Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Funky Drummer (Parts 1 & 2)

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. One of those things that I love is bands with (at least) two drummers.

To close my trilogy of totally ignored drumming blogs, I'm going to explain why all bands should have a minimum of two drummers, using 5 examples:

1. Rock n' Roll Stew - Traffic (Jim Capaldi, Roger Hawkins and Rebop Kwaku Baah) January 1973

Traffic tear the roof off the Winterland Arena by stirring three percussionists into Rock n' Roll Stew. That's three more drummers than The White Stripes.

2. Pretzel Logic - Steely Dan (Jeff Porcaro and Jim Hodder) May 1974

I included a Steely Dan performance from this London show on my top 5 drum solos of the 1970s, and this version of Pretzel Logic is so good it prompts Donald Fagen to admit: "I thought that was pretty well done myself."

3. Not Fade Away - Grateful Dead (Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart) September 1975

This Grateful Dead show at Lindley Meadows is notorious because the entire band was particularly high. And this is the Dead we're talking about. To make matters more surreal, a woman in the audience was having a baby. Now that's a show to remember. Hopefully.

4. Use the Force - Jamiroquai (Derrick McKenzie and Sola Akingbola) September 1996

The infectious combination of Derrick McKenzie on drums and Sola Akingbola on percussion drives Jamiroquai's groovy Use the Force, which ought to be the theme tune to the upcoming Star Wars movie.

5. 4th Movement of the Odyssey - Incubus (José Pasillas II and Brandon Boyd) November 2004

Talking of Star Wars, the soundtrack to the game Halo 2 features a 4-part odyssey from Incubus, which would be annoyingly pretentious were it not so amazing. Part 4 builds from its exotic percussive opening into Mike Einziger's storming guitar work. It's the perfect soundtrack to fighting aliens in space.

Hopefully that's a convincing list. If I ever see a band with any fewer than two drummers, there'll be hell to pay. In memory of the great Jack Bruce, who died on Saturday, I'll leave you with Cream's phenomenal 16-minute Spoonful. Cream only had one drummer, but it was Ginger Baker, which is like having hundreds.