Last year we hosted an exhibition by North West photographer Chris Payne – Flash Bang Wallop – which imagined and recreated the early memories and self-perceptions of drummers in a series of portraits featuring some of the most iconic players of the past 50 years.
Anyone can learn to drum without owning a drum-kit. Payne’s portraits of selected drummers from a range of musical backgrounds explore their childhood memories of first-beats; intended to inspire young people to pick up sticks and learn about the rhythms that connect us as humans. It’s the musical equivalent of ‘jumpers for goalposts’.
Across the course of the project Flash Bang Wallop participating drummers have included Dame Evelyn Glennie, Mike Joyce (The Smiths), Stephen Morris (New Order and Joy Division), Rick Buckler (The Jam), Gaz Whelan (Happy Mondays), Andy Paresi (Morrissey), Anna Prior (Metronomy), Rick Jupp (formerly of Elbow), Mike Spearman (Everything Everything), Johnny Kalsi (Afro Celt Sound System), Rob Cieka (The Boo Radleys) and many more.
Now, to extend the project, some of the Flash Bang Wallop drummers have been creating videos as a response to the current lockdown. There are short exercises, demonstrations of drum beats and styles – all are in the spirit of the project, and the idea that drumming is a natural instinct and accessible for all. Some exercises are for more advanced drummers, and others for those who have never drummed before.
Watch a selection of the videos below and let us know if you manage to find your rhythm… or just make a racket!
Ed Chesters (The Bluetones)
Michael Spearman (Everything Everything)
Tom Bancroft (using kitchen utensils)
You can follow Chris’s updates and mini drumming crash courses at Flash Bang Wallop’s website.