“Cambridge Drums are without doubt the most focused & musical drums I have ever played. In the studio or live they provide a fantastic vehicle to carry me to wherever I wish to go. Amazing.” Gilson Lavis (Jools Holland Big Band).
In February I had the pleasure of speaking to Gilson Lavis for the forthcoming Shufflewire podcast (watch this space!). Inevitably we got on to the subject of drums and specifically his choice of drums. Gilson plays Cambridge Drums and anyone who has seen him play on Later, Hootenanny or indeed live will surely have noticed the stunningly beautiful Cambridge kits he plays.
Gilson is pretty high profile as drummers go. He could choose to endorse any manufacturer and in fact was a DW endorsee for many years and still has a number of DW kits in storage. He tells the story of how Cambridge Drum Co. owner Ian Croft pursued him for a few years before he eventually relented and tried one of Ian’s kits. That was it, he was hooked. He had simply never played a drum kit that sounded as good as these did.
Gilson and Ian have become close friends since then. His input into product development has been invaluable and his high profile has helped Cambridge develop its image as an artisan drum brand. Yet these bespoke kits are very competitively priced when compared to DW or for that matter any of the high-end brands.
An example of the company working alongside their endorsee to develop products can be seen in the Cambridge GLite series. Inspired by and developed with Gilson the GLite is a thin 3mm shell (or 5.25mm on the kick) that creates a vintage style warmth and bags of resonance. Combined with modern build quality the GLite is a vintage style kit robust enough for modern touring. Oh, and like all Cambridge drum kits, it looks amazing!
“The first public outing for the GLite kit was a sound check at the Royal Albert Hall, an acoustic that takes no prisoners. The sound can only be described in one word – AWESOME!”Gilson Lavis
Owner Ian Croft describes himself as a “wood engineer”. He worked in the wood industry for 30 years, specialising in veneers. He knows a thing or two about wood. He founded CDC in 2014. As a drummer himself seeking a new kit he had found that he couldn’t find the quality of sound he imagined. He wanted something unique rather than the generic sounding mass produced products on offer. So, he decided to make his own and the Cambridge Drum Company was born.
When you order a CDC kit you become part of the production process. Ian involves the ceks and you can watch every stage of the build.
Other fans of Cambridge Drums include Simon Hanson of Squeeze who joined the roster in 2017. Simon has played with a swathe of big-name artists including Grace Jones, Hall & Oates, Paul Weller and Liam Gallagher.
Another notable endorsee and familiar name, is Clark Tracey. Son of jazz legend pianist Stan Tracey, Clark has been a professional drummer since the tender age of 17 in 1978. He played with his fathers’ various ensembles as well as his own bands. Clark also holds the accolade British Jazz Drummer of the Year.
At the top of the home page of their website, right next to the company logo, it says; “It’s all about the sound”. That tells you everything you really need to know about the Cambridge Drum Company. They know that for you to really shine as a drummer you have to sound great, and great sounds come from great drums.
So, if you’re looking for a unique sounding kit that really reflects you as an artist, talking to the Cambridge Drum Company could help you realise the kit of your dreams.
I love to see innovation and in the musical instrument business, there’s plenty of it. I come across new innovations almost daily, whether it’s a reworking of an existing idea or something completely new, a flash of inspiration that changes the game.
Most of us drummers have much in common. We’re looking for new sounds. We love a gadget. And we’re looking for ways to have both without lugging around more gear. If that’s you too, you’re in luck. Zikit Drums from Isreal have introduced a new product that means you can now play three snares on your kit from one drum shell.
Like many musicians I’m a bit of a collector. As a drummer my house if full of drums, cymbals, percussion, cases, accessories and bits of drums I picked up along the way. The truth is, I would probably have a far larger collection if money, space and spouse allowed!
What is Shufflewire?
Shufflewire is a completely free-to-access directory and network with a key focus on the needs of anyone who works in the music industry. You can also post classified ads where you can promote your upcoming gigs, sell gear and equipment, as well as post jobs.