On Christmas Eve a fire started in the furniture outlet next door to The Mill in Bradford and directly below where we have our studio, rehearsal and storage facility. At one point one of the ten fire crews involved was fighting the blaze from inside our studio. They were eventually able to put out the fire but not before extensive damage to our room, including a roof collapse. The photos below and video show what greeted us when we finally gained access 48 hours after the fire.
We have lost our entire studio set-up - desk, microphones, recording gear etc - and many irreplaceable instruments including Michael's Tama and vintage Gretsch kits and Robert's priceless old Slingerland. Gone is Michael's entire snare drum collection, eight guitars including a Les Paul, the Phew that Dean plays live and a vintage Epiphone acoustic, a 1960s C3 Hammond organ, a harmonium, a vintage EDP Wasp synthesiser and a huge number of our most favourite instruments, large and small.
HOWEVER we were lucky that we had just returned from the short run of Christmas shows and that most of our touring equipment was still cased and stacked up. It is amazing what can be pulled out of totally melted flightcases and, with varying degrees of smoke and water damage, we have salvaged Justin's Lowden, his favourite SG and Vox AC30 and parts of Michael's touring kit while none of Marshall's guitars or Nelson's touring bass were in the studio at the time of the fire.
We are hoping that our Insurance claim will be relatively straightforward although it is too early to say for sure. Meanwhile, in the true 'Spirit Of The Mill', an army of volunteers helped us to fill five skips full of charred remains, while work has already begun on fixing the roof.
We would like to thank everyone who has written to us with messages of support and offers to loan gear. We have honestly been amazed and humbled by this response. Our gratitude and respect goes out to all of you. And lastly, but certainly not least, we'd like to thank the firefighters who contained the fire and saved the Mill (and even some of our equipment) in difficult and dangerous conditions.