Posts Tagged ‘work’

Interview in Drummer Magazine

I feel very privileged to have been interviewed for the January issue of Drummer Magazine! In a joint Q & A with Emily Dolan Davies the magazine asked us about our work and tips for other drummers who’d like to get into session playing. It was a nice change to be interviewed instead of asking the questions and we had a great afternoon at Cato and Zildjian’s office.

I’ve been a reader of Drummer over many years so it was amazing to be asked to be included in an issue. Many thanks to Jules and the magazine for featuring the interview on us!

NB about drum gear – I’m an endorsee of Protection Racket Cases and have been very fortunate to have some drums and percussion provided for me by Yamaha and Meinl. I love my Zildjian cymbals though!


West End Drummers Part 5 – Andy Newmark (John Lennon, Eric Clapton etc)

Andy Newmark

West End Drummers – Part 5 – Andy Newmark

Andy Newmark’s discography reads like a who’s who of musical greats – Sly and the Family Stone, George Harrison, Carly Simon, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Carole King, Sting… and this only hints at the work he has done as a musician since his early twenties. In 1999, aged 49 and after several decades as a renowned session drummer, Andy decided to change paths within his drumming career and audition for the Lion King, which was opening in London’s West End.

In this month’s West End Drummers one of the greats talks about his personal experiences of changing from a session to show drummer, what John Lennon was like to work with and how 30 seconds of playing changed his life as a 21 year old.

How did you get involved in the West End?

I knew people in New York City in the Lion King and I heard that the show was coming to London. I spoke to one of the guys in the orchestra in the New York show and asked if I could get an audition with Joe Church, the MD who was coming over to conduct auditions in London. They said I could come along and I showed up but I wasn’t chosen for the job initially. They chose Ralph Salmins and that was that; I hoped maybe I could be a dep for Ralph. A few months later the Lion King production office called me and said it wasn’t going to work out with Ralph as he had another show and decided that he didn’t want to leave it. Would I like the job? So I said yes and that’s how I got it.



X Factor Live Show 3

I was really excited to be part of the X Factor’s Rock Week show yesterday! It was my first time playing on the show and it was an immense experience. I thoroughly enjoyed rocking out on double drum kits with fellow drummer Holly Hardy to Marcus’ ‘Are you gonna go my way’ and Frankie’s ‘Get your rocks off’. For Janet’s performance of ‘Sweet child of mine’ we played two marching bass drums, which gave my arms and abs a much needed work out!

I was surprised how small the actual studio is in real life and really impressed by the smooth running of everything; the people who work behind the scenes were fantastic. My favourite moment of the day was air drumming one of the songs as a rehearsal with Holly, one headphone for each of us from the ipod, while two hairdressers worked around us, frantically spraying us with hair products and giving us the biggest rock hair they could. We just kept right on air drumming…

Also shared a dressing room with Penni, a fire eating performer who happens to do the voices of Drum and Panzee from Zingzillas! And as if the day couldn’t get any better than that, Holly and I ran into this guy in the hallway….

Spent a really fun day with some great people in the name of work. Here are the girls – Holly, me, Kat, Tiffy and Camilla

Loved it!


Summer 2011 – gigs and a lot of cake

I’ve finally got enough time to take stock of the last few months and it has been BRILLIANT!

The Robots In Disguise UK tour in July was great fun. It was fantastic to play the songs from their new album live to an audience and the new band set up with me and my trusty mac for the backing tracks gave us a lot more freedom (it also meant I got my head around Logic this year).

I’m lucky to visit so many great places with Robots; since July we’ve played at festivals in the South of France, Norway and Italy and we still have a tour of Germany ahead of us this year. Although touring is hard work it is second to none for meeting people and seeing places I might not usually get the chance to go to. There aren’t many jobs where you get given an entire platter of Italian biscuits for your dressing room…

Or where you get fed the finest salmon you will EVER TASTE before you watch The Roots play, while standing by a Norwegian river with friends in the name of work…

I crossed Reading and Leeds festival off my to do list this summer as well, after playing percussion for musical comedy starlet, Brigitte Aphrodite. Keep an eye out for her ‘cos she will be coming at you in a big way with glitter and high heels very soon! Here we are at Reading with Jay, who plays guitar

We had a lot of love for the catering at Reading and Leeds. This was the first course of desserts we had at Reading…

I’ve also played percussion for lots of festivals near my home town this summer with Matthew Kilford. His glorious voice and guitar playing can make a grown man weep and you can check him out here. I don’t have any photos with Matthew or cake at his gigs though. Sorry.

I’m now looking forward to a holiday, playing with a new band this week, auditions, gigs, autumn and woolly jumpers.


Bob Knight (Alison Moyet,Rumer)

Bob Knight

Interview with Bob Knight

If you own a television you will have regularly seen Bob Knight at work. Bob was Musical Director of the live Charlotte Church Show for three seasons, which saw him work with many artists including Amy Winehouse and the Manic Street Preachers. He worked on the Justin Lee Collins show, plays in Alison Moyet”s and Nik Kershaw’s bands, is drummer and Musical Director for Rumer and manages to be one of the UK’s top session fixers. Bob found time to tell me about his varied career and I discovered more about the man who Michael Buble has called upon in his hour of need.

How would you describe what you do for a living?

I play the drums, am an MD and I run my contracting business, so double gig!

What’s your background as a drummer?

I come from Yorkshire and I studied at school there. We had lots of good community things that we didn’t have to pay to be part of and there were a lot of good musicians. We won the National Youth Jazz Orchestra competition, you know, those kind of things. Then I did music at A-level and played in bands all round Harrogate. When I was 15 I used to play with guys that are the age that I am now so my dad used to drive me, drop me off and pick me up. I used to do my homework on stage; it was great! There used to be a law that you couldn’t be in a club if you were under 17 unless you got there before it opened and stayed onstage. I would go and set up and just start doing my homework, then the band would turn up and sound check, they’d go off and I’d just stay on stage! Then they’d come back, do the gig and my dad would pick me up at 1am. After my A levels I went to the Royal Academy of Music and did the 4 year jazz degree from ’95 to ‘99 and turned pro from there.