A man’s attempt to set the world record for continuous drumming ended in heartbreak when his electric drum kit broke 90 hours into the week-long challenge.
Matt Pargeter, 43, was trying to smash the 133 hour record by drumming non-stop for 170 hours on a special stage set up in a shopping centre.
To satisfy the Guinness Book of Records judges, Matt was only allowed the equivalent of a five minute break for every hour already played and had a strict limit of 30 seconds rest between songs.
The challenge started on Tuesday September 3 and Matt kept up the beat supported by dancing shoppers before disaster struck on the afternoon of Friday September 10.
Matt explained the command module for the electric drum kit overheated, cutting the audio and switching off the kit’s screen.
Father-of-two Matt, from Harrogate, North Yorks., said: “Up to that point I had only had four hours sleep in total.
“When it happened it was just so depressing. The command module started feeling a bit warm and then I lost the audio and the screen went black.
“The module that overheated is really the lynchpin of the whole kit.
“I had just taken a lunch break so because of the Guinness Book of Records rules I was out of time for breaks. You’re allowed five minutes for every hour basically.
“The annoying thing is I’ve got friends who have the exact same kit with the same command module in town who could have swapped it out for me but we didn’t have enough time to do it and still keep the record.
“I was absolutely wrecked by that point. You go through all that for 90 hours and for that to happen then was definitely not a good feeling.”
There was some consolation for Matt in the fact that his attempt to hit 170 hours would have been scuppered by a power cut at the Victoria Shopping Centre in Harrogate, North Yorks., just 15 minutes short of his target.
Electrical Engineer Matt said: “I can’t say for certain that I would have got the record, but I feel like if I could have passed the 100 hour mark then that’s definitely the home stretch.
“But even if we had got that far the 170 mark was doomed really.”
Despite knowing the record was lost, Matt fixed the kit and gamely carried on drumming until the end of the challenge on Tuesday (yesterday).
Matt, who used to be homeless, explained that he was determined to carry on raising money for Harrogate Homeless, Mind UK and St Michael’s Hospice despite losing the record because of the help they had given him in the past.
“We’ve raised over £4,000 which is a great result for the charities.
“It’s disappointing but I’ll try again this time next year.
“After the drums broke we carried on in the day time for the last four days but just stopped after dark and went home.
“We still wanted to carry on to raise the money for the charities because they really needed that.
“Everyone knew the record had hone but people were still very generous. Maybe it was a bit of a sympathy vote in the end.”
Matt explained he used to work as personal security for bands including The Strokes and has passionate about drumming since he was six-years-old.
Roland Drums, who made the electrical kit Matt was using, have apologised for the malfunction and have promised to supply two kits and a technician for his second attempt which he’s planning for the same time next year.
Matt said: “For the next try we’ve talked about having a massage therapist available from the start and a motivational therapist standing by to get me through the dark hours of the night.
“I’d definitely have two drum kits just in case. We set 170 hours because there had been an attempt just before that lasted 145 hours.
“We found out just before I started that they failed on a technicality, but that’s where the target came from.
“I think the early morning hours were definitely the most difficult.
“You always have people there watching and supporting because the rules say at least two people have to be witnesses at any time.
“But it was a bit like being in a zombie apocalypse movie because you’re basically just playing drums in an empty shopping mall.”