I used my own drums, a 4-piece white acrylic kit, hand-built by Vici Drum Co. Manchester. The kit has internal lights, which I set light to sound to add extra visual interest (otherwise, it was 12 hours of my ugly mug).
Cymbals for the set were supplied by Constantine (Handmade Turkish Cymbals), consisting of a Star series 20” medium ride (brilliant finish), 18” and 16” crashes from the Experience series and 14” Hi-Hats also from the Experience series. There was also a 10” splash from the Natural series. I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful these cymbals sound. Each has its own unique quality and voice. Easily the most musical cymbals I have ever played.
Constantine is a relatively new maker and certainly new to the UK. If you’re seeking a sound that’s unique to you, they are well worth a look. These are hand-made (not “hand-finished”), cast (not pressed). It means every cymbal is unique. Sadly, I had to give mine back but, oh how I want a set! They are available exclusively through Betta Drums.
The London Drumstick Company kindly supplied drumsticks. They provided three pairs of the Signature series 5A Hickory sticks. I had my doubts that three pairs would be enough for 12 hours of playing. In reality, I could have done the whole gig using just one pair. These LDC sticks are seriously tough. Indestructible! They are also beautifully balanced, so even after 12 hours of continuous playing, my arms and elbows didn’t suffer the same fatigue as my back and thighs. I had sore hands, but I expected that (and more).
A day or so before the session, I had picked up a new snare from DSP Drums made by Dave Pierce in South Benfleet, Essex. Dave and I had designed the snare together, and he had built it over the previous two months. Oak and Walnut staves with a 1” clear resin band through the middle. The snare is furnished with brass hardware and a matching DW Mag throw. This was the first time I had used it, and after a bit of fine-tuning, I achieved an awesome crack, with deep woody tones and just a hint of additional top end from the hard resin. I love this snare!
Drum heads were somewhat of an experiment from Williams Drumheads, manufactured in Brazil and supplied by 55DC. These were the Target series (in black) which I would compare favourably with Evans hydraulics. A medium-density head with well-controlled overtones that allowed for minimal damping. They were great and will be staying on the kit for the foreseeable.
Remarkably, 12 hours seemed to go by pretty quickly. I was lucky to play my set from the hospitable setting of Rebellion Studios, just down the road from me, near Colchester, Essex. Although I was alone for around eight hours, and they flew by. By 08:00, I felt like I was in the home straight and managed a rousing version of LA Woman, followed by a funky Hit Me Baby One More Time, a combo unlikely to be heard in any other circumstance.
So far, Drumathon Live 2021 has raised £25,000.00, and with contributions still coming in, the team expect to exceed last years total. This year’s charities all had a mental health theme: Mind, Child Bereavement UK, The Anna Freud Centre, National Trauma Council, and NHS Charities Together. You can still donate to these important charities by visiting www.Drumathon.live. You can also watch the highlights of this year’s action.
Plans are already underway for an even more spectacular event in 2022. I have already said that if they want an anonymous, short, ageing drummer from Essex, I’m ready to go again.