The 10 must-see drummers of Glastonbury 2016
Whether it be trudging through the vast swathes of mud at Worthy Farm or battling the befuddling array of red button choices, Glastonbury represents a smorgasbord of musical delights.
And that’s great, right? Well, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing, especially if you spend the bulk of your time trying to whittle down which act to catch next. So, to lend a helping hand we have rounded up the ten drummers that you simply cannot miss at Glastonbury 2016. You can thank us later.
10. Dom Howard – Muse
It may seem a pointless exercise to pick out Glasto headliners as being must-see, but when it comes to Dom Howard we are more than happy to point out the obvious.
Howard has matured into the definitive Brit drum hero across Muse’s all-conquering career. With flashes of Roger Taylor’s sublime touch tucked alongside impressive technicality and raw power, Howard is a joy to behold when in full flight. Plus, that Muse stage show is not to be missed, and come on, they’ll be pulling out all of the stops for Glastonbury, just like they did with the monstrous performance of Plug In Baby from Rome.
9. Joe Clegg – Ellie Goulding
Hybrid drumming has become an increasingly relevant concept in recent years, and one man that has it down to a tee is Ellie Goulding drummer Joe Clegg.
The Burnley born-and-bred drummer has been a fixture at the kit since way before Goudling hit the big time. He made himself indispensable to the cause thanks to not just his tasty playing, but also his electronic skills.
Clegg took the Goulding gig while putting his hand in his own pocket to buy himself an SPD-SX and he then taught himself the ins and outs of hybrid. A story of sheer determination, and one hell of a drummer.
8. Woody – Bastille
It has been a pretty crazy few years for drummer Woody and his Bastille bandmates. They only formed in 2010 but by 2013 they were absolutely huge thanks to the pop mega tunes found on debut album Bad Blood.
It has been three years of hard touring since then, but they head into Glastonbury with new music being slowly trickled through and their second record, Wild World, is set to drop later this year. Will Woody and co premier some new tunes at Worthy Farm? There’s only one way to find out.
7. Joe Donovan – Blossoms
A new kid on the scene compared to some on this list, Joe Donovan has powered indie pop newbs Blossoms into appearances on Jools Holland and opening up for Kasabian’s massive Leicester stadium show earlier this year.
He’s done so from behind a British Drum Company kit, the firm founded by master builder Keith Keough, drumming celeb Al Murray and Kasabian sticksman Ian Matthews. And boy do those drums sound fantastic – the tunes are pretty darn good, too. Catch them now before they're tearing up the Pyramid Stage in the not-too-distant future.
6. Andy Burrows – Tom Odell
If you want to see a workaholic in full flight, make sure you check out Andy Burrows as he backs up Tom Odell this weekend.
Burrows, famed for his spell as drummer and hit songwriter for Razorlight, is in the midst of a whirlwind world tour with Odell. But that’s not all he’s been up to, he has also been busy appearing in new Ricky Gervais David Brent road movie Life on the Road. And yes, that includes laying down beats for the record that accompanies the movie. Nice. Oh, and he’s also an accomplished solo artist. A sticksman very much on the up.
5. Jack Bevan – Foals
Joining the likes of Joe Clegg and Andy Burrows in the ‘underrated drum hero’ category we have Foals tub thumper Jack Bevan.
Diversity is the name of the game for Bevan, whether it be backing Night Swimmers with a Fela Kuti-esque Afrobeat rhythm, Mountain At My Gates with its bpm notching slowly higher and higher until Bevan is flat out or the modified Purdie Shuffle found throughout Knife In The Ocean, this guy can (and does) it all.
Check out the clip of the latter below in which Bevan plays that modified shuffle. He explained this very beat to Rhythm magazine a, “It's a Purdie Shuffle but shuffling with the doubles on the left hand instead of the right.” Sweet.
4. Derrick Wright – Adele
The son of a gospel legend, Derrick Wright has made the biggest pop gig on the planet his own thanks to his impeccable time, feel and bursts of breathtaking chops.
The New Yorker honed his pop, reggae and Latin skills in the modern-day breeding ground for A-list drummers that is the US church scene. Today, his DW kit sings when accompanying the Hello songstress. Derrick provides a valuable lesson in just what it means to support an artist.
3. Frank Beard – ZZ Top
If Derrick Wright is all about supporting the artist, Frank Beard is all about the groove. Yes, of course we needed one dedicated groove master on this list.
The king of the boogie shuffle, the beard-less Beard has powered the Top’s southern rock since 1969. Anyone that has seen ZZ Top down the years will tell you that Glastonbury is in for a hit-packed party. One to miss at your peril, for sure. Need more proof? Check out this clip of the trio doing what they do best.
2. Will Champion – Coldplay
Another headliner, but while Muse’s Dom Howard is rightly held up as a Brit drum god, Will Champion hasn’t been quite so readily welcomed into those ranks. But, why the hell not?!
Coldplay may be bonafide worldwide stadium fillers, but Champion freely admits that he was far from the finished product behind the kit when the band shot to prominence in the early 00s. His playing has certainly come on light years since then, though.
Today, Champion is the master of the understated beat, prepared to sit back quietly poker face intact before crashing in for a final chorus. Or, he’ll even step off the kit and just play chimes or bells, his ego is non-existent, and that is why he needs to be seen.
1. Matt Nicholls – Bring Me The Horizon
There isn’t another metal band on the planet that has made waves as huge as Bring Me The Horizon in the past 12 months. From a hit album, an appearance on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (just try to think of another modern Brit metal band who would get that call) and now a lofty place on the Glastonbury bill.
And it’s all well merited, these boy have toiled down the years and are now reaping the rewards. None more so than drummer Matt Nicholls, who has matured into a real powerhouse at the kit and, for us, is the must-seeing drummer of the entire weekend. Good work, boys.