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It was the day the music died

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

THE REGION'S music scene is today coming to terms with the loss of one of its most talented musicians.

Rob Giles, who died early yesterday morning when fire ripped through a Felixstowe flat, was a member of local pop/rock band Boot 50.

THE REGION'S music scene is today coming to terms with the loss of one of its most talented musicians.

Rob Giles, who died early yesterday morning when fire ripped through a Felixstowe flat, was a member of local pop/rock band Boot 50.

He and his fellow band members, Jonathan Robinson and brothers Jamie and Marcus Legg, were familiar faces on East Anglia's live music circuit playing throughout the region for over a year.

They were preparing to release their debut single this autumn, had recently been gigging at venues and events in Essex, including the Army & Navy, in Chelmsford, last Friday and Colchester Free Festival on Monday, had successfully built up a strong following of fans and looked to be going places.

Only this past weekend they had been for a drink with a promoter who had shown interest in working with the band

Named Boot 50, because of the number of boots on a football field, including the referee and two assistants, Rob and his fellow band members were passionate about football, particularly Ipswich Town.

Late last year they expressed a wish to perform their tribute to the Super Blues, These Are The Days, at Portman Road. However, today the tributes were being paid to Rob.

Band member Marcus said: "Me and my brother first met him about 18 months ago although Jonathan had known him for longer. We saw him about two or three times a week for gigs and practices, the last time being the Free Festival on Monday.

"He was an excellent guitarist. A lot of other bands would come up to us and comment on how good our guitarist was.

"He was enthusiastic and very talented with a flare for picking out and making a tune.

"He was also a really good laugh who didn't have a bad word to say about anything. Carrying on without him is going to be difficult."

Marcus said the band would now take a break to decide what to do although they would probably carry on in memory of Rob.

He said: "We were looking forward to the coming year, things were looking up for us and we were starting to make ground and turn heads. This has obviously now been shattered.

"More so is the fact that we have lost a good friend and somebody who only wanted to live his life as a musician. He got close but at 18 years old, was tragically cut short.

"We'll probably keep going because he would have wanted us to. We'll dedicate the whole thing to him.

"All he wanted to do was be a musician. We're definitely going to miss him, without a doubt.

"If we do keep going it's going to be hard for someone to fill his shoes, not just because he was such a good guitarist but because of the person he was."

"We all still shocked by the news," he added saying that he hoped people did not just mourn Rob's death but that they also celebrated his life.

The Boot 50's website has closed and a memorial to the 18-year-old set up in its place. The home page shows a photo of Rob and reads: "In the early hours of Wednesday 29th August 2001, our guitarist Rob Giles and a friend tragically died in a house fire in Felixstowe.

"The crew of Boot 50 would, at this time, like to pay respect to a close friend and talented musician

who asked for nothing more than to experience the life of music, which he loved so much.

"We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy and our thoughts and wishes go to Rob's family and friends.

"Rob, you will be greatly missed … but not forgotten."

Friends and fans are invited to log on and leave their own tributes to and memories of the teenager, and his friend Will with who he died, on the site's guestbook which has become a book of condolences.

This morning it had been started by Mags, a close friend of Boot 50, who simply said: "Words fail me at present. You will be sadly missed."

The loss of a guitarist who was tipped for great things in music will take a long time to sink in, particularly for those who were closest to him.

N Read the tributes to Rob Giles or leave your own at www.boot50.com

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