Slade’s Don Powell has gathers up around 20 of his drumming mates for a new charity song to raise funds for out of work musicians and crew sidelined by the pandemic.
Slade II member Craig Fenney ran the original idea beside Don who recruited his mate, ELO’s Bev Bevan, and then watched more than a dozen other drummers come to the party.
Don tells Noise11.com, “How it came about, Craig Fenney who was the bass player on this project first touted the idea. He was with me when we went back on the road in 1992. For some strange reason Craig and I kept talking about this particular track ‘Let There Be Drums’ and sometimes we’d jam it at soundchecks.
“When he left the band we kept in contact and we talked about doing this project again. I said I’d already recorded a drum track for ‘Let There Be Drums’ and maybe we could use that and see.
Fenney imagined the project becoming an all-star piece. “It was his idea to get different guest drummers on it playing a small piece each and making it a bit of a novelty thing and use the proceeds for charity,” Don says. “With all of this Covid rubbish going on the road crews, lighting crews, musicians, are just totally out of work. We are donating all proceeds to them and hopefully that will help them out a bit”.
One by one the drummers contributed to the project. “I was amazed at the amount of drummers who came forward and said they would do a piece for us,” he said.
Don Powell and Bev Bevan go way back to the 60s together. “I really met Bev years before ELO when he was in Denny Laine and the Diplomats,” Don says. “They played in the 60s. When ELO formed and toured America Slade were on the same bill. Our paths kept crossing. He is from Birmingham near my hometown Wolverhampton. We used to play all the same pubs and clubs back in the 60s. We sort of knew each other and then toured America with ELO in the 70s so it was an obvious choice for Bev to be chosen for one of the guests”.
Bev Bevan was in The Move before ELO and The Move were a huge act years before Slade formed. “They were a great band,” Don says. “We used to go to a legendary club in London called The Marquee. It broke a lot of bands back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The Move used to have a residency at The Marquee on a Thursday night and we used to go down and watch them. They were a great band and had a few hit records as well. Really that’s how ELO started. Roy Wood got Jeff Lynne into The Move and eventually they formed ELO. Bev was from The Move and moved with Jeff Lynne to ELO”.
Because of Covid, all of the parts of ‘Let There Be Drums’ had to be done remotely. “I did my drum parts in Denmark, where I live now,” Don says. “The files would come over from the UK with the basic track and I’d record my drums over the top and send it back. The same for the video we have done for it. Each of the drummers recorded their own video piece for the project and we’d edit it together”.
Sandy Nelson, the creator of the original 1960 hit ‘Let There Be Drums’ was approached for the project. “He was approached but he doesn’t play anymore,” Don says. “But we got his blessing. It would have been fantastic to include him on the track”.
The Don Powell Band and Friends will release ‘Let There Be Drums’ to the world on 18 June.
Keep on eye on the website for further details.
The full list of players is:
Credits: Let There Be Drums
The Don Powell Band
Don Powell: Drums
Craig Fenney: Bass
Bob Wilson: Guitar
Jon Briscoe: Guitar
Curly Davies: Tambourine
with special guest
Jon Bates: Piano
Brian Bennett: The Shadows
Bev Bevan: Quill, ex Move, ex ELO, ex Black Sabbath
Andy Edwards: Robert Plant, IQ, Frost,
Rob Brian: Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, Siouxsie Sioux
Jamie Little: Jason Donovan, Beverley Knight, Steve Vai
Karl Brazil: Robbie Williams, James Blunt
Tom Meadows: Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud,
Jamie Morrison: The Stereophonics
Craig Bacon: Gloria Gaynor, Nimmo Brothers
Mick Barker: Mickey Barker; Second Vision, Magnum, Bernie Marsden and KoM
Derrick McKenzie: Jamiroquai
Matt Cowley: Emily Capell, Bernie Marsden
Lee Agnew: Nazareth
Craig Blundell: Steve Wilson, Steve Hackett
’Sticky’ Wicket: Chris Barber, Jools Holland
Richard Rayner: Multiple award winning percussion and drum performer
Rebekah Rayner: Session drummer
Toby Wilson: Session drummer
Mark DeCloedt: EMF
Watch the Noise11 interview with Slade’s Noddy Holder.
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