Being that my last blog was based around our trip to New York, I thought I would bring you all up to date with more of my activities from February. Arriving back very jetlagged and tired, I made my way straight to work. I know that this sounds crazy, but it was the first week’s class of our Winter 2010 Rockschool course. These kids are so excited about playing music together, how could I let them down?
As I have explained before, the students get the chance to pick two songs from a list I created. This years songs include anything from Ac/Dc, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses and even The Clash. Musically they have been fantastic, but most of all they have wanted to play. The performance is sure to be a great event and with the help of our teachers- It will Rock! The gig will be held on the 9th March at the Bar Sun in Kettering, please come along a support local music.
Having been inspired so much from the gigs we went to in New York, I was keen to get behind a drum kit. I had been invited to play for a 21st birthday party in The Caves, Edinburgh with Wild. I was looking forward to this event for sometime, because it gave us the chance to bring the girls. Being a musician is hard on the people around you and your family. On that very same night I was playing, the rest of my family were celebrating my Nan’s birthday. That was hard enough, so the thought of being without our girlfriends in such beautiful city was not going to happen.
Barbora and me decided to drive, so this meant us leaving on the Friday morning. It was arranged we would all meet up in Edinburgh that evening so we could enjoy a night on the town before the Saturday show. Hugh and Jeanette had chosen to take the train up the east side of the country and Paul and Angela drove the van with the equipment. It was certainly reminiscent of a Top Gear challenge, but with constant blackberry locations sent to each other, it was clear the train would win the day. Six hours later, after the most beautiful drive through the Pennines we arrived at the hotel to meet up with Hugh. We were obviously tired, but after a few drinks to perk us up and the arrival of Paul with the equipment, we headed out for the evening. Since a trip into London a few months earlier, I have had a craving for Mexican food. Luckily everybody agreed and we were off out to eat plenty of hot food washed down with a few bottles of wine.
For me Edinburgh has one major appeal and that would be the castle. As a kid growing up wanting to play the drums, the Edinburgh Tattoo was always an interest. Watching and hearing the sound of the tight marching snare drums was incredible. In the early days of me taking a real interest in drums, I actually joined a marching band. I have found memories of my time with that band and although I was about fifteen at the time, I still find a marching drum very exciting. The marching and discipline required to perform precise rudiments in unison with such flare is phenomenal. Some of my favourite players such as Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta started in Marching bands at high school, so I have always encouraged my students to concentrate on their rudiments.
The castle was truly beautiful and to stand exactly where the Edinburgh Tattoo is held, was a major thrill for me. We toured the whole castle taking in the crown jewels and of course the dragoon guards museum. This was a brilliant day and a great way of relaxing before a gig.
After chilling for a while it was time to get ready for the show. All we knew that it was in the Caves. The venue turned out to spectacular with a full stage and lighting rig. The gig was immense and a brilliant crowd that did not stop dancing all night. Unfortunately, at the end of the evening a few of guests thought they could get on our equipment and have a play whilst we were in the changing room. I’m always amazed at this and it truly winds me up, but I think we survived. Although the incident with the drunken drummer annoyed me- I guess it is an occupational hazard; but overall Edinburgh was fantastic! I can’t wait to return and I am sure we will. The drive home was once again a picturesque pleasure with all the snow capped hillsides and twisting roads. The real pleasure of the weekend had to be having Barbora with me; we shared some great times and can’t wait until we do it again.
That’s enough of my tails from February. See you next month.