Banging the drum for steel band recruits

Saffron Murphy of Swaton who is starting up a steel band. EMN-160516-094619001
Saffron Murphy of Swaton who is starting up a steel band. EMN-160516-094619001

A steel band teacher is banging the drum to find people interested in joining a new group.

Saffron Murphy is hosting a steel drum workshop in Swaton Village Hut on May 28, from 2-4pm, with a view to attracting enough interested people to start up a band.

Saffron moved to the village 11 years ago from London and explained: “I have played in steel bands for over 20 years and always wanted to start my own band up here one day. I have finally saved up and bought a set of steel pans.”

Vicar Rev Chris Harrington has allowed her to store the bulky drums at the back of the church and now she is looking for interested people to come and learn to play.

She said: “Some of them are full size oil drums, so storage has been a challenge. We will put on a concert at the church in return. She hopes to add to the set of drums as funds arise.

“There is nothing like it in Lincolnshire and people can come along and have a go.

“I did music at university. I was a classical singer and on my course we did ethnic music and I got into it, joined a band and started teaching.”

Saffron explained that the notes are written on the pans and people do not have to read music, they just memorise it through practice and ear. “There is music but it is just letters on a page as a reminder,” she said.

“We can play anything from classical to pop and ‘soca’ music from Trinidad. It is getting to be a more mainstream instrument with wider appeal.”

She is still in a London band, the Melodians Steel Orchestra, and has played all over the world and for the Queen. She will be playing for her again at her 90th birthday Big Lunch party on The Mall

After the workshop she plans to run Wednesday night rehearsals, saying that after a couple of hours most people can pick up a simple tune.

The group will also need percussionists and drummers to add to the sound. There is no age limit, with her London band ranging from 9 to 77 years old.

To put your name down for the workshop call her on 01529 421487 or email: