Rod Stewart throws support behind Scots charity music studio gutted by deliberate blaze

-Credit: (Image: Getty)
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Legendary musician Sir Rod Stewart has given his backing to a bid to restore a Paisley music studio gutted by a devastating fire.

The fire destroyed the William Street home of much-loved music charity Loud n Proud in February 2021 and ever since Paisley’s talented young musicians have had no place to call their own.

Founded by The Bungalow’s Tommy McGrory, Loud n Proud was forced out of their base after an arson attack that gutted the building and led to the loss of essential equipment and resources.

“Since then we’ve been unable to offer our full journey approach. What we do is take in kids, teach them how to play, set them up in a band, and then put them on the stage, but we’ve had nowhere to do that since the fire,” explained Tommy.

Tommy McGrory in the part of the building where the fire started -Credit:PDE
Tommy McGrory in the part of the building where the fire started -Credit:PDE

It’s expected it will cost around £100,000 to restore the building to a functioning music studio, with soundproofed rooms for the bands to play in, and £50,000 more will be needed for equipment.

Well-known producer and songwriter John McLaughlin has stepped forward to spearhead a crucial fundraiser aimed at rebuilding the organisation’s studio.

And in his bid to raise the profile of his campaign, he’s secured the backing of Maggie May singer Sir Rod Stewart.

Responding to his call for help, Sir Rod said: “I heard the bad news about your studio burning down, it’s awful mate. Anything I can do to help rebuild it let me know.”

Tommy said: “I was absolutely blown away that not only the internationally acclaimed Sir Rod Stewart knew anything about us, but that he had kindly offered to help.”

Damage from the fire
Damage from the fire

Sir Rod is urging people to get behind the fundraiser, saying: “Music has the power to transform lives, and Loud n Proud has been a crucial force in nurturing talent and providing opportunities for young people. It is heartbreaking to witness such a setback, but I believe that, together, we can help them to rebuild and ensure that the music doesn’t stop.”

As musicians rally together to support Loud n Proud, including The Bay City Rollers, Heaven 17 and Hue and Cry, Tommy and members of the charity have been blown away by the support.

He said: “Through the combined efforts of John McLaughlin and Rod Stewart and other bands and artists who are rallying to the cause, Loud n Proud is poised to emerge stronger, continuing its legacy of nurturing musical talent and providing opportunities for young musicians.’’

Following the fire, the charity was threatened with extinction, but the owner of the building Gary Kerr, a local businessman, gifted the premises to the charity in 2022.

Although they now have a permanent home, the mission is to take the burnt-out shell and turn it into five soundproof studios.

The primary objective of the fundraiser is to raise funds for the reconstruction of Loud n Proud’s studio and to create a dedicated space for young people who may not have the means to pursue formal music education.

Work done on the site so far has included cleaning of surfaces, painting all the walls and ceilings, replacing carpets and stripping out fire -damaged wood and ceiling tiles. Five tuition studios have been built with funding from Renfrewshire Council’s Community Benefits Programme. And the third and final stage is the construction of the five soundproofed rooms.

The names of every donor will appear on the charity’s ‘Wall of Heroes’ at the entrance foyer of the studio. To donate, follow this link:

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