As a long-time lover of vintage drums I recently discovered the C&C Drum Company in Kansas City, Missouri. Bill, his son Jake, and their team, make their drums in a similar fashion to 50s/60s WFL/Ludwigs, Slingerlands, Gretsch and more, in that they’re generally just around three plies. The resonance and tone is fantastic. Once I played them I was a fan. C&C made me a kit, which we designed together, in an old 40s/50s fashion of dark, natural wood, with long tube lugs and wood hoops with an old white marine pearl inlay. Nice, eh?
This is another short video filmed by Myles O’Reilly on the day we played our Dublin show at the Iveagh Gardens, during the July heatwave. It captures what a fun time we had, which is something Myles always manages to do very nicely on screen.
Essential due to the insane amount of hanging around dressing rooms/venues/tour buses I do. So, I get to watch an enormous amount of movies and boxsets and check out lots of new music. Huzzah!
Eye mask and ear plugs
So I can go to sleep anywhere, anytime, with nothing or no one bothering me. Utterly essential when sharing a bus with 12 snoring men.
To lint off all the nitty gritty nonsense of little white specs, that do my head in, especially on darker clothing. I have been known to lint roll the entire band pre-gig. I know…I know…OCD-tastic.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
I get chapped lips while drumming from licking my lips so much, but now I’m addicted to it. Constantly lashing it on me smacker. Nice beard moisturiser too;)
Too many clothes
I find it hard to trust laundry facilities anywhere in the world. I usually like to over pack. As my good friend Ger says, ‘Better to be lookin’ at it, than lookin’ for it!’
Airwaves cherry chewing gum
Basically I can’t do a gig without it. My mouth gets all dry. I bring several packs from home before I go anywhere.
Barry’s Tea bags
This is where the fun begins and we have our Barry’s v Lyons challenges. For me I can only drink Barry’s so a new box is brought on tour, nestled snuggly under my jocks and socks in my suitcase. In fact, I usually bring as cuppa on stage with me.
To call family, friends, the world, and to email everybody about everything.
Info that will lead me to where the best coffee is while I’m on tour. But that’s separate info I can give you another time. I’m a total addict and a highlight of the touring day, apart from playing obviously, is checking out a city’s best coffee venues.
Too many toothbrushes
One can never have enough toothbrushes. I’m not ready to do a gig until my teeth are brushed. I usually have a brush and paste in most bags and pockets.
There are many YouTube videos I like, which I will post over time. It’s very hard to decide which I’d like to show you to begin with, but here are a few that have definitely helped shape the drummer I am today.
I have included a video of my father, Des. He joined The Frames on stage as a guest for a song on the day of his 70th birthday, and stole the show.
- Baby Dodds
- Gene Krupa, with the Benny Goodman Big Band
- Gene Krupa & Papa Joe Jones, short three-piece doc
- Levon Helm, with The Band
- Stevie Wonder, drum solo
- John Bonham, with Led Zeppelin
- Des Hopkins, with The Frames on his 70th birthday!
Here’s a trailer for Conor Masterson’s recent film which shows The Frames during our 20th anniversary shows, which took place in the States, throughout Europe, and finished in Dublin.
Conor told IFTN: “Tongue-in-cheek, at the very beginning of the process, I said jokingly I’ll only make the film if we can make that bit in Star, Star where all the music drops out and (bassist) Joe Doyle plays ‘Hotel Lounge’ — which is the colour piece in the film. For years they’ve done that and it’s one of the things they do very well as a live band. It’s really organic. They’ll stop playing one song, do a bit of another song and then back into another one. The moment when they do that is an incredibly powerful piece of music.”
Myles O’Reilly (aka Arbutus Yarns). He’s shot loads of music docs that you’ve probably seen. This is a short documentary he filmed with Glen and the rest of the gang. He came to visit us in Italy at the end of our European tour in February 2013.
RTE Radio did a series on music where they looked at the art of music. This interview is with the brilliant Dave Fanning tackling the backbone of the band. He invited me on to talk influences, styles, unlikely heroes, and more. Everything from Chick Webb to Paul McCartney comes up. Have a listen.
I did an interview in 2012 with MikeDolbear.com where I go into my drumming history and the kind of music I was raised on, and much more. Here’s a bit of that chat…
‘The reason I started playing drums was because of my musical upbringing through my father Des, who was a jazz drummer. I was surrounded by music and jazz growing up. My father played in Dixieland and mainstream bands in Manchester before he moved back to Ireland to play the showband scene in the sixties which was playing covers material. I was brought up listening to drummers like Baby Dodds, Sonny Greer, Gene Krupa (pictured) and drummers like that, because of the Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke records which were played in the house most of the time. It was fantastic and I was so very fortunate.’
You can read the full interview on MikeDolbear.com here.
You think of Thin Lizzy, you might first think of Phil Lynott. But music fans know there was far more than that. Here’s a link to a short piece with drummer Brian Downey, a founding member of one of Ireland’s most important bands.
Here’s a snippet…
Brian Downey from Thin Lizzy is a seminal icon the world over, but nowhere more so than where he was born and bred… in Dublin, Ireland. Being back on home turf, it was a real treat for both the man himself as well as his fans to be able to spend time talking and signing autographs. Hundreds turned out for the chance to meet the original member of Thin Lizzy. I had a good chat with him that went far beyond the world of drums!
Read the full piece here.
The success of his debut solo album, Rhythm And Repose, has taken us around the world, from the United States to Australia, via Europe. In case you’ve missed it, this is an 12-piece band which also features yours truly and the other boys from The Frames.
We’re in Dublin, Ireland, at the beautiful Iveagh Gardens on July 21 and then open for Bruce Springsteen in Kilkenny on July 27. More details on Glen’s website here.
Glen Hansard — Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting