Monday, 27 November 2017

November/December update

Protection Racket announcement

I'm thrilled to announce that I am now officially a Protection Racket artist. I have been using their cases, rugs and accessories for well over ten years now and I wouldn't choose anything else to protect my precious gear with. My personal choices are the AAA semi-rigid cases which really are outstanding. I would like to say a huge thank you to Dean, Mandy and the rest of the team for having me on board. You can find much more about them on their website as well as seeing my personal profile here. 

Ducking Punches
As previously mentioned, our up-coming album Alamort is now available to pre-order from Xtra Mile Recordings. You will receive the instant grat of our first single 'Sobriety' which is also available to stream on Spotify. Last night it also had its first play on Radio One thanks to Daniel P Carters' Rock Show. I'm supremely proud and excited for the album to be released so that everyone else can finally hear it. The official release date is 16th February.
The first music video has also been filmed (at the beautiful beach that is Waxham, in Norfolk), by the lovely Charlie Wallis. It's for a song called Smoking Spot and the video will be released this side of the New Year.

London Drum Show
2017 has with it not one, but two major drum shows. The UK Drum Show happened in September (see below) and as far as I was concerned was a huge success, especially given that this was their first year running it anything like this size. There has been lots of 'backroom' politics, online discussions and various commentaries about the inpact of having two shows would/will be in terms of audience draws/company budgets etc etc. I for one try to sit on the fence and try to take the positives and merits from having two shows. The Manchester one was certainly a great weekend and this was the 7th LDS in a row that I had attended and I'm sure if both continue, then I'll happily stick my head into both.
Yes a lot of companies weren't exhibiting and yes it does cost a lot as a punter and certainly audience numbers seemed kind of low compared to previous years (but maybe stats will prove me wrong) but there were some really greaat drummers playing and overall it had a really good vibe to it.
I headed down for the most part to catch a drummer called Jimmy Chamberlin. When I was 13 I saw a video on The Chart Show (ITVs music video show) for a song called 'Tonight, Tonight' by the Smashing Pumpkins. That song changed me and the way I looked upon music. It was so unique; powerful, yet melodic and I fell in love with it. I took up drumming and tried to recreate the parts and play along (really badly) Then I bought the double album that the song was off "Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness". It was/is so diverse and the drumming just sublime. Dynamics, technique, texture, thoughtful orchestration, it well and truly blew my mind. I never saw the Pumpkins with Jimmy Chamberlin behind the kit, but this was to be the very next best thing.
The masterclass started with a discussion about trying to define yourself as an individual drummer rather than just being a clone of your favourite player(s) before he launched into two songs from his Jimmy Chamberlin Complex project (jazz/rock/fusion) and then two Pumpkins songs including Tonight, Tonight. To get to see him play this up close and to then actually meet him afterwards was just incredible.
The rest of the day was just spent wandering about, looking at some cool gear and catching up with friends old and new. But in truth, my day had peaked already and nothing was going to touch that.
Let me just give a shout out to the following for being great though; Mel and co @ British Drum Company, Steve @ Natal, Gary @ Remo, Stacy Gow, Mark @ Rusty Drums, Chris Young Drums, Nick Hopkin.

Meeting Jimmy Chamberlin!

New Video
Today I finally found five minutes to upload a video demonstrating my Amedia Cymbals mini Hi-Hats. A few people had been asking me about them, so check out the link below. While you're there, please do subscibe to my YouTube channel. Many more videos will be going up in 2018!

Vintage Drums Legendary Drums
Nick Hopkin is generally regarded as the most schooled guy in the UK when it comes to vintage drum gear. Not only does he source, repair, and sell pretty much anything off any drum kit you can think of, but he has also written a tonne of articles in various publications and online. He is also the brain-child behind this latest magazine Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds. This is a quarterly publication covering all aspects of vintage gear (obviously) and is available to buy either by download or print which I think is a real smart move to cater everyones' preference.

I picked up issues 1 and 2 at the same time and was instantly drawn in by the layout and styling behind them, they are just gorgeous to look at, with stunning pictures of beautiful gear. The design reminded me a little bit of the glorious The Drummers Journal and surpasses every other print magazine that is available by a mile. For £6 a piece you get a lot of content as well as style. Issue 1 sees articles as varied as the Supraphonic 400, vintage drum badges, desert island drums with Steve White, an interview with Hal Blaine, recording vintage drums and a tonne more. Whereas Issue 2 features include amongst them; Carmine Appice, Ludwig Speed King, British Drum Co and AK Drums.
Both issues are over 50 pages and retail at £6 (print) or less online via their website.
Well priced, well written, and an absolute must buy for anyone with even a passing interest in vintage drum equipment. Very excited to see where this magazine goes over the next few issues.

Clown Smash Everything
Great to finally see this official release of The Bombs Are Getting Closer by Norwich band Clown Smash Everthing. This was an album that I tracked drums on a couple of years back and am so glad to see that with a finalised line-up that they are ready to play their first shows as well as releasing this. You can stream on spotify or buy on iTunes or on CD from here.

Ducking Punches - Smoking Spot Video
Our latest video has just gone live. It's for the song Smoking Spot and can be viewed below. The album Alamort is now available to pre-order from Xtra Mile Recordings from here.