Entertainment

Saturday 22 September 2018

Fundraising drive launched for Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith

The musician, 55, has been battling neurological condition dystonia.

Tim Smith (Faith/PA)
Tim Smith (Faith/PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith, who inspired the likes of Blur and Radiohead into music, has received more than £60,000 in donations as part of a drive to help fund his medical bills.

The musician, 55, has been battling neurological condition dystonia, and brain damage since suffering a cardiac arrest almost 10 years ago – a struggle he has largely kept quiet.

However due to funding shortfalls, Smith’s rehabilitation is at risk and a fundraising drive – initially set at £40,000 – was launched in January.

— Mary Wren ABC (@Mary__Wren) January 8, 2018

The target was raised to £100,000, enough to fund a year’s worth of medical treatment, after celebrities, fans, and friends rushed to donate.

The cult band, who have also been credited with inspiring the likes of Napalm Death, Faith No More and Biffy Clyro, were in the middle of making an album when Smith was struck down in June 2008.

Smith is quoted on the Just Giving page as saying: “The only way I can try and let you know how I feel at the moment is, imagine if you were wearing a skintight bodysuit made of fishnet all around you with electrical pulses going all the… time. This is what my body feels like unless I fall asleep.”

He has received care in a specialist neurological facility since the accident with funding billed at helping maintain his care in the facility.

Among the donors are record producer and singer of folk band Unthanks, Adrian McNally, who wrote: “If I could afford the lot, it wouldn’t come close to monetising the debt I owe to Tim Smith, for showing me what music can be. Make more Tim, but not in repayment. You’ve given so much already.”

Another donor by the name of Dawn French – although it is unclear whether it is the actress and comedian – wrote: “For Tim, with love and thanks for the music, Dawn.”

Penned by Mary Wren, the page reads: “Tim’s condition is complex and poorly understood.

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Tim Smith (Sarah Maher)

“He has responded positively to treatment when his income has afforded it. A tribute record, fundraising gigs, reissues of his music and conventions attended by devoted fans have helped. But he is now entering his tenth year of inadequate care.

“He has resisted publicity up until now, but we, his friends and family, now agree with him that the time has come to go public, with a story of a man’s unique creative world and the severe problems of neuro-rehabilitation.

“Tim’s friends and family just want him to be allowed to try to get better. Everyone in his condition deserves that opportunity. Being given the right treatment could allow him to complete musical projects of great beauty that still burn brightly within him.

“If he could recover enough to use a mouse he could make music again; if he can find his voice he will be able to boss us about in the studio; it feels as though he is finally being given a chance to come back to us.”

Formed in 1977 the Cardiacs, then known as Cardiac Arrest, are known for their unhinged sound and, although it never troubled the top of the charts, enjoyed success with 1988 minor hit Is This The Life?

Press Association

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