As discussed here I recently started drum lessons again. Well I have had 1 lesson so far. But my teacher mentioned that they were putting on a Drum Show the following week, and he suggested I go along to get some inspiration and immerse myself in drumming again for a while. Initially, I didn’t think I would be able to go due to having my girls that weekend, but a quick swapsie arrangement meant that I had a few hours free on Sunday afternoon.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, never having been to a Drum Show before, but the website promised a mix of demonstrations and exhibitors. I’ll be honest, I didn’t recognise any of the names of the performers, but a google search showed that I was at least familiar with some of their work.
I missed the first performance but arrived just as the second, Darrin Mooney, was underway. He played along to some songs, did a piece on his own and took questions from the audience. Somehow I hadn’t thought to bring earplugs, so I stayed at the back to spare my hearing slightly. It was interesting to watch his performance, I’ve never seen just a drummer on the stage before. It was amazing to hear how you can create a “song” with just a drum kit. He gave some very common sense advice – practice or you will still be rubbish, if your teacher is a muppet you will still be rubbish. All rhythms are essentially the same thing, it’s the fancy flourishes that make them sound different, but drummers are used (and paid) for the basic rhythms, the fancy flourishes are nice but not usually necessary.
I found it strange, but I suppose not actually surprising that each of the performers was attached to a manufacturer as a rep or endorser.
There was a bit of a gap before the next demonstration, so I took a wander round then decided to take advantage of the sunny day and get some air and sunshine. After a quick visit to Love Music to pick up a couple of records, I headed back in to have a look at the exhibitors. All the major manufacturers were there, showing their products and selling too. Punters were free to try things out, but there were queues at most stands and everyone trying things sounded far far better than me so I was too embarrassed to have a go. Especially when I saw a boy of about 9 totally smash it. I reminded myself I have only played once in the last 5 years, and a handful of times in the last 15. Maybe by next year I’ll be as good as a 9 year old.
Anyway, it was cool to see all the different kit and accessories.
The next performance was by Eddy Thrower, who gave a very entertaining demonstration and also did a Q&A. It was nice to see the kids asking questions about how the Pros started and who their influences were etc. This kind of event must be so inspiring if you are just starting out.
Next up was Steve White. He was extremely technically impressive, but I’m afraid I started to drift off during his performance, it just wasn’t so much my kind of music. However his Q&A was interesting and there was a nice bit where he gave a boy a pair of sticks after he asked a question.
I took another wander round afterwards and managed to have a go on an electronic drum kit. I was very impressed at how realistic it sounded through the headphones, but how little actual sound it actually produced. I am very, very tempted…
There was only 1 thing that spoiled the afternoon a bit, when I was browsing the displays, I saw this advert:
Really? In 2016? Ooh Mr Drummer, your sticks are so grippy, let me drape myself all over you! No – shove your grips up your arse, let me show you how *I* can handle a pair of sticks. One for #EverydaySexism unfortunately. There were women at the show, but mostly mothers bringing their teenage sons or women who appeared to be with their drummer boyfriends/husbands. I only saw 1 girl trying out a kit in the exhibitors area. As I wandered around no-one manning (and I use that word accurately) asked me if I wanted to have a closer look or try anything out.
There were a couple more performers but sadly I had to go. However I think they were filmed, so I’ll try watch them later.
On the whole, I enjoyed it and I’m glad I was able to make it along. It certainly was inspiring and I learned a lot and remembered a lot that I had forgotten. I hope they put on another event next year when I think I would get more out of it.