A mixed bunch of souls from all walks of life, with a passion for drumming and friendships forged in the heat of bonfire tradition. Learn more about who were are and how it all began
The TubThumpers, as we were originally known, formed in 2009 and got together for the first time in March 2009. We started by having a bash on upturned oil drums and buckets with any old bits of wood we could find lying around. Only one or two of us had any experience of drumming before, so it took a while to work out anything like a tune or riff. However, we persevered and slowly got the hang of it!
At the start, most of our Members belonged to the Cliffe Bonfire Society (but its not compulsory!) and we now number nearly 20 regular drummers who practice up to twice weekly.
We develop most of our material ourselves, drawing inspiration from rock tunes, orchestral pieces any music we like, really! We have 3 main sections of drums, namely the Snares, the Toms and the Basses and try and arrange our music so that we can entertain our audiences and have fun ourselves!
The main focus of our drumming is the Bonfire season, which in this part of Sussex starts in September and lasts until the end of November. However, we have been developing our Summer season too, playing at Festivals, Fetes, Steam Rallies and supporting several Charity Events along the way.
Our debut appearance was at Cliffe Independence Day in May 2009 and this was followed by a modest programme of events leading up to the Bonfire season when the TubThumpers supported the Cliffe at most of the outmeetings and in the processions on the Fifth. The performing year ended spectacularly with The TubThumpers joining the Devils Men at the Mayfield Anvil Firing late in November 2009.
Going from strength to strength in 2010, The TubThumpers performed at various events during the year and enjoyed a full season of Bonfire drumming starting in September 2010 at Mayfield and finishing at Barcombe on 20 November. 2010 also saw us joining in to support our community-managed football team, Lewes FC, drumming up a bit of support from the stands on Saturday afternoons.
We had a great year in 2011, going from strength to strength! We accomplished quite a few Firsts; our first corporate training event; our first radio interview; we played on a boat for the first time (Newhaven, 18th July) and we played on a steam train (Isfield, 1st October) and we were been awarded TWO BEST BAND CUPS (East Hoathly and Rottingdean)! Weve also continued to support the town of Lewes at a number of notable events the official opening of the Priory Ruins, a theatrical event at the Castle, the Lewes Town Carnival and Late Night Shopping. Hopefully therell be more in the pipeline for us next year. Further afield, weve roamed to Brighton, Hastings, Newhaven and Peacehaven and very much enjoyed our first long distance trip to Bridport in Devon for the infamous Hat Festival! Where next?
We also had a very full and successful Bonfire season. We attended nine outmeetings and drummed for The Cliffe Bonfire Society on the Fifth of course. We went off to run another Corporate Workshop, on Monday 5 December, this time for Logica in London.
We had a really brilliant time in 2011 and would like to thank all those who have supported us. A particular thank you must also go to the Lewes Old Grammar School who have allowed us to use their school hall on a weekly basis for our rehearsals. THANK YOU LOGS! Its made all the difference!
Another great year of drumming! We started the year by recruiting quite a few new members, swelling our ranks to nearly 30 regular drummers and then used the early months to teach them our repertoire and bring them all up to speed with our new tunes. They’ve all been brilliant and we’ve had a fabulous season of drumming as a result! We’ve even retained the East Hoathly Cup for Best Band this year too and a Cup from Rottingdean Smugglers for Outstanding Support in 2012! The highlight of our year had to be our FIERY STICKS, which we developed especially for Bonfire.
This was our 5th year of drumming with lots of gigs: Brighton Marathon, Southover Priory Fayre, Peacehaven Music Festival, to name but a few. Then there was Bonfire. It wasn’t to be a quiet year! We made sure of that.
Saw us starting with an influx of a dozen new faces from the Borough Bonfire Society. Although a potential conflict on the Fifth loomed from the start, Bonfire loyalties remain deep-seated and although we all drummed together throughout Summer fetes and festivals and into the out-meeting season all remained true to our individual roots on The Fifth. Two new 2013 out-meetings became regulars in the process Fletching and Isfield.
Rehearsing our set, that had been established during 2013, every week throughout the year, augmented by our regular calendar of gigs (starting with The Brighton Marathon in April) saw quick development of this significant number of new drummers into quickly seasoned performers. Three or four others came and went during the year so as we moved into 2015 we all concentrated on getting some new material together, now that the set-list may have become slightly less stimulating.
Time has rolled on and we continue to go from strength to strength. Now in our 10th year we continue welcoming new members, welcoming back those from years past, adding new numbers to our playlist and playing at an ever increasing and diverse variety of events. 2020 is on the horizon but 2019 isn’t over yet … there’s still so much to look forward to!