Beatbox bobbies: Police choir to take lessons from a cappella group


A GROUP of Scots police officers are to take beatboxing lessons from famous a cappella group The Magnets.

Lothian and Borders Police choir will get a private lesson from the “six-man sound machine”.

They will learn to replicate sounds from drums and percussion instruments using only their voices.

Photo:Adam Riggall

Beatboxers use their voice to replicate instrument sounds  Photo:Adam Riggall

The bizarre set-up mirrors the Police Academy series of films, which features a beatboxing character called “Motormouth” Jones.

The choir wrote to The Magnets after being inspired by the group’s show at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Andrew Russell, who is musical director of the choir, said: “Some of our members heard The Magnets at the Festival and they loved the way they arranged and performed their songs.

“We’ve arranged something very similar to something they’ve done with Living’ on a Prayer, so we thought why not ask them to do a workshop and have a bit of fun. They were completely up for it.

“There are plenty of choirs who run through the traditional repitoire but we want to do something a bit different.

“Their beatboxing skills are incredible and it’s something we want to add to our skill set. Beatboxing adds rhythm to songs and can bring certain ones to life.

“We’re delighted that The Magnets decided to give us a session.”

Michel Welton, of The Magnets, said: “This is an opportunity to get down with the kids. If they can drop a few beats it might give them some street cred.

“We’re going to be teaching them the basics of beatboxing. I imagine with all of them there it’s going to be a massive sound.

“We’ve done a fair number of workshops around the country, but never with police before. It’s not who we were expecting to work with but it makes a nice change and i’m sure it will be a laugh.”

More than 70 members make up the choir, which was formed in 2008, and includes members who work as officers, detectives forensic specialists, other force staff and some civilians.

The group has performed in the Scottish Parliament, on Scottish radio and have performed sell-out shows at the Festival and in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

Last year they travelled to New York to represent Scotland in 9/11 commemorative events.

The Magnets signed a record deal in 2001 and have since performed with  Michael Ball, Tom Jones and Geri Halliwell.

They have performed six times at the fringe and are currently preparing for this year’s Festival.

More than 50 members of the choir are expected to attend the workshop, which will be held before The Magnets go on stage in Kilmarnock on Monday night.

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