Rock band Neonfly angry over sour bus raid theft of irreplacable guitars and drums from outside Bradford hotel

Neonfly

Neonfly

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

An angry rock singer has called for more on-street CCTV cameras after his band had £25,000 of equipment stolen from their tour bus outside a Bradford city centre hotel.

Rock band Neonfly, who have previously toured with Alice Cooper, had parked their bus outside the Travelodge in Forster Square.

Thieves fled with a haul of “irreplaceable” items including six guitars, four of them electric, three parts of their drum kit, sound effect units, amplifiers and cables.

The items were taken from their tour bus, a blue Mercedes Sprinter van, between 8.20pm and 8.30pm last Sunday.

However, after an online campaign, equipment given by fans and guitar shops saw Neonfly continue their tour in Nottingham this week.

But despite these donations, the band want their original kit back.

The band were on a day off in Bradford between dates in Manchester and Nottingham as part of their UK tour when the theft took place.

Lead singer Willy Norton said: “It’s a shocking thing to do to young people. It’s a terrible, nasty and unpleasant crime.

“The atmosphere in this locality was menacing and the camera coverage was utterly inadequate for a city centre locality. They need more CCTV around there. Something really needs to be done before simple theft escalates to something worse.

“It’s tragic that people should target musicians who don’t have any money themselves. We are just travelling the country to entertain people.”

Councillor Imran Hussain, the deputy leader for Bradford Council, denied Mr Norton’s claims, saying there is a sufficient number of CCTV cameras in Bradford city centre.

He said: “We have a good network of CCTV cameras across the city centre. It is very effective.

“The police request various pieces of CCTV footage and have used it successfully in the past in criminal cases.”

Phil Holmes, CCTV manager, said: “We do have a CCTV camera in that area but it moves around to focus on different locations.

“The van was parked in a private car park rather than on the public highway and obviously we concentrate on public areas in the city centre. Security of private car parks are primarily the responsibility of the owners.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to the theft and want to hear from anyone who has been offered musical equpiment at a reduced price.

Comments (8)

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7:13am Fri 2 May 14

Albion. says...

Welcome to Bradford.
Welcome to Bradford. Albion.
  • Score: 10

8:58am Fri 2 May 14

BigFigure says...

A common problem for many bands,not just in Bradford,unfortunate
ly.My son's band based in Sheffield have a cunningly disguised van to try to avoid being targeted. One band I know have an ex-police force transit which still has the prisoner cage in the back for secure storage of their kit. Didn't stop scallies in Nottingham nicking the exhaust/cat system one night,however....
A common problem for many bands,not just in Bradford,unfortunate ly.My son's band based in Sheffield have a cunningly disguised van to try to avoid being targeted. One band I know have an ex-police force transit which still has the prisoner cage in the back for secure storage of their kit. Didn't stop scallies in Nottingham nicking the exhaust/cat system one night,however.... BigFigure
  • Score: 6

10:54am Fri 2 May 14

The Hoffster says...

Lead singer Willy Norton said: “It’s a shocking thing to do to young people. It’s a terrible, nasty and unpleasant crime.

“The atmosphere in this locality was menacing and the camera coverage was utterly inadequate for a city centre locality."


Yet they decided to leave the bus unattended with all the equipment inside?

Well that was clever...
[quote] Lead singer Willy Norton said: “It’s a shocking thing to do to young people. It’s a terrible, nasty and unpleasant crime. “The atmosphere in this locality was menacing and the camera coverage was utterly inadequate for a city centre locality." [/quote] Yet they decided to leave the bus unattended with all the equipment inside? Well that was clever... The Hoffster
  • Score: -6

11:28am Fri 2 May 14

Deja-Moo says...

The atmosphere in the locality was menacing... yup, been that way for years, the centre is surrounded by sink estates, Undercliffe, Leeds road, Great Horton, Manchester road, Manningham. Menacing sums up the city rather well, that and Dump.
The atmosphere in the locality was menacing... yup, been that way for years, the centre is surrounded by sink estates, Undercliffe, Leeds road, Great Horton, Manchester road, Manningham. Menacing sums up the city rather well, that and Dump. Deja-Moo
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Fri 2 May 14

RollandSmoke says...

My sympathies guys. You do however highlight one thing which is the cost of the equipment involved for a band or musician to put on a show. Even the most basic of bands will have equipment running into the thousands of pounds. There will have been years of time and effort spent learning to play. There are many who can earn a living doing this but for a lot of musicians they will never so much as recoup the cost of their instruments. They play for the love of playing. It keeps them out of trouble. Which is why I have asked in the past about the arts council funding that only seems to go to musicians who play thousands of pounds worth of instruments in Tuxedos. It's why I have asked why the youth programs never seem to be steering them toward this more creative outlet. I hear now that they are banning steel strung guitars in prisons. There is a therapeutic and calming influence that you get from playing an instrument which would be highly beneficial if it our intention to rehabilitate prisoners. So why is so little being done to promote getting involved in music when the rewards for true success are so massive? Our music is part of our culture and it should be as diverse as possible we cannot justify spending vast sums on the classical whilst leaving all other styles of music to hope they can make enough cash from a dying pub trade to afford to live.
My sympathies guys. You do however highlight one thing which is the cost of the equipment involved for a band or musician to put on a show. Even the most basic of bands will have equipment running into the thousands of pounds. There will have been years of time and effort spent learning to play. There are many who can earn a living doing this but for a lot of musicians they will never so much as recoup the cost of their instruments. They play for the love of playing. It keeps them out of trouble. Which is why I have asked in the past about the arts council funding that only seems to go to musicians who play thousands of pounds worth of instruments in Tuxedos. It's why I have asked why the youth programs never seem to be steering them toward this more creative outlet. I hear now that they are banning steel strung guitars in prisons. There is a therapeutic and calming influence that you get from playing an instrument which would be highly beneficial if it our intention to rehabilitate prisoners. So why is so little being done to promote getting involved in music when the rewards for true success are so massive? Our music is part of our culture and it should be as diverse as possible we cannot justify spending vast sums on the classical whilst leaving all other styles of music to hope they can make enough cash from a dying pub trade to afford to live. RollandSmoke
  • Score: 1

11:02pm Fri 2 May 14

allinittogether says...

That's so rock and roll; complaining that the state doesn't have enough cameras to spy on their citizens. Not!
Can you just imagine Alice Cooper whinging there are aren't enough cctv cameras?
That's so rock and roll; complaining that the state doesn't have enough cameras to spy on their citizens. Not! Can you just imagine Alice Cooper whinging there are aren't enough cctv cameras? allinittogether
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Sat 3 May 14

fedupwiththeBS says...

And we wonder why we never get any big bands coming to Bradford, even our home grown bands like New Model Army go to play in Holmfirth.

We can spend millions on redeveloping the city but until the average bod starts to take pride in the city we will always be tarred as a dump.
And we wonder why we never get any big bands coming to Bradford, even our home grown bands like New Model Army go to play in Holmfirth. We can spend millions on redeveloping the city but until the average bod starts to take pride in the city we will always be tarred as a dump. fedupwiththeBS
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Sun 4 May 14

Willy NEONFLY says...

In answer firstly to The Hoffster - We were unloading the van and it was left unattended for 5 minutes at which point it was stripped of its contents. I don't think 'clever ' comes into it - the van was fully alarmed/locked/immob
ilised and was backed up against a post to restrict access to the back doors (common practice for tour vans) - the thieves moved the van (we still dont know how) and bent the post - both activities indicate a degree of professionalism and forethought that one would have thought beyond opportunists. On the basis of this explanation please don't rush to judgement. And thank you for your sympathy. Five young men have just lost the tools to their trade - your comments are extremely glib, insensitive and ill-informed. In answer to Allnittogether - as we have worked very closely with Alice Cooper in the last 12 months I think we are in a much better position to ascertain what he might say to our situation, not you. Our point is that the centre of Bradford is inadequately served by CCTV - another tour bus was robbed the previous week. The police told us this was such a regular occurrence that it was becoming laughable. We don't advocate CCTV as a means to spy on the populace and I think the use of the word 'whinging' is laughable. We aren't 'whinging' we are pointing out YOUR city is not secure at night - we have the proof to the tune of £25,000 in losses. It's your city and the safety of your citizens we're highlighting, if you want to make a lame and inappropriate rock and roll comparisons with Alice Cooper that's really your affair. But it really is a very weak riposte. Incidentally NEONFLY in true R&R fashion went on to rock Nottingham, Glasgow, Holmfirth, Wolverhampton all with borrowed equipment and big hearts. Frankly I know Alice would be proud. Yours, Willy (Lead Singer Neonfly)
In answer firstly to The Hoffster - We were unloading the van and it was left unattended for 5 minutes at which point it was stripped of its contents. I don't think 'clever ' comes into it - the van was fully alarmed/locked/immob ilised and was backed up against a post to restrict access to the back doors (common practice for tour vans) - the thieves moved the van (we still dont know how) and bent the post - both activities indicate a degree of professionalism and forethought that one would have thought beyond opportunists. On the basis of this explanation please don't rush to judgement. And thank you for your sympathy. Five young men have just lost the tools to their trade - your comments are extremely glib, insensitive and ill-informed. In answer to Allnittogether - as we have worked very closely with Alice Cooper in the last 12 months I think we are in a much better position to ascertain what he might say to our situation, not you. Our point is that the centre of Bradford is inadequately served by CCTV - another tour bus was robbed the previous week. The police told us this was such a regular occurrence that it was becoming laughable. We don't advocate CCTV as a means to spy on the populace and I think the use of the word 'whinging' is laughable. We aren't 'whinging' we are pointing out YOUR city is not secure at night - we have the proof to the tune of £25,000 in losses. It's your city and the safety of your citizens we're highlighting, if you want to make a lame and inappropriate rock and roll comparisons with Alice Cooper that's really your affair. But it really is a very weak riposte. Incidentally NEONFLY in true R&R fashion went on to rock Nottingham, Glasgow, Holmfirth, Wolverhampton all with borrowed equipment and big hearts. Frankly I know Alice would be proud. Yours, Willy (Lead Singer Neonfly) Willy NEONFLY
  • Score: 1

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