Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Chelsea Percussion Group (Give The Drummer Some - Part 2)

The brief few weeks of Summer are over and the Winter is now well and truly with us. Last Sunday's car-boot sales were completely washed out so I decided to hit up the charity shops on Monday. Although it wasn't particularly fruitful I did pick up a nice album from my local record shop's £1 box - 'Moods & Music' by The Chelsea Percussion Group. The cover alone sealed the deal but on closer inspection the track listing revealed an exciting prospect - a 'Drum Battle' between two of the student musicians featured on the album. As well as that, I love these 'private press' school releases that probably only had a run of two or three hundred copies and were sold exclusively to parents and friends. I've bought a fair few shitty ones over the years but when a good one turns up it makes it all worthwhile.

So, onto the album. Any good? Well, I'll be honest - musically it ain't great. The band, consisting entirely of percussionists, were definitely not the tightest musicians around and it sounds like it's been recorded in the school hall with the mics at the back and band playing down front! Having said that, it does hold a certain charm and reminds me of my own school days when I'd usually be allocated a 'triangle' or 'wood block' during music lessons. For sampling there's obviously loads of potential with individual hits as well as some nice Vibraphone and Xylophone sections - think late '90s Pete Rock production. The reason I decided to post this up though, is for the aforementioned 'Drum Battle'. Terry President and Stephen Claw hammer it out for just under two and a half minutes, hitting sticks across the entire kit before being kind enough to drop a couple of straight ahead B-Boy breaks. The word 'raw' couldn't be more appropriate. Thanks Terry, and extra special thanks to Stephen who, along with Al Green (!) supplied the record sleeve graphics. It's definitely a 'wall-display' piece.

Click the newspaper clipping (which was tucked inside the sleeve) for a larger image if you're interested in reading about the band and their 'achievements'.

The Chelsea Percussion Group 'Drum Battle' (1976 Chelsea School P/P)

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