Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 April 2019

'The world was at their feet': UK duo Her's killed in car crash

Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading have died while on tour in America

The duo by UK band Her's has died in a car crash. Instagram / @thatbandofhers
The duo by UK band Her's has died in a car crash. Instagram / @thatbandofhers

Both members of the UK indie band Her's have been killed in a car crash in Arizona, while on tour in America.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, 24, and Audun Laading, 25, were travelling to a gig in Santa Ana, California early on Wednesday, along with their tour manager, Trevor Engelbrektson, who also died.

The duo's record label Heist or Hit confirmed the news on Friday. It described them as "one of the UK's most loved up-and-coming bands".

The duo had been named as "ones to watch" by The Guardian and featured on the BBC Music Introducing. They released a debut album, Invitation to Her's, last year.

Fitzpatrick was from the UK town of Barrow-in-Furness, in the north of England, while Laading was from Kristiansand, in southern Norway. The pair met while studying at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

On Monday, the band posted on Facebook: "It's almost home time for the lads, US tour has gone swimmingly so far. Got a hot sunset date with the Grand Canyon tonight."

'The world was at their feet'

The label confirmed the band had been on their second tour of North America, playing 19 shows to promote the new album, when the fatal accident occurred. "They were in America playing to thousands of adoring fans," it said in a statement. "Fans they made a point of meeting and spending time with, such was their passion and humbleness. The world was at their feet."

The statement continued: "We are all heartbroken. Their energy, vibrancy and talent came to define our label. As humans, they were warm, gentle and hilarious. Each time they stopped by the office made for an uplifting experience."

'Wrong-way driver'

The fatal collision took place "just after a wrong-way driver was reported eastbound in the westbound lanes" on Interstate 10 when a pick-up truck collided head-on with the band's van, the Arizona Department of Public Safety has reported. The driver of the truck also died as "both vehicles were engulfed in flames".

It added: "There was no roadway evidence to indicate braking by either vehicle prior to impact. An alcoholic beverage container was located in the debris field."

Paying respects

Condolences poured in across social media, and a small tribute to the band was held outside The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, where the duo performed a sold-out show on Tuesday.

Many fans and fellow bands expressed their sadness across Twitter, posting condolences and tributes to the band. That includes Keith Mullen, member of fellow Liverpool band The Farm, who said he was “devastated to hear the news”. “My thoughts are with family and friends. RIP,” he wrote.

Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens wrote he was “so sorry to hear the tragic news. […] Her’s made wonderful music, and they were the warmest people.” He told Radio 1 Newsbeat that the two “sweet friends” had had a bright future in music ahead of them.

British band Circa Waves said it was “shocked and saddened”.

While band Indoor Pets also posted a tribute on Twitter.

Updated: March 30, 2019 11:32 AM

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