ONE of Oxford’s biggest rock stars is picking up his drum sticks for a 12 hour ‘drumathon’ for a good cause.

Laurence ‘Loz’ Colbert, drummer with city rock band Ride will give his kit a trashing from 10am-10pm tomorrow (Friday), as part of a national 10-day challenge to raise money for charities. It has already seen fellow Oxford musician Nigel Powell, of the bands Dive Dive, Unbelievable Truth and, most recently Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to MIND, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK Trauma Council, Child Bereavement UK and NHS Charities Together.

The challenge follows a similar event last year, with Loz joining drummers in taking to their kits for 12 hours each in a week long relay streamed over the internet. It raised over £45,000 for frontline NHS workers in the process.

Read again: When Loz Colbert drummed all night for NHS

This year’s effort features 40 drummers from around the world. Other ‘sticksmen’ include drummer Errol Kennedy of 80s super group Imagination, Bev Sage of 80s duo Techno Twins, Will Champion of Coldplay, Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs, Cherisse Osei of Simple Minds and drummers from Girls Aloud, Kasabian, Idles, Fontaines DC , The Kooks and The Feeling.

Drumming from their homes and studios around the world, they virtually pass the batons on to the next drummer.

“It’s an honour to be involved,” says Loz, who has also played with Supergrass, St Etienne, The Jesus And Mary Chain, and Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes ‘s band.

“Drumming is a physical and mental thing but it can make you feel good. It’s satisfies us deep down inside.

“It’s clear that there has been an impact on people’s mental health from the last 18 months, so we explored the ways that drumming might be able to help.

“The mental health of the frontline care workers has taken a battering for example, but also outside of that people have been coping in different ways in being separated from their families, jobs, loved ones, and friends. We looked at helping directly but ultimately it made sense to support these charities as they support the people in need, much in the same vein as the last fund-raising Drumathon."

And, he says, the cause is close to his heart.

“You can never tell what’s going on in people’s thoughts just from looking at them,” he says.

“They might look strong and confident or just ‘well’, but inside they might be falling apart. Suffering is part of the human condition and cannot be avoided, however there is no reason to have your life (and often the lives of those around you) ruined by thought patterns that aren’t helping you.

Despite the gruelling nature of a 12-hour stint (last year he took the night shift!), he said he can’t wait to begin.

“Last year’s experience was incredible,” he says. “I had so much fun. It was such an undertaking as well, but ultimately such a positive thing to do in the middle of all the tragedy. And it felt like helping out. The event seemed like a success in so many different ways for all involved, so they decided to do it again.”

And what’s the hardest thing about it?

“Besides the weeks of preparation of backing tracks and online streaming set ups, the hardest thing about it is inevitably just before about three-quarters of the way through, when you are tired, you’ve been in one place drumming for ever eight hours, and things start to go a bit crazy!

Read again: What Loz Colbert thought about Ride reforming...

“I did a night shift last year and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep drumming.”

And he urged fans and supporters to tune in and watch the performance– and support him.

“ You can support me by going to the website, watching the performance, cheering me along in the chat and on social media, and of course donating on the website!

And Loz, he repeated co-drummer Errol Kennedy’s call to support mental health after the pandemic, adding:

“Don’t just assume everyone is okay!”

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