Killer Meters with again Gunes on bass and Hirsch on guitar, with Karime Kendra (vocals), Henry Broadbent (keyboards) and Stephen Wilcock (saxophone). They released a tribute album to The Meters and then signed to Breaking Bread records in 2008 for an original album.

In 2008, Howe joined band Little Barrie on drums. Between 2009 and October 2010 the band wrote and recorded their third album King of the Waves, working again with Edwyn Collins, Seb Lewsley at the controls and Shawn Lee mixing. Chris Potter mastered the album. The first single off King of the Waves was “Surf Hell”. This track was featured as the theme tune to the 2011 Channel 4 series Sirens and an advert for Rimmel “scandal eyes” mascara; it was also playable on the multi-platform video game “Rocksmith”. The album was released in the UK on June 27, 2011 and in the US on February 28, 2012. After touring with Charles Bradley in Spain, Little Barrie was invited onto his North American Tour in early 2012. The band went on to do the theme music for the US TV series Better Call Saul.

Howe also drummed for a period for psychedelic group Amorphous Androgynous, fronted by Garry Cobain of The Future Sound Of London.

Howe produced under his own name, having previously produced under the name “Sparo”, under which he released the album Sparoworlds.

Session work included drumming on the Pet Shop Boys’ album Fundamental and for Bryan Ferry as well as Greek wonder voice Demis Roussos on Demis, 2009.

Howe died unexpectedly in September 11, 2017 at the age of 41, shortly before Little Barrie were to embark on a tour for their fourth album, Death Express.

Howe was married to fashion model Jen Dawson. They married in 2007 and had a daughter, Zuni, in September 2012. They had separated in 2015. He was living with his partner, Mariah do Vale, at the time of his death.


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