The second Jobeky UK Custom Drum Festival took place last Sunday (2 May) at the Staffordshire County Showground. Rhythm was there in force to check out the latest work from a crop of talented UK custom drum builders.
As well as sumptuous gear the Festival also included a separate live hall featuring an array of performances. South African superstar Travis Marc and his iGrooves project opened the show in style. Their set included a track called 'Chair Song' performed on miked up wooden chairs! Expect to see a lot of more from Travis this year.
They're a British institution and they're back in force. Premier were displaying a selection of updated Genistas and Elites, plus a tasty looking 100 percent bubinga set.
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The company specialises in custom drum wraps, custom drum head decals and chromatic hardware coatings. Their stand highlighted the extent to which you can pimp your kit, including a salvaged old CB kit that had been granted a new lease of life.
Custom tattoo wraps
Just one example of what PimpCo can achieve. Choose from a variety of designs, including custom tattoo art from Phil Kyle (London Ink), or drop the PimpCo guys a line with your own ideas. The world is literally your oyster.
Marcus De Mowbray is a bit of an inventor, and a bit of a drummer, too. You may well have seen pictures of his Busker kits on the web, but to see them in the flesh is a different thing altogether. The concept was to build a portable kit that was still functional in a gigging environment. He has certainly achieved that, and his latest invention incorporates a cajon for the bass drum, with an intricate splay of pedals allowing the player to strike cowbells, wood blocks and control a hi-hat. Absolutely bonkers!
We caught this cheeky snap of Al Murray having a go.
One man band?
Another one of Marcus' inventions is this contraption that allows the player to keep a beat with the feet, whilst strumming, tooting or parping on any instrument that requires two hands.
Another amazing invention from Marcus De Mowbray. This time it's a snare drum without a shell...
The initial idea was to create a quieter drum, but the result is the exact opposite. These things are surprisingly loud.
As well as the excellent Prestige drum series Jobeky were also showing what they can achieve with unique finishes.
AD Drums haven't been around for too long, but we like what we saw. The company offers custom shells in anything from maple and birch through to acrylic and steel, as well as cool custom finishes.
Are they set to become the UK equivalent of SJC?
Now in its sixth year, Highwood has been going from strength to strength and receiving much praise in the pages of Rhythm. We particularly liked this custom birch kit.
Dave Nuttal's Jalapeno Drums were displaying some great new gear including both kits and snares.
The Jalapeno pack-away kit is a revelation and puts paid to complaints about lack of car space! Check out this review we did a few years back.
The giant hand
Who wouldn't want one of these as part of their set-up? It looks incredible, and sounds just as good. Matt Nolan of custom cymbals fame is the creator, and he has plenty of other marvels up his sleeve, including some cool new triangles.
Lily Allen's drummer Johnny Jenkins performed his first ever drum clinic to a receptive crowd. With economical interaction with the crowd Johnny instead chose to storm through classic hits by The Streets (he was drummer for Mike Skinner's crew for seven years) including 'Same Old Thing' and 'Blinded By The Lights' with an excellent house ending, plus a handful of Lily Allen tracks, proving just why he has the gig.
An excellent clinic debut. Surely we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.
Another new company with stunning products. We fell in love with this steam bent walnut kit from Guru Drumworks.
We couldn't keep our eyes off this snare, either. With exceptional attention to detail, these guys are going to be in demand.
Hopefully you managed to check out our review of Gatton's corian snare drums in the February issue of Rhythm. They are now branching out into the world of kits, and this prototype was an impressive indication of things to come. We wanted to take the bass drum home with us...
The kit includes 18"x18" bass drum, 8"x8" and 10"x8" toms and a 12"x10" floor tom. It may be diminutive in size, but when Simon unleashed it in the live hall the sound was anything but.
Animal Custom Drums
Animal Custom Drums are really establishing themselves in the UK Custom market, and with endorsees including Rick McMurray from Ash and Rich Battersby from The Wildhearts they also have some great British names among the ranks.