Howdy drumfans.

February was a quieter month in comparison to my busy January. My usual roster of students on Drummers Only continues to grow both in ability and numbers which is nice. I spent some time covering lessons for a good friend and fellow teacher, Jamie McGrory, over at the Loud N Proud School of Rock in Paisley. It’s always a blast to teach over there and the students are great fun.

The beginning of the month also saw The Invitations do a new promo shoot both for video and photo. The wonderful Neil Thomas Douglas was our stills photographer for the day. Neil is a fantastic photographer and produced some amazing images for us in order to help grow the band.

Invitations rocking out.
Invitations rocking out. credit Neil Thomas Douglas

The video was directed by Rod Tamime, who is a freelance TV director working with the BBC and beyond and it was a great opportunity to work with him in this kind of context and an unusual experience for a musician to get to do this kind of thing and work with someone from a different art form like this. The end results will be out soon and up for people to see on our website.

The music was also edited and mixed by the wonderful Barry Reid (Treacherous Orchestra, La Chunky Studios) I’ve had the fortune to work with Barry on a few occasions (recording with Hercules Mandarin – he oversaw our album, and recording drums for Semiotic). He’s always a pleasure to work with and gets great results in no time at all.

I also took the time to see some gigs in February. Jason Mraz was the first up. Love or hate him, his live shows are always great and this was no exception. He played to a busy Royal Concert Hall and was backed by the all female Raining Jane. The music was superbly played, sang, paced and all of the things that make for a great concert experience.

Secondly, I got to see and hear the amazing Fat-Suit. A 14 piece collective, mostly from Glasgow, they played a launch for their 2nd album, Jugaad, which did not disappoint. A packed Stereo on a Tuesday night brought some amazing music, fantastic performances and an amazing atmosphere. It’s a rare thing to see such a full house for what is ostensibly a jazz gig.

credit - Calum McMillan
Fat Suit. Photo credit – Calum McMillan

The band are great for the jazz scene in Scotland, and some are good friends which is great to see. They are continuing a tour throughout Scotland, through the month of March so if you have the chance to see them, then I suggest you do. The music really is fantastic.

I also played my first trio gig in quite some time at the Butterfly and The Pig on Bath Street. Myself, Jay Kilbride on Bass and Scott Murphy (Fat-Suit) on Tenor saxophone. We spent the night playing original music mostly that has been composed by all of us. The gig was great fun and something of a stretch to play out in this context. The music was challenging and I relished the departure from playing back beats for the night. Hopefully we as a trio get to do it again soon.

So another varied month in Drum land. A fortunate life to live. March should bring more of the same with a Driven By Harness date in the diary, Wedding season starting back up and hopefully a Connected gig in there too.
Till next time, Gadget.