Bristol musicians join forces to raise money for recording studios destroyed in fire

The Omni Rooms studios in St Jude’s were destroyed in the blaze last month
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A Bristol musician is raising money to replace thousands of pounds worth of equipment lost in a fire that destroyed a local recording studio.

Max Edkins was one of several Bristol musicians who lost equipment when fire destroyed the Omni Rooms studios at The Old Malt House on Little Ann Street on October 16.

The Omni Rooms are run by Jodie Robinson and Ty Drew, who have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to rebuild the studio.

The space has now been rendered out of use for the foreseeable future as a result of the fire but because the insurance will not be covering the entirety of what was destroyed, Max and a group of fellow musicians are helping with the fundraiser to raise money for equipment lost in the fire.

The Omni Rooms Fire Fundraiser has already passed the £5,000 mark and now Max has written a song with other artists affected by the fire.

Some of the money raised by the song will also go towards new playground equipment at Max’s old primary school in Eastville, where he is the resident lollipop person. Max, 24, is a former pupil of Glenfrome Primary School, as was his mother, uncle and grandfather.

Musician Max Edkins is also the lollipop person at his former schoolMusician Max Edkins is also the lollipop person at his former school
Musician Max Edkins is also the lollipop person at his former school

Max says: “The parents and staff at the school have been incredibly supportive of me generally and this initiative, so we are looking to organise the school choir to partake in the creation of this piece of music.

“The BBC have recently recorded the Year 6 Children in Need choir at the school for the next airing of the event so it should be quite easy to arrange.

“The song I wrote has the working title of Mercury, so we will see if that sticks. I’ve also been trying to settle on a name for the project as well. I think I’ve decided to call the project Love Mothership and it be more of community-driven and open band in terms of its collaborators.

“I love the idea of writing music and having as many incredible people have input as possible. Currently the song will feature a host of musicians that I have worked with over the years, some that were also affected by the fire, as well as some musicians within the school and local community. We are also going to have a choir made up of school children and local singing groups.”

As well as being expensive to replace, much of Max’s lost equipment had sentimental value and he says seeing them destroyed in the fire was devastating.

“I find I can never be as attached to something as I am to my musical instruments. Aside from family and friends, these tools mean the world to musicians.

“They travel with you everywhere, they are the tools that help you to work through the most difficult times. And although material things are replaceable in some respects, they are irreplaceable in others.

“I personally lost a good portion of my drum equipment that I’d gathered over the years - others also lost drums, guitars, pedals, amps, notes and the space that allows them to flourish.

“I was just about to soundcheck for my show on the same evening that I got the call to say the place was on fire. I immediately rushed there to see what was happening but I felt helpless.

“My car got sandwiched between the fire engines, and there was nothing I could do there so I ran back to the venue where I was due to perform and just made my set in time.

“I’m extremely glad that I decided to go back and perform but I nearly broke down entirely whilst heading to the venue after seeing the fire. All of my close friends were there and they gave me the courage to still do the show.”

Max says he’ll do whatever he can in order to help the studio owners to hit the £25,000 target.

“We will just continue doing what we can to help everybody get back on their feet. We’ll be putting on a series of live shows and fundraising events for the cause, too. It will be a long road to recovery for everyone affected but the drive is there and we aren’t going to be giving up on our dreams.

“Many people have reached out with contributions to the crowdfunder, as well as offers to lend music gear so that practice and creation can continue. This is more than anyone has to do so we are all forever grateful for the help.”To donate to the Omni Rooms Fire Fundraiser, click here.

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