AS DRUMMER with rock band Ride, Laurence ‘Loz’ Colbert is no stranger to hours spent, sticks in hand, banging away at his kit. But this week the Oxford musician found himself making more noise than ever – and all for a great cause.

On Tuesday night, Loz completed an incredible 12-hour ‘drumathon’ for the NHS, playing continuously from 9pm to 9am. His efforts, part of a week of drumming marathon relays, brought in well over £6,000 for NHS charities and saw the cumulative total topping £20,000. It is continuing to rise.

“It has been great to do something to help at this time,” an exhausted Loz said, talking from his home in Wolvercote just after dropping his sticks.

Banbury Cake:

Loz starts strongly with a crowdpleasing Ride playlist 

“When I heard about it, I loved the idea immediately.”

He adds: “I got asked to do it a few weeks ago at the peak of being in lockdown. The feeling of wanting to do something to help those doing so much in hospitals is so at odds with the message of staying at home and not doing anything, so when this opportunity came up it seemed a ‘no-brainer’.”

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Loz’s band Ride – which also boasts Oxford artists Mark Gardener, Andy Bell and Steve Queralt – are among rock’s most influential groups, with a string of hit albums and a large, loyal following.

Banbury Cake:

Loz tires as he nears the end of his epic night of sticksmanship

The band have their roots at Cheney School, Headington, where Mark met Andy. He met Loz while he was studying art and design at North Oxfordshire College in 1988 and went on to recruit Steve, who was working in the Oxford branch of the former Our Price Records.They played their first shows at the college, the Jericho Tavern and Oxford Polytechnic – now Oxford Brookes University.

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Signed by Alan McGee’s Creation Records label, they enjoyed huge success in the early 90s. Their debut album, Nowhere, charted at 11, and follow-ups Going Blank Again and Carnival of Light both reached number five.

Banbury Cake:

With a final flourish Loz finishes his knackering, yet worthwhile, all-nighter with rapturous applause from his assembled family

In 2014, after 20 years apart, they reformed, going on to release acclaimed album Weather Diaries and last year’s This is Not a Safe Place.

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They have played triumphant hometown shows at the New Theatre, Oxford’s Common People festival in South Park, and Oxford Town Hall, and have filled large venues and toppped festival bills around the world.

As well as with Ride, Loz has also wielded the sticks for The Animalhouse with Mark Gardener, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Wheatley megastars Supergrass, and with the backing band of that band’s frontman Gaz Coombes.

Banbury Cake:

Ride play Oxford Town Hall last year

With all live music on hiatus because of the lockdown, however, Loz says he is delighted to be doing something worthwhile.

He was watched keeping rhythm throughout the night by fans online and cheered along for the final flourishes by his family at home.

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And how did he feel having reached his goal? “I’m chuffed it’s done,” he said. “There’s always that sense of elation you get when you do something big.

“My arms don’t feel too bad at the moment but probably will in a few hours.

He admitted there were times when he wasn’t sure he’d be able to finish, saying: “There was a moment around 6am, when I was about nine hours in and felt a bit worried, but then it passed.

“There were the odd fleeting moments when I thought I couldn’t go on, but I just said to myself ‘don’t be ridiculous... you’ve got only one thing to do so just get on with it.”

He kept himself refuelled with nuts, dried fruit and flapjacks

And how did he celebrate? “With a nice big breakfast of eggs!” he laughs. “I really fancied a nice omelette... and maybe some Ibuprofen later!”

Donate to the NHS Drumathon at event-stream.live/drumathon/