More than £20,000 raised in memory of Frankie and the Heartstrings drummer Dave Harper

Thousands of pounds have been raised for the family of musician and dad-of-one Dave Harper after he sadly passed away last month.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 12:50 pm
Dave Harper, a legend in the city's culture scene.

The band’s official Twitter feed announced that the Pop Recs co-founder had passed away in hospital on Wednesday, August 25.

Dave, who had been receiving treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy for a number of years was a passionate champion of music and culture in Sunderland and a popular figure on the city’s gig circuit.

Born in Murton, the talented drummer and songwriter formed Frankie & the Heartstrings, along with frontman Frankie Francis from Houghton and guitarists Michael McKnight from Grangetown and Steven Dennis from Downhill in 2008, and would go on to become a powerhouse in Sunderland’s arts and culture scene, which saw him in his final weeks getting ready to open the new Pop Recs in High Street West.

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Tributes have been paid after Dave Harper passed away.

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Tributes paid after tragic death of Frankie and the Heartstrings drummer Dave Ha...

Now, £22,000 has been raised to help support his family following his death.

Bandmate Frankie Francis launched the fundraiser in honour of his friend, and on the crowd funding page said: “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 (8)

“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.”

After their very first gig in the old Independent site in Holmeside in December 2008, the band toured the globe in what Dave told the Echo was “the best job in the world,” racking up a Top 40 album, high profile festival slots at the likes of Glastonbury, Leeds, Latitude and T in the Park, and support slots with household names such as Florence and the Machine, Kaiser Chiefs and The Vaccines.

Speaking to the Echo in tribute to his friend and band mate, Frankie said: "Dave was the driving force in everything we achieved as a band and forged a legacy with Pop Recs in Sunderland. We have the best stories from our times together that I’m sure we will roll out forever. A real one of a kind whose passing will be felt everywhere he stepped.”

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

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