The stalwart band’s Bradford studio suffered a roof collapse and extensive fire, water and smoke damage as a result of a blaze reported to have started in an adjacent furniture outlet.
While most of the building – which also houses two floors of Party Space, a screen-printers and several other studios rented by professional outfits – was saved during the Christmas Eve incident, New Model Army’s facility was almost completely destroyed.
Among the victims of the fire were vintage Gretsch and Slingerland drum kits, a Hammond C3 organ, and a variety of collectable guitars and amplifiers. Also lost are demos for the band’s next studio album, as well as recently discovered 30-year-old tapes containing material that was due to be added to a forthcoming reissue of 1984 album Vengeance.
Despite its losses, the band’s singer, Justin Sullivan, is striving to remain upbeat: “We have really been amazed by the response and the generosity of the offers of assistance we have received. Of course, we are all upset about what has happened, especially the loss of irreplaceable musical instruments and three or four months of recording work, but we are insured and hope that at least our financial losses will be covered. In the end, though, nobody was hurt and what was lost is just material. The band is about People and Spirit and without doubt this has never been stronger. There may perhaps be a bit of a delay in our activities but otherwise everything will continue as before.”