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Broadstairs folk band Thousands Army lose equipment after fire destroys practice room

A popular folk band say they are "truly gutted" after losing all their performance equipment in a fire at the weekend.

Thousands Army, a folk band based in Broadstairs, lost their kit and their practice room in the blaze in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The fire is believed to have started in a wheelie bin which spread to the building in Fairfield Road housing all their speakers, amps and equalizers.

Broadstairs band Thousand Army is appealing for help after their practice room and equipment was destroyed by a fire (11869883)
Broadstairs band Thousand Army is appealing for help after their practice room and equipment was destroyed by a fire (11869883)

A fundraising page to help raise £2,000 to replace the equipment to get the band back on the road has been set up.

Stuart Jones, the band's guitarist and vocalist, said: "Sadly, the building caught and our entire performance gear was engulfed in flames.

"The devastation represents 16 years of collective skimping and saving, bargaining and borrowing by all members of our extended folk family to acquire this equipment and we are truly gutted.

"We will carry on and will find another place to live, if not immediately to practise.

"It has been heart-wrenching as we wrestle with the magnitude of this blow."

Fortunately, they had recently played a gig so their instruments - guitar, violin, banjo and bass guitar - were not in the building when it was destroyed.

The band hope to raise £2,000 to help replace their equipment
The band hope to raise £2,000 to help replace their equipment

But the band, who formed in Margate in 2006, has lost two public address systems with speakers, equalizer unit, mixing deck, bass amp and cab, two drumkits, six string bass guitar, two electric guitars, microphones, guitar effect pedals, leads and adaptors vital to their live performances.

Mr Jones added: "We have decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to allow those who wish to do so to donate what they can or choose to in a formal and organised way.

"The outpouring of warmth and concern we have received these last couple days has been truly awesome to experience and we are beyond grateful for the offers of assistance we have received."

The band performed on Tuesday night in a show at the University of Creative Arts campus in Canterbury after borrowing equipment from friends and fellow musicians.

"Whether it be through lending us equipment for shows, even donating it entirely, wanting to contribute financially to a budget to rebuild, organising fundraiser events or simply wishing us good luck and encouragement to continue, it has all been so overwhelming and so very greatly appreciated," Mr Jones said in a post on the band's GoFundMe page.

"We plan to do a fundraising event soon to try and raise some money to continue the mission, but for now this is here for those very kind souls who wanted to help us."

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