The Louisiana is hosting a fundraiser this evening for the musicians who lost more than £30,000 of equipment between them in a fire that devastated a warehouse on Netham Road last month. Thankfully no one was injured in the blaze, although the many musicians using the building lost everything overnight.
The Louisiana sound engineer and The Parlour Scene bassist Sam Drower was one of the musicians affected and has taken the lead with a joint Go Fund Me page, to try and get all of the acts involved back on the stage as soon as possible.
So far, the Go Fund Me page has raised nearly £1.5k of their self-proclaimed ambitious £31,227 goal, which accounts for the losses of six bands and two solo artists, although Sam says every little bit helps: ‘Anything you can contribute to help us get back on our feet, no matter how big or small, is more appreciated than we can adequately express.’
Of course, the blow was not just financial. The individuals affected by the fire include some of Bristol’s most seasoned, DIY artists, who have spent decades building their set up – some of it being deeply personal.
The individuals affected include some of Bristol’s most seasoned, DIY artists, who have spent decades building their set up – some of it being deeply personal
Born of turn-of-the-millennium punks Big Joan, bioelectrical noise duo Adam Burrows and Keith Hall AKA Flag Fen are another of the acts who lost their equipment. ‘I’ve lost my moan guitar – a Fender Stratocaster I’ve had since I was 15 and that I’ve played hundreds of shows with over the years’ Adam tells us. ‘Steve who sings with us and also plays in Megabats and Geisha has lost a similarly valuable Rickenbacker bass. Both of them were much loved and special to us.’
Sam Drower and his band were the worst affected by the incident, losing around £13,000 of gear alone. ‘Basically everything we owned as a band including our instruments, so it’s a significant blow’ he tells us.
The other acts involved are Rough Trade Records-signed, BBC 6 Music-adored Bristol-Paris group This Is The Kit, Seitz, Schnauser, White Owl, Pete Synth and Will Edwards.
In a beautifully Bristol fashion, the music community has rallied around the group
In a beautifully Bristol fashion, the music community has rallied around the group. The Louisiana quickly offered up their stage for the charity event tonight, as well as providing all the backline for the show. Geoff Barrow’s Beak> have also offered their services as DJs for the night. And The Louisiana staff are also forming a one-off Corrs tribute band for the night, The (En)Corrs.
The rest of the lineup takes shape from the Netham Road fire victims. Headliners Flag Fen are joined by chamber-pop trio Seitz and psych/prog/pop group Schnauser, plus a sooner-than-planned-debut from Lightning Sharks – another project from Sam Drower.
‘It’s a horrible sounding noisecore project that we started for fun towards the end of last year’ Sam explains. ‘I honestly didn’t think we’d be playing a gig any time soon but The Parlour Scene isn’t in a position to rehearse or play at the moment given that we lost everything in the fire. We were quite reliant on a lot of our equipment to perform, as there’s a lot of effects pedals, synthesisers and the like. It’d be a lot harder to throw a set together on borrowed equipment – Lightning Sharks is a little more raucous and has a little less finesse!’
‘Everyone at the Louis has been amazing,’ says Adam ‘especially Mig and Gav who have lent us loads of kit. And Lor has organised the benefit show and formed a Corrs tribute band especially for the occasion! But people in the wider music scene have been so helpful too – it’s obviously a horrible situation, but has also been a reminder of what a great community we have around music in Bristol.’
it’s obviously a horrible situation, but has also been a reminder of what a great community we have around music in Bristol
Sam agrees: ‘The Louisiana has very kindly agreed to provide all backline for the show – the drums, amplifiers, etc. And we’ve managed to borrow or finance some new instruments, so at least we’ve got a way of making it all happen on the 18th! After that, we’ll have to see how things go.’
You can donate to the Go Fund Me Page here: gofundme.com/help-replace-our-musical-instruments
And / or you can show your support by heading down to the benefit show at The Louisiana tonight. Advance tickets are available via Headfirst, or you can pay on the door.