Archive for the ‘Gigs & Shows’ Category

Drums from Ghana

July 19, 2010

This group shows how simple and mesmeric basic African rhythms can be. The kids loved it, and were captivated at the front of the stage for the duration. The drumming workshop which ensued was oversubscribed before I got there.

Zimmer Frame Drum Kit

May 2, 2010

Some great jazz from a bunch of chefs. A Zimmer Frame provided an excellent portable drum rack.

The Pipes!

July 19, 2009

Another great example of a simple drum section in isolation – with a military influence. The Ringwood Pipe Band can be seen at all sorts of events and always catches my ear. I saw them performing again yesterday and took the opportunity to take this video clip. The beauty of an iPhone G3s…

Those snare drums really are as crisp as they could be – great sound.

Chinese Lion Dance

July 12, 2009

There’s nothing like stripping percussive performance back to its bear bones, and the Chinese Lion Dance is an excellent example. I was lucky enough to catch this one today (video below) in a little village in the south of England, performed by the Waterside Lion Dance Club, who created a polished, energetic display in the middle of a drab, wet afternoon.

The percussion is traditional – a drum, a gong and a couple of cymbals. It’s simple, repetitive and mesmeric. The last time something as raw as this captured my attention was years ago in Zimbabwe. Lying in a field one afternoon I watched some kids come out of a school nearby with a few oil drums and sticks. Most of them formed up, and spontaneously sprung into action, dancing perfectly in sync to the pounding, impressive rhythm in the background. I wish I’d recorded it – I do have a photo though. I’ll see if I can dig it out.

Anyway, it all serves to remind me that talent is much more important than expensive kit. A well played collection of saucepans is more entertaining than a badly played Tama Imperialstar.

The Isle of Wight Festival 2009 from the Medina River

June 15, 2009

I just finished an eventful weekend at the Isle of Wight Festival. The weather was great and my viewpoint was unique. I sailed up the Medina River from Cowes, moored up and then took my little rubber dinghy all the way to the festival where I tied up to a bigger boat, settled back and enjoyed the gigs.

The main stage is right next to the river, so the big screen is clearly visible and the sound powerful. Although it probably wasn’t as good as being inside the compound, it was certainly more comfortable! I didn’t envy the hardy souls who were swimming fully clothed (beers in hand) from the other side of the river, trying to sneek in, only to be turned back by security and having to swim back to the other side. There were other equally unsuccessful, albeit drier attempts to break in, such as the man paddling by on a windsurfer.


Looking for a back door

Looking for a back door

My favourites were more of my era, like Simple Minds, the Prodigy and Neil Young, although there were plently of other great acts. Below you can see my view of The View performing on the second day. The Stereophonics were good in the evening.

My view of The View

My view of The View

The Red Arrows came by for a spectacular aerobatics display to make the day perfect, despite the fact that I didn’t get to play on stage myself. Maybe next year…

The Red Arrows

The Red Arrows