The Critique of Pure Rhythm is the rock n roll band of the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method of the LSE. It is ‘probably the best (if only because only) philosophical rock n roll band in the world.
The band currently consists of Alex Voorhoeve, Emike Ahmed and Helen Duffy (vocals), John Worrall and Campbell Brown ( both guitar), Max Steuer (bass), Roman Frigg / Ben Lange (drums), and David Healey (sax). Alex, John, Campell, Max and Roman all teach philosophy at LSE, Emike and Helen are current philosophy students, while Ben and David are former students of the Department.
Our first gig was in November 2006 in John's living room, where we tried to recreate the swinging sixties of his youth to celebrate his 60th birthday. We continue to perform mostly 50s and 60s rock and roll with a few, generally philosophy-inspired original numbers.
We play regularly at Departmental Parties and more widely in the LSE – once at the annual Staff Party, at various alumni reunions, and SU events (in 2012 we won the LSE Battle of the Bands , with the prize of a gig opening the big end-of-year Student Friday Night Crush). Although busy with our academic work, we do sometimes accept semi-pro work outside LSE – we have, for example, performed at the Whittington Hospital Christmas Party and at birthdays and weddings. (You can try to book us if you like - here.)
A bit like The Drifters (and the ship of Theseus), CPR is a ‘self-identical’ but ever evolving entity: Jami Makan (drums 2006-07) , Amy Reed (vocals 2006-08) and Matt Parker (2006-10) were all founder members; Ipek Genscu (currently on maternity leave) sang with the band from 2008 to 2017; Bryan Williamson played guitar with the band in 2010-11; in 2012-13 Aaron Yarmel played rock violin (!) and Tom Besley guitar; Alec Howells played sax from 2013-15; in 2014-15 Romanos Koutedakis played guitar and Daniel Kim played keys. Matt is a former member of the teaching staff, while the rest were all students in the Philosophy Department. Natalia Tsalli (LSE DramSoc) sang with us from 2013 to 2015; Steve Bond (from LSE’s External Degrees Department) sang for us a number of times while Alex was on sabbatical or unavailable; and finally Ewan Rodgers (Admin Officer in the Department – guitar and vocals) has sometimes featured with us on a couple of Blues numbers.