December 11 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Norfolk fire service band The Backdrafts have earned a shot at national TV exposure for their rock n’ roll safety message after being accepted for an audition on Britain’s Got Talent.
The five-piece, who perform in full fire-fighting gear, have been fanning the flames of publicity this year with a series of high-profile gigs and by securing a licensing deal for their self-penned safety anthem “Smoke Detector Blues”.
But now they have the opportunity of nationwide fame as they brave the buzzers of ITV’s talent show judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.
The Backdrafts have been accepted for the Britain’s Got Talent auditions, but have yet to be told whether it will be at their first choice venue of London or their second choice of Birmingham. The auditions are taking place in October and November.
Drummer Scott Field said it was a major breakthrough towards the band’s ambitions of raising money for the Fire Fighters’ Charity and spreading the word about the importance of testing smoke alarms every week.
He said: “It’s very exciting, but this is all about the safety message for us. If we can stand in front of eight million TV viewers and get people to test their smoke alarms, then job’s a good ‘un.
“There is no better advertising and, to be honest, we are TV fodder. They are going to get a uniformed band up there doing something a little bit different.”
Mr Field said the band members were not nervous about facing the criticism of a judging panel including the fearsome Simon Cowell.
“It doesn’t bother us in the slightest,” he said. “We are not looking at being pop stars. If we can get this message, across that’s the most important thing that could be happening. And if we make a few thousand pounds for the Fire Fighters’ Charity as well, that will make our day. “We just want to reach as many people as possible in the time we have got. I don’t see us winning it... but you never know.”
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, keyboards and percussion; 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 headquarters.
Following the popularity of Smoke Detector Blues, the band has written a second song with an important public safety message, named “Stop, Drop and Rock n’ Roll”.