And the band sang "Get on with it" (Klub Kakofanney Lockdown Letter)

And the band sang "Get on with it"

According to the news this week, pop music is getting more upbeat. A mathematician has analysed half a million songs released over the last 35 years and discovered that songs in 2020 have an average of 122 beats per minute, compared to a low of just 105 beats per minute in 2017. The conclusion to be drawn from this is obvious. This means someone had too much time on their hands during lockdown.

When it comes to upbeat, a band which always hits the ground running is SELF HELP, and with the relaxation of lockdown rules, the gang was finally able to get together again, in a back garden at a secret location in the wilds of East Oxford, and recorded this short unplugged set. Long-time followers of Self Help will be disappointed to learn this is Silke's final appearance with the band, but as a special treat for drumming fans, the video includes a bonus track from our archives to show how much energy goes into top class percussion. I hope you enjoy.

We are still a little way off live gigs yet, so if any of you out there are getting your bands back together again and would like to film a short performance for us, get in touch with me with your ideas and we'll see what we can arrange.

Cool singer, chilled lager

The government has said this week that outdoor gigs and festivals could resume, provided they are socially distanced. Sadly that's too late for events such as Riverside which I am sure many of you look forward to every year. But on the subject of outdoor festivals, I want to share with you this amazing moment caught on camera at the PinkPop Festival in The Netherlands in 2015.

The band playing to the packed audience is called John Coffey, heavy rockers from Utrecht who the year before, March 2014, had played an amazing set at the Wheatsheaf. Those guys are so chilled, and this incident is coolness personified.

Gimme chocolate

So how have you coped with lockdown. Some people have learnt a foreign language, others have got into gardening, and I've eaten too much chocolate. I need to cut down, so I turned to fast and upbeat music to distract myself, and what do I do, I play the Japanese band Babymetal, and their great song Gimme Chocolate. I like this live performance from Brixton in 2016, in the years when the average pop song was a tardy 105 beats per minute.

It is so hard. I did my best,
Just a bit, just a little bit,
Quickly chocolate, pass the chocolate,
Please give me chocolate, please please chocolate

So who's going to tell me how many beats per minute that one was? Heavy metal doesn't always have to be deathcore. Babymetal from Tokyo founded a very Japanese style of heavy metal called kawaii, which means "cute metal", high powered hyperactive metal with costumes and style.

One day

Stay safe everyone, take care, and remember the words of the Self Help song, "Everything's gonna be okay, one day".

10th July 2020
The Lockdown Letters
Klub Kakofanney