What is "Simon John's Vintage Drum Show?
Simon John's Vintage Drum Show is an annual event organised, promoted and managed by drummers for drummers to provide an opportunity for the display, promotion, trading of drums, associated products/items and drumming skills to be available to the drummers and potential drummers of the UK and beyond. It is a non-profit organisation and seeks to be self-funding.
I attended the show on Sunday, to film a vlog of the day's events and have a general look around. I had been unable to attend the full weekend due to gig commitments and so I missed out on a terrific performance from Rob Brian, who has previously featured on Next Level Chops - https://youtu.be/H4jQ37m_uvQ.
Rob has worked with Goldfrapp, Peter Gabriel, Siouxsie Sioux, Simple Minds and Jason Rebello among others. Rob played on 2 vintage kits from 2 different eras and anyone who saw Rob in this clinic will tell you that it was a must see event for vintage enthusiasts and the general public alike.
After I had arrived and said hello to a few old friends, I began having a look around. The show is a real haven for anyone interested in drumming. Whether you are just beginning your musical journey, or have been a professional drummer all your life you can find lots to enjoy over the weekend.
What I love about the show:
One of my favourite things about these events is the friendly, chatty atmosphere which makes everybody feel very welcomed. It is a fantastic place to find that missing Lug Box from a 50s Ajax Piccolo snare drum, or that allusive tension rod from your 40s Radio King bass drum. The sheer quantity and variety really is something to behold!
Sunday's Main Event:
Part way through the afternoon the show featured the fantastic Mr Neal Wilkinson who was playing a 1950s Ludwig & Ludwig kit which used to belong to legendary English drummer Kenny Clare. This drum kit was teamed with Neal's Ludwig 401 brass snare drum also from the 1950s, and which also belonged to Kenny. The whole kit was reunited on the day for the first time in over 2 decades and Neal delivered a wonderful solo firstly on brushes, and then using drum sticks.
Neal has been a first-call studio session musician since the mid-80s. His feel, sound, and ability to play many different styles of music has led to recording and touring with a hugely diverse group of artists, including Van Morrison, James Morrison, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and Annie Lennox.
My Thoughts on the Simon John's Vintage Drum Show:
To summarise, I had a great day at the drum show, and will be sure to arrive bright and early next year to spend the whole weekend in such a 'drummie' environment. I would recommend a visit to anyone, and would strongly advise you to bring some cash, for buy all of those goodies that you don't actually need!
P.s. If anybody who comes along next year would like to buy me the blue Ludwig Vistalite which was near the tea and coffee bar, that would be very much appreciated...
To find out more about the Simon John's Vintage Drum Show, or to book a stall at next year's event please visit: https://vintagedrums.co.uk