Sport Relief 2018

Sport Relief LogoAn energy boost for Robbie Savage's 5-Live-A-Side 12-hour challenge!

Every other year in March, Sport Relief combines sport and entertainment in a massive fundraiser to help vulnerable people in the UK and across the world.

We supported Sport Relief two years ago in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and this year, we were invited by the BBC to drum at the 5 live-a-side, an endurance challenge for Robbie Savage and his Allstars team of eight celebrities to play 12 straight hours of five-a-side football against participants from this year's FA People's Cup.

So, on the morning of 23rd March 2018, we found ourselves on a coach to MediaCityUK in Salford, where the BBC had turned the Piazza outdoor space into a small 5-a-side stadium.

FC Pandemonium?

Unexpectedly, we could easily have joined the pitch frenzy when we were asked for our team and player names, but with buckets hanging from our necks, the Allstars would have had it too easy, so we passed and instead followed a different prep routine in the shared holding area at the Dock 10 Studios, where the Crawley COGs were very much looking forward to their match.

Following security checks, including a bucket scan and a look under our iconic lightbulb bowler hats, we quickly determined that our presence was vital: the Piazza saw concentrated pitch action with a small crowd in the stands, but a stadium atmosphere it was not - goals were not cheered, no chants, not many supporting rallying cries, and Robbie Savage's team had already seven hours behind them and five more to go!

Adrenaline and motivation boost

The mood changed immediately when we started drumming, and particularly the kids in the audience became animated and cheerful.

We coined the term cheer drumming, and this type of supporting performance with no fixed duration and highly flexible dynamics is ideal for events such as this.

But we also got an opportunity for a showcase performance on the pitch, which was shown live on BBC Red Button!

Until 20th April, you can watch the performance on BBC iPlayer from ca 7hr 50min at:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p060vyxc/sport-relief-sport-relief-5liveaside

Or see the video in this tweet:


They are still chanting...

After about an hour of cheery drumming, the stage manager informed us that we would be going live on BBC One, and asked us to produce some noise in the lead-in to some interviews.

Producing noise is of course something we know how to do, and BBC presenter Ore Oduba gave us a nod with his line "they are still chanting, so this is good".

You can hear, though not see us until 20th April (37m 38s, with VT intro from 36m 11s) at:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09wyybr/sport-relief-2018-part-1

In case you are wondering, we are stopping rather abruptly as we were apparently too noisy for the interviews, and we had to dash off to catch our coach straight afterwards, with our drummers performing at the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Parkinson UK just 36 hours later.

Meeting the Celebrities

We were particularly chuffed when Harry Judd from McFly, for this day also a member of Robbie Savage's Allstars team, came over to hang out with us a little while.

We stood on the same stage as McFly at the massive Go Local event in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park back in 2013, and we knew the same people such as Mike Dolbear, the drum co-ordinator for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Harry finally had a go at impersonating a (highly skilled!) Pandemonium Drummer:


All in all a highly enjoyable event, and we are more than pleased to hear - and proud to have played our little part - that Sport Relief raised over £38 million pounds!

ABOUTPandemonium Drummers

The Pandemonium Drummers were originally put together by London 2012 Ceremonies for the Pandemonium segment of Danny Boyle's spectacular Olympic Opening Ceremony. Following the Ceremony, the volunteer drummers kept on performing at a variety of events.

Based on their extensive training, they performed at other Opening Ceremonies, including the UEFA Champions League Final 2013, the FA Cup Final 2014, and the Heineken Cup Final 2014, and at a variety of large and small festivals as well as sports and community events. The Pandemonium Drummers are a returning act in London's major parades, including the London New Years' Day Parade, St Patrick's Day Parade, and the Lord Mayor's Show, and they coined Cheer Drumming, supporting runners at major sports events across the capital and beyond. The Pandemonium Drummers have supported the Special Olympics, the Teenage Cancer Trust, and a wide range of other charities.

The Pandemonium Drummers are a constituted association with charitable aims, and are working on a non-profit basis as volunteers.

[ More about the Pandemonium Drummers ]

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