As you may know, this year I went overseas to be a part of the UK drum show, and man did I have fun with some of my drumming buddies. I started the trip off by flying from New Orleans to JFK, and then to Manchester. On the flight I was able to work and write. I wrote a bunch of lessons for SMDA, and I also had the chance to work a little bit on my next book. The flights were overnight from 10:00pm until about 10:00am, landing in Manchester. I checked into the hotel, got a little rest, and then met up with Mike Dolbear in the afternoon.
People in the drum community may know Mike Dolbear from mikedolbear.com. Mike is seen as kind of the godfather of the UK drum scene and drum community. He's put on some great clinic and Master Class tours, drum shows, and he's very active in the drum education world in the UK. Mike and I don't get a chance to spend a lot of time together because we're both so busy, but we met for coffee, and got to catch up, and then go to a nice relaxing dinner on Thursday night.
Friday morning is when I started really getting busy. I taught a Master Class at the Royal Northern College of Music, which was good because I got to play along to some of the new tracks that I was going to be playing for the UK Drum Show. The Master Class lasted two hours. After I went over to the UK Drum Show at Manchester Central. I got there early so I could start setting up my kit, dialing it in and tuning it. They were running a little bit behind, but I was able to sound check. After all that, I went to dinner with the Vic Firth team and sat next to Russ Miller; Benny Greb was down at the other end of the table.
Whenever I get to see Russ Miller, we always get to chatting about what we've been working on lately. He's been hanging out and studying brushes with Jeff Hamilton. Jeff and I have hung out several times over the years, so when Russ and I hang out we compare what we've both learned from Jeff. He was also telling me about what he’s learned from Peter Erskine. We were talking about many things from different people's approach to playing time on the ride cymbal to different people's approach to brushes. I also got to hang out with my man, Mark Wessels, who wrote the book Fresh Approach to Drum Set, as well as Joe Testa, the Artist Relations guy from Vic Firth. You could say Friday night was a very cool and relaxing evening.
View this post on InstagramLate night brush lessons in Manchester after @theukdrumshow with @jojomayernerve @stanton_moore @rmisticks
A post shared by Mikedolbear.com (@mikedolbearcom) on
Saturday morning is when all hell started to break loose. I got over to the show around 9:30am, and Nick (Nikos), who is the SMDA moderator/mascot, met me over at the show and helped me get my act together. Once we finished dialing in the kit, I had some postcards to pass out for SMDA, offering a free buzz roll lesson. Next up was my set which had a nice turn out; I felt like it all went really well. I'd been planning it for a while because I was looking forward to playing some new material. I came out on stage playing tambourine, played a short solo. Afterward I played two tunes including two tracks off of my current record. Both were from the Allen Toussaint tribute record. I played "Everything I Do Gone Be Funky" in five, and "Life" in seven. To get those, I had to reach out to my engineer who did that record and have him make some new mixes where he pulled the drums out of the mix so that I could have those to play to.
I also played some songs that people have heard me do before, but still wanted to make sure that I played songs that people might have come to hear me play. I played a couple tracks off the Groove Alchemy DVD book, and then I played a little brushes. Next I took a couple questions, and talked about how I'd been working on some of the Mardi Gras Indian rhythms and splitting them up around the kit, which is presented a lot in Academy lesson 11. I ended up closing it out playing some of my Mardi Gras Indian variations. It all went really well!
How often do I get to hang out with (Gregory) Hutch and hear about how he grew up checking out Tony Williams, and going and watching Elvin at the Village Vanguard, to hanging late night with Elvin, and those guys telling him, 'All right, man. This is all gonna be left up to you.'– Stanton Moore
Later that day, I had a panel with Eric Stam from BIMM, Ralph Salmins, a very well-known studio drummer in the UK, and Derrick McKenzie the drummer for Jamiroquai. The four of us were on a panel for the Sabian Education Network, had a good turn out for that, and had some really good questions asked. The four of us also talked about private teaching practices, with them touching on their practices and methods. This ended up being educational for me because I'm always having to modify and adapt my teaching practice due to touring all the time.
Later that night we went to dinner with the Sabian team. It’s great getting to hang with Sabian's people and drummers. I got to sit next to Jojo Mayer and hang with him, and go out for a couple glasses of wine afterwards. I bumped into Gregory Hutchinson, and wound up having a very late night hang with him and Nick from SMDA. It was awesome because ... Well, I don't wanna tell tales on anybody, but I was in the hotel bar with Jojo, Gregory Hutchison, Nick as well as a few other people. Jojo went to bed around 2 am and then Gregory, Nick and myself hung out until, I can't make this up, 4:45 am. And Hutch had to play at noon the next day! How often do I get to hang out with Hutch and hear about how he grew up checking out Tony Williams, and going and watching Elvin at the Village Vanguard, to hanging late night with Elvin, and those guys telling him, "All right, man. This is all gonna be left up to you. You're the cat who's gonna have to be hanging out late, and sharing the information, and hanging with cats." So, you could say it was well worth it. When I arrived to watch him play the next day I made a point of having an extra double espresso to hand off to him, because I knew he had to be on point. He killed it, of course. Gregory Hutchinson played his butt off! The way that he was melding ideas, and playing, coming from a jazz vocabulary but blending it into a whole bunch of different things was great to see.
After Gregory Hutchinson played, I did a one-on-one with Joe Bergamini, live on Facebook at the UK Drum Show. After that I went to check out a bit of Mike Johnston, and later, I saw Jojo Mayer play. We filmed some promo with Sabian, and then had a great dinner with the Gretsch and DW people. I sat across from Mike Johnston, and next to Mike Dolbear. Got to share a lot of ideas about the drum industry and the drum scene today, and then do some more hanging out. Before dinner, I was carrying some brushes in my back pocket, and sat down and shared brush ideas with Russ Miller.
And then after dinner, I was hanging with Jojo, and bust out the brushes again, and we were showing each other stuff with brushes on a table. Jojo was showing us some things he’s been working on lately, simple things like, taking a paradiddle and putting it as quarter notes, then quarter note triplets, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, and then sixteenth notes. Where it got interesting was Jojo putting paradiddles over fives, we could all do it over sixes, but then he also put it over sevens, and then ended on 32nd notes. Maybe that's something I'll have to write out, because he hadn't wrote it out himself, as it's just something that he's been working on. That ended up being something we all were working on, trying to get the fives and the sevens. We were having a blast trying all that out with our hands on tables. I also got to hang out with other incredible drummers like Rashid Williams, and Calvin Rodgers. I hung out until about 3:55am with Jojo. I always love doing that, learning a lot from those guys, and sharing ideas, and showing each other what we've been working on.
Sabian released my Crescent Stanton Moore Cymbals by Sabian and had them at the booth. They are finally getting released globally, so it was exciting to be there while they were in the booth, with people coming by to check them out. We worked long and hard on getting those models right, and they finally are. Now we're just trying to get them in places where people can check them out, and Sabian is doing just that.
Monday I caught my flight no problem at 10:00am, and finally made it back home in New Orleans.
The UK Drum Show was great to check out everything that everybody was offering, as well as different gear and stuff that people had there. Everywhere I went there was somebody to talk to or something to check out. It was sensory overload the whole time. I loved it! The UK Drum Show is really turning into a must see event. They have doubled their numbers since last year, and it looks like it’s going to turn into a marquee event in the UK and in Europe.
UK Set List:
This name came from when we were writing some of the material for Groove Alchemy, and we were on a tour of the UK, and we would collect all these little colloquialisms and little sayings that we were hearing people say, and one of the things that they were saying was, "Pie-eyed Manc," which was a really drunk person from Manchester.