REVIEW: Beat 2009

Drummers came from all over the UK to the stunning silver drums of the Hallam Union Building, Sheffield known as the HUBS.

Kassa! The African Drum Extravaganza opened the event with a fantastic performance of rhythm and dance. Organiser Toni Cannelli introduced the Beat 2009 and captured the audience with an excellent talk and demonstration on how to get the gigs in his usual relaxed style and straight talking approach to drumming.

The final of the Beat 2009 young drummer competition showcased the ten finalists from all over the UK. The young drummers were of an excellent standard and they all performed very original solos.

Mark Heaney, one of London´s top session players gave a spellbinding demonstration and he also played some of his own arrangements from his best selling CD ‘Drum Room´. Mark is without a doubt one of the most naturally gifted players this country has ever produced.

Next up was the dynamic Jason Bowld who is best known for his rock drumming but he is without a doubt an extremely versatile drummer and left the audience in awe after his breathtaking performance.

At some of the more recent ‘Beat´ events we have exposed drum kit players to different areas of percussion and this year we chose African rhythms. There was the opportunity to jam with others throughout the afternoon in drum circles led by Steve Rivers from Unbeatable Energy. His exhilarating drum circles demonstrated the power of dynamic drumming to generate creativity, excitement and energy in people. The HUBS became a shopper´s paradise for the afternoon where drummers had the opportunity to buy and try out all the latest equipment by visiting the many trade/ exhibition stands.

The highlight of the afternoon was ‘The Drum Battle´ with Mark Heaney and Jason Bowld which mesmerised the crowd and both drummers demonstrated their incredible technique and professionalism in this amazing drum battle. Check out some footage below.

We are also proud to announce the winner of the Beat 2009 young drummer competition is Charlie Vasiliou aged 12 years from Darlington who performed an excellent solo; he was the youngest competitor in the Beat 2009 final. He walked away with a bespoke snare drum kindly donated by Guru Drumworks.

Young Drummer competition winner
Charlie Vasilou with Stuie from Guru drums

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.