Video: Norfolk Fire Service rock band The Backdrafts heading to New York to play musical tribute to the heroes of 9/11

The Backdrafts - a band made up from members of the Norfolk Fire service. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Backdrafts - a band made up from members of the Norfolk Fire service. Picture: Matthew Usher.


Trailblazing Norfolk fire service band The Backdrafts are taking their rock n’ roll show to the States – after being invited to New York to play a self-penned song inspired by the heroes of 9/11.

The five-piece, who perform in full fire-fighting gear, will appear at an appreciation dinner on the night before the Tunnel to Towers race in September, run in memory of the emergency workers who died in the terror attacks on the city’s World Trade Centre in 2001.

The band will play a poignant original ballad called Chose to Run, written to reflect on those sacrifices and the shared brotherhood between firefighters.

The opportunity emerged after the Backdrafts played at the equivalent 5k run in London last July, where they explained to the organisers that they had written the song and would love to play in America. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation duly agreed.

Drummer Scott Field, one of three band members based at Dereham Fire Station, said: “We decided to write the song in memory of the fallen. We are all brothers. We are all life-savers and we all go out and do our best and take it on the chin. So we wrote this song for them.

“It has just got a sense of sincerity to it. It brings a tear to the eye.

“We approached the Tunnel to Towers people in London and said that we had written this song and we would like to donate it to raise money for the charity.

“That got sent to the executive board. They loved the song and they’ve invited us to go out there and play it for them in New York City. It will be used as an anthem which, hopefully, will go round the six other countries which host Tunnel to Towers.”

The band has already signed a publishing deal so that the royalties for their signature track Smoke Detector Blues could raise cash for the Fire Fighters’ Charity. It is hoped the same deal can now help Chose to Run earn money for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation in America.

The song lyrics include the line: “You crossed a line, a moment in time, surrendered your life to save one just like mine”.

Three of the band are based at Dereham Fire Station as part of the county’s urban search and rescue team: Scott Field on drums; Duncan Barrow on backing vocals and keyboards; and James Little on lead guitar. Bassist Dave Pleszko is based at Thetford while frontman Andy Heginbotham is a group manager at Norfolk Fire and Rescue service HQ.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest from the EDP

Show Job Lists

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast