Jazz, London and all that’s inbetween


Drummers Only workshop

Photo – Rosie Collier.

 

Afternoon all.

So January was a pretty full and varied month in drum land. My jazz workshop at Drummers Only was a great success. 4 out of the 5 places were taken and everyone played some great drums on the day. Jay and Scott provided some fantastic music for the attendees to play along with to implement the concepts and ideas that I taught and they were a fantastic addition to the process, chiming in with their ideas on the drummer’s relationship to the music and the band, which gave everyone a nice insight into how other people view them and their role. Fun times.

I enjoyed the challenge of presenting such a variety of material, in a small space of time. We ran the workshop for 5 hrs and took a look at 5 topics. All of each could have been full workshops in themselves, but everyone responded really well.

I also had the fortune of working with my old music school – the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I played for the BA3 Musical Theatre showcase, which took place both in the RCS itself and in the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End. The music was obviously very varied as it had to showcase 17 different people with different voices etc so it was a nice challenge in reading through some interesting arrangements. I also had the luxury of playing a hybrid set up – a Roland TD4 electronic kit with my own acoustic snare and cymbals, plus things like wind chimes and triangle (rock n roll). What’s interesting is just how little you can feel an acoustic bass drum pad when you’re playing. Sounds obvious but when it’s in the context of a full electronic kit then it’s a different thing. When a snare drum is firing back at you and you can hardly feel or hear the bass drum pad, it’s quite…different. So that was a very immediate adjustment that I had to get used to.

The Atheneum Theatre. RCS

The Atheneum Theatre. RCS

The end of the month saw me record an E.P. for Driven By Harness through in Edinburgh’s Chamber Studio, with Graeme Young at the helm. The results are so far sounding awesome. We did 8 drum tracks in the one day with some guitars and bass and the rest was done the following day, besides some vocals. A great amount of work in 2 days. Burton’s songs, I think, are some of strongest about and working with the band is easy and always a pleasure. Hopefully we get to share the music with you at some point soon. Just ahead of the session we played in Glasgow’s Hard Rock Cafe for their Live Wednesdays. Fun was had and it was nice to rock the tunes out ahead of recording them, just to iron out any last minute teething problems.

DBH Recording

DBH Recording

The room at Chamber is amazing. The drums instantly sounded massive and the clarity was unreal. One of the best rooms in my limited recording experience that I’ve had to work in. A total pleasure.

 

So another very fortunate month where I got to play a wide variety of musics. In amongst the usual gigging fare of covers etc, was a lovely charity gig with the Invitations, in Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel. It was fundraiser for Cancer research in memory of a local man named Liam McKenna who died of bowel cancer. The event was a massive success and had a massive turnout, With at least 300 guests there for the evening, donating in a silent auction and the like. Everyone’s dancing shoes were on as the dance floor was packed from the second we started till we stopped. A great night.

Hopefully February brings with it a set of similar challenges. No doubt there will be something in there to push me along.

Ti then, keep it greasy.

C