Little Barrie cancel Birmingham date after death of drummer Virgil Howe

By Leigh Sanders | Entertainment | Published:

Rockers Little Barrie have been forced to cancel their upcoming tour after the tragic death of their drummer Virgil Howe - including a date in Birmingham.

The musician, 41, died suddenly last night - with frontman Barrie Cadogan saying the band were 'heartbroken'. He was the son of YES guitarist Steve Howe.

Following the success of the recently released album Death Express, the band were tonight due to start a UK tour at Cambridge's Portland Arms that was due to finish at the Actress & Bishop in Birmingham on September 30.

But they have announced in a statement on their Facebook page that all show tickets can be refunded at the point of purchase.

We reviewed the band's album Death Express back in July - see what we made of it here

The statement read: "We can confirm that Little Barrie’s drummer Virgil Howe, acclaimed drumming son of rock figurehead Steve Howe, sadly passed away last night at the age of 41.

"Virgil’s sudden and unexpected death has come as an incredible shock to his friends and family. His band had been in rehearsals preparing for their UK tour, which was due to start today in Cambridge."

Frontman Barrie added: "We are heartbroken that we have lost our dear friend and brother Virgil Howe. Our thoughts are with his daughter, family and partner. Please respect their privacy during this difficult time."

And bandmate Lewis Wharton added: “I am utterly devastated to lose my friend and a positive force in my life.”


YES themselves were also currently touring, but a statement on their Facebook page said that the remaining shows on the YEStival Tour had also been cancelled.

It said: "Due to the tragic, unexpected death of guitarist Steve Howe’s beloved younger son, Virgil, YES regrettably announces that the remaining dates of their Yestival Tour have been cancelled.

"YES — Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood — want to thank all their fans for their support and understanding."

We reviewed the five-star Death Express on its release back in July, which can be read here.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at


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