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Ipswich ‘90s band DarkSeed reunite for gig in memory of loved one

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 November 2017

DarkSeed members at rehearsal, from left to right: Russell Swallow (vocals), Mark Pritchard (bass), James Kindred (guitar), Jonathan Keen (guitar/keyboards) and Rob Fink (drums). James Quinton and Matt White are also in the band. Picture: MARK PRITCHARD

DarkSeed members at rehearsal, from left to right: Russell Swallow (vocals), Mark Pritchard (bass), James Kindred (guitar), Jonathan Keen (guitar/keyboards) and Rob Fink (drums). James Quinton and Matt White are also in the band. Picture: MARK PRITCHARD

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An Ipswich band from the 1990s which reformed for a one off show in April after its bass player was diagnosed with cancer is reforming for a second time for charity.

Mark Pritchard, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is waiting on his prognosis after treatment, is reforming his band from the 90's DarkSeed. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Pritchard, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is waiting on his prognosis after treatment, is reforming his band from the 90's DarkSeed. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

DarkSeed began with five school friends in Thurlston playing around Ipswich in the 1990s. Despite remaining lifelong friends they only played together at each other’s weddings after that time.

Father of two bassist Mark Pritchard, 40, was diagnosed with cancer at the base of his spine and a tumour on his brain late last year, which left him needing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

To help the lighting technician remain upbeat, DarkSeed reunited and played a gig at the Manor Ballroom on April 15, raising £2,300 for Backup, a cause which supports those in the music industry who are seriously ill.

Now, with Mark continuing treatment and guitarist James Kindred, 40, having lost his sister-in-law Toni Wright to pancreatic cancer in May, the band are back together to raise cash for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Toni just before her wedding to John Wright in March. Picture: ALWYN NASHToni just before her wedding to John Wright in March. Picture: ALWYN NASH

James said: “It feels a little like getting on a bike without stabilisers. We wanted to find another cause to do it for rather than our own satisfaction.

“It’s unfortunate that cancer is something that touches a lot of people’s family.”

Mark added: “The gigs are a fantastic distraction. People say ‘look back to the last year and the hardest days – it is a wonder you are not in hospital recovering.’”

Mark has undergone stem cell treatment and further courses of chemo and radiotherapy, and is now waiting to hear the outcome of those treatments.

Mark Pritchard (left) rehearsing with DarkSeed. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDMark Pritchard (left) rehearsing with DarkSeed. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

In the meantime the band is rehearsing for the gig at Venue 77 on December 16.

A cycle ride by Toni’s family in Germany over the summer raised thousands of pounds for the cause called ‘Ride for Toni’, with the December gig set to be ‘Rock for Toni’ in which some of her favourite songs will be played by DarkSeed and friends.

Mark added: “It went very well [last time] and sold very well – we saw people we hadn’t seen for about 20 years when we used to play. Because we have played these songs so many times back in the day you get back into them and you get certain nods and smiles at bits you used to mess up before but get right now.”

To buy a ticket for the show or to donate, visit the online ticket page here.

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