In musical communities I’ve noticed you don’t become a a drummer simply by playing the drums, it’s much more complicated than that. I have been playing drums on and off for over a decade. For my first real adventure as a drummer I was 17. I borrowed the youth club drum kit and taught my self to play. I wrote and recorded a few songs, then locked them away scared to death that someone might hear them. And no, I don’t know where the recordings are.
I got most of my experience playing on my drummers kit a band practice, It is my duty as the singer of the band to ask, when tea is served, “Can I have a go on your drum kit” this is the way it has to be. A few years after that, I bought myself a drum kit. I learned to play all my favourite songs. I formed a band with some friends ‘TheGiveItToMeLionels’. We have three songs, we only remember two, and on one of those songs I play drums. We play exclusively at jam night at the vaults in BC. Which means, in short, I’m still not a drummer.
I used to teach kids to play drums at weekly workshops, obviously at the beginning of every session I would preface it by telling them “I’m not a proper drummer, but this is kind of how you do it.”
When I started recording my solo album I practiced drums on my songs for three hours a day everyday for six weeks to try and sound like a drummer on a recording (featured image is my drum set up at Foel studio, working with Chris Fielding). I got away with it, but there’s sounding like a drummer and then there’s being a drummer.
Now. This is where it gets complicated. My very good friend Dunk Burns, drummer in Fight The Bear. Has written a whole bunch of songs where he sings and plays guitar. I’m delighted that he’s letting me play drums for him. So far we have played at Shambala, Green Man Festival, Electric Picnic and Wilderness Festival. A pretty awesome first four gigs. But our first proper gig is on June the 11th in The Underground, Bishops Castle. Tickets on sale soon.
It might be that I’m about to be a real life drummer. My head is full of questions. What will it feel like? Will I get fat sitting down at all my gigs? How will I get my free drinks if no one knows I’m actually in the band? And what speed shall I make all the songs? But most of all, am I ready to leave behind being a twattish lead singer that asks “Can I have a go on your drum kit?” when tea is served.
Who knows what is going to happen. Whatever is going to happen, is going to happen at The Underground on June 11th in Bishops Castle. I look forward to seeing you all there.