David Longdon: Prog rock singer died after falling down stairs

By Liam Barnes
BBC News

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David Longdon Big Big TrainImage source, Prog Magazine
Image caption,
David Longdon (left, pictured in 2013) was the singer with prog rock band Big Big Train

A prog rock singer died after he fell down the stairs at his home, an inquest has heard.

David Longdon, who joined Big Big Train in 2009, was taken to hospital on 19 November last year after being found by his partner at home in Nottingham.

The 56-year-old died at the Queen's Medical Centre the following day.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, assistant coroner Fiona Gingell said he had suffered "unsurvivable" head injuries.

Nottingham Coroner's Court heard Mr Longdon's partner had heard him getting up at about 03:00 GMT, and soon after heard a loud bang and "strange noises".

She found him at the foot of the staircase, which was described as steep and "pitch black" at night due to a fire door at the bottom.

Despite his partner calling emergency services and "very bravely" performing CPR at the scene, the inquest heard Mr Longdon had suffered a number of "traumatic" injuries that left him with "no hope of a reasonable recovery".

Ms Gingell said a post-mortem report identified head injuries as the cause of death.

'Sad loss'

Agreeing with Mr Longdon's partner that "this was clearly an accident", she added though toxicology tests found "a small social level" of alcohol in the blood, he was neither intoxicated nor under the influence at the time of his fall.

"As a result of the fall he sustained traumatic and unsurvivable head injuries which were the direct cause of his death," she said.

Ms Gingell extended her condolences to Mr Longdon's family, some of whom attended the hearing via video link.

"I'm very sorry for your sad loss," she said.

The day before his death Mr Longdon - who as well as his vocal work also played flute, guitar and a number of other instruments - had been working on a new solo album.

Last year Big Big Train paid tribute to him, with bassist Greg Spawton saying he "made a huge impact on my life both musically and personally".

"He was a true creative visionary with extraordinary depth of talent," he said.

"But above all he was a first rate and very kind man."

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