I promised myself that if can i'll try and write at least a paragraph of stuff a day. So today i'm gonna talk about live drumming. As well as producing music I am originally a drummer, I played on tabletops and ice cream tubs as a kid, but when I was 11, a youth club I attended gave me a drum kit. I had never played an actual drum kit before and I still think about those first moments quite often. I remember setting it up so it looked like the drumkits I'd seen on Top Of The Pops, and when I had set it up, I sat behind it and it just came naturally. I'd never had a lesson (apart from a couple of snare drum technique lessons, parradiddle's, two stroke rolls etc) and the whole thing just seemed so natural, almost as if i'd been playing for years... It was the best feeling in the world, and i'm glad to say, that it still is..
As the next few years past, I played almost every week for one band or another, Rock, Punk, Metal... Anything in fact!... As long as I was playing drums, I really didn't give a shit, as long as I could play. At home I was restricted to 30 minutes after school becuase we had grumpy nieghbours who went mental if I played any longer!
At school I was a dreamer. I used to sit by the window gazing out accross the playing fields imagining what it would be like to be a proffessional drummer. I'd often fantasise that I was going to live some rock and roll lifestyle, filled with late night recording sessions, album tours, beautiful women etc etc... As I said, I was a dreamer.
I'd get home and go straight into the spare room where my drums were set up, i'd go to my Dads Hi Fi and stick in a tape or put on one of his records.. Which didn't work too well as the records always jumped with my kick drum vibrations. I quickly learned that a two pence piece sat on top of the needle cartridge ammended this problem.
I played along to Jeff Lorber, Phil Collins, Bob James, Chris Rea, Level 42, Hall & Oats... You name it, if it gave me goosebumps, I was piping it through the headphones, closing my eyes and playing along. Often imagining I was the drummer playing it at a live show... Sad eh?
Anyways, to cut a long story short, in my early teens I met a bass player with the same passion as me, we loved the same bands and when he sat in his bedroom and played me the Level 42 track "Children Say" bass lick for bass lick, whilst singing, I knew that we were gonna be in a band together... This bass player was a 14 year old kid called Paul Lancaster, you might know him now as Punk Pappa of Wonderlush. We have been friends ever since and have recorded countlesss songs with one an other...
As the years past by, I gradually played drums less and less. I was busy being a teenager, getting drunk, pulling girls and getting into trouble, I played drums now and again for favours, but i'd never found a band that I wanted to be in. I was craving soulful, jazz funk bands, and where I grew up the most soulful you got was "Mustang Sally" ... Then the drumming went dry.
15 years later in 2008, myself Punk Pappa (bass) and another old friend Richard Molyneux (Guitar) got together for a jam. Also at the jam was my good mate Michael Rendall (Jackanory) who is one of the finest keyboard players i've ever heard. Watch out for his name cos this boy is gonna be huge. Trust me.
I hadn't really touched a kit for soooooo long, and neither of us had played as a band before. I had just sent one of my songs to everyone beforehand as a groove reference. We mic'd up the instruments, and pressed record... And this is what happened and it felt so good!
So just to re-cap:
Bass: Punk Pappa
Guitar: Richard Molyneux
Keys: Michael Rendall
Drums: Me, SoulP
Hear what happened, below.