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The London Drum Show

The London Drum show took place this past weekend at London’s Olympia Conference Centre. With a capacity audience of 1,500 people, the show certainly had a great “buzz” about it. And with a broad spectrum of international drumming stars like Dave Weckl and UK stars such as Ralph Salmins, there was truly something for everyone.

One of the show’s first master classes was led by SABIAN endorser Ralph Salmins, together with another of London’s busiest session players, Paul Clarvis. They shared a number of their techniques, as well as the fascinating scenarios they’ve found themselves while recording for films like Titanic and Fantastic Mr. Fox, and working for great film composers such as Hans Zimmer. Playing on a number of instruments, including SABIAN’s Artisan rides, Ralph clearly demonstrated why he is so much in demand as a studio musician on block-buster film projects.

Many, of course, came to the Olympia Conference Centre to see the legendary Dave Weckl. With both a master class on Saturday and a live performance to kick start the show on Sunday, there was ample opportunity to sample the many flavours of this musical giant. Weckl did not disappoint.

 In his master class, Dave played a four-piece kit with a slightly reduced cymbal set-up of 14” Vault Artisan Hats, 18” HHX Evolution Crash, 22” HHX Legacy Heavy Ride with 3 Rivets, 14” HHX Evolution Mini Chinese stacked on a 18” HHX Evolution Crash, and a 18” HHX Evolution O-Zone. Dave explained his stick grip in great detail, attributing it to one of his teachers, the great Freddie Gruber. He also briefly touched on aspects of the Moeller technique which he learned from another SABIAN endorsee, the late, great Jim Chapin. Jim championed this technique, ensuring that many of today’s great players are well-versed in its capabilities.

Dave & Ralph made themselves available for autograph signings on both days – happy fans of all ages went home with signed posters, sticks and heads.

It’s surely a testament to Dave’s international appeal that a capacity audience assembled itself at 11AM on Sunday to attend his performance clinic. After a meticulous sound-check, Dave was warmly welcomed onstage by show organizer Ian Croft, editor of UK magazine, Drummer.

After briefly going over his drums, Dave launched himself into a solo that spanned multiple styles, broadening the audience’s vision of what is possible to express on the drum-kit. He followed this by playing along to a number of backing music tracks, leaving his audience completely spellbound.

Dave used his current full set-up of Vault 14” Artisan Hats, 17” HHX Evolution Effects Crash with 3 Rivets, 17” HHX Legacy Crash, 7” HHX Evolution Splash on top of 12” HHX Evolution Splash, 22” HHX Legacy Heavy Ride with 3 Rivets,14” HHX Evolution Mini Chinese stacked on a 18” HHX Evolution Crash, and 18” HHX Evolution O-Zone Crash.

The SABIAN and Gon Bops booths hosted a constant stream of visitors trying out the vast array of instruments on display. Many of them picked up SABIAN cinch bags and wore them proudly throughout the day; it was virtually impossible to turn in any direction without seeing one of these popular bags!

And before you knew it, the show was over. The audience walked out happily into a balmy London evening while exhibitors started the long task of packing up their stands.

If you were one of the lucky ones who made it to the show, many thanks for taking the time to visit our booth. If you couldn’t make it, enjoy the pictures and video (coming soon) and seriously consider getting to the show next year – news of that will be out soon and we’ll be sure to let you know the dates well in advance.

Report & Photography: Christian Koch and Bruce Parry

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