I’m very excited and honoured to be taking part in drumBEAT 2014, which is in Manchester, UK on November 21.
drumBEAT 2014 will see 1001 drummers (yes that’s right, 1001 drummers!) gather in a very large space in Manchester to play together, in time with each other, for five minutes to beat the Guinness world record for the ‘largest full drum kit ensemble’. The record stands at 798 drummers which was set in 2012. With your help we can smash that and, in the process, raise a lot of money for a very worthy cause.
By taking part in drumBEAT you are joining the fight to BEAT brain tumours, the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s.
We all believe that fighting brain tumours on all fronts through research, awareness and support is the only way to save lives, reduce long-term disabilities and help everyone with a brain tumour and their families cope with everything the diagnosis of a brain tumour brings.
All the VERY IMPORTANT info regarding this day can be found at via drumBEAT here.
Here’s a drummer playing the official pattern that 1001 of us will all be going through on the day!
I played the legendary Hollywood Bowl in August with Glen Hansard and gang. Zildjian Cymbals very kindly asked me to take over their Instagram page for the day. Folk were able to get on board and see photos of what was goin’ on. This special show included two of my favourite acts, Iron & Wine and The Head and The Heart opening for Glen.
I posted lots of bits and pieces about cymbals, drums and more, as you do, such as this:
Dublin photographer Dave Kavanagh took some great pictures, including the below, for the German drum magazine, Sticks. Featuring my C&C kit, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, Aquarian Heads and DW hardware, you can find more info about my drum set-up in the gear section.
The Sticks interview will be published this autumn.
I’ve updated the picture gallery section with some shots by Zoran Orlic of behind-the-scenes recording with Glen Hansard in Chicago and there’s some new video clips here, including a great cover of Joe Cocker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends.
The late, great Levon (above) — a personal hero and inspiration — was of course drummer and a singer with The Band. As well as Square Pegs, this second anniversary show will feature performances from The Hot Sprockets, The Lost Brothers, Gavin Glass, The Group (Last Waltz Tribute Act), The Trouble Pilgrims (featuring members of The Radiators From Space), Pete Cummins, and more.
Meanwhile, if you’re around Dublin on Thursday, April 24, you can catch a special Square Pegs show when they play the front bar of Whelan’s (7pm-9pm) with two keyboard players — Justin Carroll and Cormac Curran (Villagers).
Square Pegs also perform at the Bray Jazz Festival (in Co Wicklow) on the May Bank Holiday (Monday, May 5) as we wrap things up in the Harbour Bar(from 9pm).
We play gigs when we’re all at home and not away touring. It’s a good-time vibe and we play in the front bar in Whelan’s, Dublin regularly (pictured above). Square Pegs have been recording an album over the last while and will be releasing it soon.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page (and here, of course) for all news regarding the album and upcoming gigs.
So, I got a call to play a Christmas gig in NYC with Glen Hansard. Usually, bands get one song on The Late Show with Letterman — so it was a great honour and a brilliant way to wrap the year to be asked to play a set.
Live on Letterman is a free, streaming concert series by CBS Interactive, live from the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Other bands to have played it recently include Foo Fighters, The Shins, Phoenix, and Wilco.
UPDATE: Watch the full gig below video…
Setlist includes: Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting, Respect (Aretha Franklin), Lowly Deserter, When Your Mind’s Made Up, Bird of Sorrow, Fairytale of New York (Shane MacGowan), Low Rising, Heyday (Mic Christopher), Her Mercy, Song of Good Hope, This Gift, Drive All Night (Bruce Springsteen), Feels Like Rain (John Hiatt), Parting Glass (Traditional), Falling Slowly
I recently did an interview for Rhythm magazine, with my good friend Louise King, where we chatted about all things drums — my influences, the acts I’ve played with, what I’m up to now, the gear I use, the drummers that have influenced me, and more.
Here’s a snippet…
“Being exposed to such a rich and eclectic range of music, and the individual complexities of each, educates your ear in a different way, and makes you a much more versatile drummer. I’ve always loved to rock out, but I feel very fortunate that the diverse musical education I had has helped make my playing so much more dynamic, and that in turn has enabled me to cross musical boundaries.”
UPDATE: Click on the page below or here to download a PDF of the full interview…
While in the States last week I went to visit C&C Custom Drums in Gladstone, Missouri, just outside Kansas City for a full day. It was a great hang out with the thriving father-son business of Bill and Jacob Cardwell.
The guys began making drums in the late 90s when they recognised a niche in the market for drummers who loved vintage drums but needed durability and reliability for touring and recording sessions.
The C&C logo has been showing up all over the place. Among their quickly-growing band/artist roster are the drummers of Arcade Fire, The Shins, Flaming Lips, The National, Modest Mouse, Grizzly Bear, Paul Simon, Midlake, My Morning Jacket… and that’s only keeping it brief.
While at their shop they took me through every element of building the kit. Eight people work at C&C and all are drummers except for one – Brian Anderson, who is the shell builder. It was great watching him building three ply shells, while he talked me through every detail.
I then watched and talked to everyone as they worked away passionately on the drums. Bill was doing 10 jobs at once; spraying a kit in a green sparkle finish and picking finishes for new snare wraps, which he asked my opinion on, and I chose a different, off-kilter mix. Jake was forming the bearing edges on a new custom kit being finished for the Sigur Ros drummer Orri Páll Dýrason.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to experience a ‘day in the life’ of the C&C workshop. I play my drums in a different light now after seeing how they were handcrafted.