Ryebellion Drummers are the drumming group of the Rye & District Bonfire Society. All of its drummers are members of the bonfire society. As a response to the effects of health and safety regulation compliance increasingly stifling the use of “rookies’” banger carts and other rabble rousing devices traditionally featuring in Sussex bonfire processions, the deployment of drumming groups to fill the vacuum of silence and to add drama and spectacle to Sussex bonfire processions has become increasingly important.
Ryebellion Drummers were formed in January 2017, born out of the strong desire of bonfire society members to have their own “in house” drummers. Today there are a healthy number of active drumming groups in East Sussex, specialising in a variety of different rhythmic styles. Ryebellion, whose membership is in excess of 40 drummers, deliver pure “bonfire” drumming. Bonfire drumming has its roots in the style of the military march: music composed mainly in 2/4 time to reflect the fact that we have two feet and when marching or processing proceed by placing one foot purposefully in front of the other. Bonfire drumming turns the heat up on the military march and is in turn exciting, dramatic, urgent and uncompromising. All bonfire drumming groups sport flamboyant uniforms and decorate and illuminate their drums according to their colours. It is the perfect complement to the unique atmosphere of the dark carnival that characterizes Sussex bonfire celebrations.
Ryebellion drummers write and arrange their own drum patterns in addition to ‘orchestrating’ well known songs and tunes. Listen out for “Pugwash” – a homage to the late John Ryan, cartoonist and animator who lived in Rye.
Ryebellion drummers meet and rehearse every Monday at 7:30 pm in Rye Community Centre, Conduit Street, Rye. New members are always welcome. Why not give it a try!
For further information and how to contact see the Ryebellion website.
Ryebellion Drummers logo designed by Dave McKean.
Image Credits: Dave McKean , Robert Draper .