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Fire victim's band plays on

PUBLISHED: 03:15 11 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:19 03 March 2010

TRAGIC Suffolk guitarist Robert Giles will be remembered next week when his rock band performs in public for the first time since he lost his life in a house blaze six months ago.

TRAGIC Suffolk guitarist Robert Giles will be remembered next week when his rock band performs in public for the first time since he lost his life in a house blaze six months ago.

The 18-year-old, who had been pursuing a music career with rising group Boot50, was killed after fire tore through the bedroom of his new home in Holland Road, Felixstowe, on

August 29.

The blaze also claimed the life of his friend William Stokes, 19, of Bawdsey, near Woodbridge.

But the band, featuring members from both Suffolk and Essex, reached the soul-searching decision to continue recording and performing in

Rob's memory.

They have been rehearsing with a new guitarist, Adam Sinclair, of Clacton, and the new line-up is set to play their first gig on Sunday,

February 17.

It has been arranged for the H20 in High Street, Braintree, Essex, and will be followed by a second date at The Braintree Centre at Alec Hunter High School on Wednesday, February 27.

The shows are intended as low-key warm-ups for a more frantic schedule later in the year.

Marcus Legg, Boot50's singer and rhythm guitarist, said the band had only decided to continue after receiving the unwavering support of Rob's mother, Maggie Giles, and the

guitarist's friends.

"It was a tough decision for us but we know it is what Rob would have wanted. We feel as if Adam is the fifth member of the group as Rob didn't leave – he was taken from us," he said. "It will be strange playing without him for the first time and obviously we will miss him."

The band is planning a tribute gig to keen Ipswich Town fan Rob at the Army and Navy pub in Chelmsford next month and will use proceeds to buy a memorial brick to place in the Britannia Stand at Portman Road.

Boot50's football-inspired song, These Are The Days, was played at Portman Road in October before Town's match with Leeds as a tribute to the former Farlingaye High School pupil.

Marcus said the band had been rehearsing with their new guitarist and writing new material. "Adam has felt a bit like a spare part but has settled in. It was made easier because Rob and Adam had jammed together before," said the Braintree-based musician.

"We are looking forward to playing gigs again, although we will be thinking of Rob on the night. It's only due to the support of his family – and so many other people – that we didn't jack it in."

Boot50's line-up is completed by bassist Jamie Legg, Marcus's brother also of Braintree, and drummer Jonathan Robinson, of Coddenham.

Talented musician Rob had grown up in Coddenham but moved to Felixstowe just two weeks before his death.

Rob had been enjoying a night at home with his friends, including William Stokes, shortly before his death, which was believed to have been caused when a lighted candle toppled over in his bedroom.

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