Tuesday, 27 January 2015

January/February Updates

First of all happy new year to everyone, I really cannot believe we've got to 2015 now.
 After the craziness of fatherhood in December, the new year started to 'normalise' out a little, with band practices and lessons starting up again.
Lots lined up for this year already which I really can't wait to get my teeth into.
On the 10th January, Ducking Punches went into the BBC studios at The Forum in Norwich to record an interview and two live songs for a BBC Introducing session. We had a great time and everyone was lovely down there. They have put a video up of us doing a full band version of 'Six Years' which you can watch below.
We have also just announced dates for our two week European tour in April. We are so excited to get out on the road again, this time the amazing Mark McCabe from Scotland is coming with us

Jojo Mayer; Secret Weapons For The Modern Drummer - Part II
Ok, so it's very rare that I decide to review any drum-related releases. But the first installment from Jojo, which was released back in 2007, is regarded as one of the finest drum educational DVDs and still gets regular viewings at my house. Whereas Part 1 was focussed purely on hand technique; Part 2 is rather unsuprisingly focussed all on foot technique. You'd wonder how Jojo could fill 3 discs and nearly 5 hours with enough content of interest to keep you glued; but just like his first release, he has struck the perfect mixture of exercises, demonstrations, information, humour and performances. From the very first chapters on the basics of heel down vs heel up, or keeping the beater 'in' or 'out', I found myself analysing and changing my own technique. 
The following chapters delve into more complex techniques such as double strokes, rocking motion, heel-toe, moeller pumping motion, Hi-hat Techniques etc. I really enjoyed the sections on the history of the pedal, set up and posture as I felt these gave some light relief from all the technical aspects covered.
It's really worth getting a hold of this DVD, there's certainly something for everyone no matter what ability. I for one, will be spending most of 2015 working through this.

Groezrock 2015
Just heard that we got through to the shortlist of Groezrock Festival in Belgium. Hundreds of bands applied to play the Macbeth stage at this amazing two day festival that happens in May and we have got through to the last 30. Now the public get to vote and decide on the 10 that are to go.
If you have a spare couple of minutes it would be great if you could head over to http://www.macbeth.eu/groezrock/bands/ducking_punches/ to cast your votes. Thank you!

Other News.....
Elsewhere, I've been into the studio a couple of times to start recording an album with my new band. It was the first time for me at The Bake House in Glandford, Norfolk. I absolutely loved it there; incredible equipment (including the old ITV control board) and Jerry is an absolute pleasure to work with. For this session I took my Gretsch Renown again which considering it's small sizes, always sounds huge recorded. Hopefully everything will be finalised and announced early summer time.
Quite a few things happening on the Ducking Punches front to. As well as winning the competition to play Groezrock Festival (thanks to everyone who voted for us) we have also been confirmed to play Boomtown in August. Really excited about making it to the festival this year. We also had the 2'nd pressings of the album through on 3 different coloured vinyl; purple, splatter and half black/bone.
And finally, we recorded a music video for 'It's Been A Bad Few Weeks' which should be back with us early March time.