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Ipswich 1990s band DarkSeed reunite for one-off show after bassist diagnosed with cancer

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 April 2017 | UPDATED: 07:50 10 April 2017

Mark Pritchard, who has been diagnosed with cancer, has reformed his band DarkSeed to raise money for Backup. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Pritchard, who has been diagnosed with cancer, has reformed his band DarkSeed to raise money for Backup. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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An Ipswich lighting technician who works on tour for Madonna, Elton John and Queen has reformed his band from the 1990s for a one-off gig after being diagnosed with cancer.

Mark Pritchard (left) rehearsing with DarkSeedMark Pritchard (left) rehearsing with DarkSeed

Father-of-two Mark Pritchard, 39, began suffering from aches and pains in August last year he believed to have been from running. Doctors initially thought it may have been a slipped disc, but a series of scans revealed cancer at the base of his spine.

“It was quite a shock – I expected a slipped disc,” he said.

“I left the tour I was working on [Level 42] and was whisked off to Addenbrooke’s.”

DarkSeed reunited after bassist Mark Pritchard (second right) was diagnosed with cancerDarkSeed reunited after bassist Mark Pritchard (second right) was diagnosed with cancer

A tumour was also found in his brain, and began a gruelling couple of months of chemotherapy until January, followed by 30 courses of radiotherapy after the chemo was found to have been unsuccessful.

Mr Pritchard and wife Helen are now waiting to find out the results of the radiotherapy.

“I am still very weak – I cannot pick my children up and I rely a lot on people, but we are just focusing on daily life,” he said.

Mark Pritchard, who has been diagnosed with cancer has reformed his 1990s band DarkSeed for charity. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Pritchard, who has been diagnosed with cancer has reformed his 1990s band DarkSeed for charity. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In the meantime, Mr Pritchard has reunited his old 1990s Ipswich band DarkSeed to keep him focused. The five-piece were friends from school in Thurlston, and despite remaining lifelong friends only played occasionally for each other’s weddings.

Now, bass player Mr Pritchard will be reunited on stage at the Manor Ballroom on April 15 with Rob Fink, drums, guitarists James Quinton and Jon Keen, and vocalist Russell Swallow for the one-off show, which is raising money for Backup.

The charity supports those in the entertainment industry who are seriously ill or struggling, and helped Mr Pritchard financially and emotionally since his diagnosis.

“They were amazing,” he said. “They gave us a contribution and some of my colleagues have had tremendous help from them so they deserve some recognition.”

The band has made the trip from London for rehearsals, while vocalist Russell Swallow has been flying from his home in Berlin.

Mr Pritchard said: “Once we got back together we looked around and started smiling at each other, and we are doing the same set we did back in the day pretending we are not 40 but 16 again.”

For tickets see here or those unable to make the concert can donate here.

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