Slade’s Don Powell enlists Brian Bennett, Karl Brazil, Craig Blundell and more for Let There Be Drums charity single

Don Powell Let There Be Drums
(Image credit: Don Powell)

It’s no secret that Covid-19 has hit the music industry hard, and some of the worst-affected have been touring musicians and crew, who have lost most or all of their income due to the lack of gigs. Now, Slade drummer Don Powell and his band (The Don Powell Band) have teamed up with 19  drummers to record a version of Sandy Nelson’s 1961 drum anthem, Let There Be Drums.

Talking to Noise11, Powell said, “ 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.

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. 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."

Powell also revealed that he'd attempted to include Sandy Nelson himself on the recording, saying, “He was approached but he doesn’t play anymore. But we got his blessing. It would have been fantastic to include him on the track.”

As well as The Don Powell Band (Don Powell, bassist Craig Fenney, guitarists Bob Wilson and Jon Briscoe, pianist Jon Bates and Curly Davies on tambourine), Let There Be Drums also features a stellar list of pro drummers who all recorded their parts remotely, including The Shadows’ Brian Bennett, Bev Bevan (Quill, ELO, Black Sabbath), Karl Brazil (Robbie Williams, James Blunt, Feeder), Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson, King Crimson), Stereophonics’ Jamie Morrison.

Let There Be Drums…the drummers!

Brian Bennett (The Shadows)

Bev Bevan (Quill, ELO, Black Sabbath)

Andy Edwards (Robert Plant, 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 (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 (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett)

’Sticky’ Wicket (Chris Barber, Jools Holland)

Richard Rayner (award-winning percussionist and drummer)

Rebekah Rayner (session drummer)

Toby Wilson (session drummer)

Mark DeCloedt (EMF)

The Don Powell Band and Friends, Let There Be Drums is released today (18 June) and is available to purchase on all major platforms plus stream via Spotify. For exclusive Let There Be Drums merch and bundles, visit the Don Powell Band website.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.