Sunday, April 18, 2010

RIP Devon Clifford of You Say Party! We Say Die!

Courtesy of Amanda Ash for CBC Radio 3:

Devon Clifford, the drummer for Abbottsford-based dance-punk group You Say Party! We Say Die!, passed away early Sunday morning after collapsing during a gig at Vancouver's Rickshaw Theatre Friday night.

"It is with absolute sadness to report that our dear friend Devon Clifford passed away just hours ago in a Vancouver hospital surrounded by his family and friends," the band's publicist said in a press release. "He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. I request that we respect the family's privacy during this incredibly difficult time."

The cause of death remains unconfirmed, although a source close to the band says he was rushed to hospital after lead singer Becky Ninkovic asked audience members at the Downtown Eastside venue to call 911 shortly after midnight. The source said Clifford was resuscitated on the way to the hospital, where doctors discovered he had bleeding of the brain. He was then put into a coma and put on life support.

It was reported that Clifford, 30, underwent surgery early Saturday morning. He was taken off life support early Sunday morning.

"DEVON CLIFFORD 1979 - 2010 R.I.P" read the message the band sent out via Twitter early Sunday morning. Previous tweets included "We are devastated and trying to keep hope. He needs at miracle. Thank you" and "there aren't alot of words right now. let the doctors do their job."

According to the Globe and Mail, Clifford worked for the Portland Hotel Society, a housing organization that helps the impoverished residents of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside.

The band had just returned from a North American tour in support of their latest release, XXXX, and were set to embark on an extensive European tour beginning April 26. It is unknown whether the band will complete the tour upcoming dates.

Devon was a hilarious, uplifting presence, full of banter and smiles at YSPWSD shows. His drumming was the back bone of the band and I suspect he was like that for his close ones as well. It was a pleasure having met him and I'm totally shocked and saddened by his death. And judging from the amount of tweets going to the band at this point, it's fair to say that the music community is grieving alongside. My prayers and thoughts go to Devon's family, friends and bandmates.