Who’s the ugly mug behind the drum kit, sulking in a beanie hat? Yes, it’s me. Not only do I regularly moan and rave about music, but also play it myself. I have played the drums since I was 8, and in 2006-2010 studied BTEC Music Technology and HND Music Performance at South Downs College in Hampshire.
These two videos are part of the end of year concert that took place at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms in June 2009, for the BTEC and HND students on the music scheme to show off the covers that they had been jamming for the past few months. The band here was disappointingly untitled beyond ‘The HND1s’.
These are the six songs during which I make a racket from the back of the stage, and for some reason, wearing a woolly hat indoors.
- Europe – The Final Countdown
- Phil Collins – Easy Lover
- Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name
These songs were definitely the most fun to listen to. It wouldn’t have mattered if we had written our own twenty-minute opus. No one would have cared. We needed to choose some songs to make everyone smile. At one point, a few of us wanted to open the set with a hard rock version of the famous Tetris theme. I’m not sure why that didn’t go ahead, but I maintain that it should have done.
- Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man
- Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life
- Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
These three calmer songs were probably my favourite to play though. In spite of sounding relatively simple, the shuffling beats of ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ were the most fun to play. ‘A Design For Life’ is one of my favourite songs ever, so I’m really glad this came out as well as it did. Liam Galvin’s vocals were brilliant.
It also makes me smile to see me smirking at 9:46 during ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, due to a happy surprise. I can still remember suddenly getting really worried at that moment, as I carelessly slightly lost track of the beat. I threw in a drum fill there and managed to save it. It was admittedly a complete accident, but the fact that it comes straight after the “beat of the drums” line was so perfect, as it made it sound deliberate. Phew!
I also played keyboard on Steve Harley & the Cockney Rebel’s ‘Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)’. Luckily, I don’t have a handy recording of that song, because I recall that it was a bit of a nightmare due to problems with the vocals, the fact that the keys were turned up outrageously high, and how the song keeps stopping. There was a painful atmosphere as it sounded as though the song finished four or five times, and the audience were unsure when to applaud. Besides that, it was OK.
The HND1s were: Chris Brown, James Cutting, Liam Galvin, Rhys Huntley, Lauren Keenan, Zach Mudie, Kevin Osborne, Nick Pollard, Chris Waite.
And to anyone moaning that any of it is ‘wrong’, we were encouraged to make changes. So ner. Except when we almost made a student whose head was stuck in the 1960s throw a miniature tantrum, by playing The Doors’ ‘Roadhouse Blues’ at twice the tempo, and attempted a heavy metal version of the ever untouchable Beatles’ ‘Come Together’.
(Written 11th April 2017)