Great drummers do more than keep time

It’s a rare thing, but occasionally I come across someone with a lust for life who is so packed full of talent and verve they can’t help but carry all around them on a wave of energy and enthusiasm. They have impact and generate affection. Such people are special. They add value. And so it is with Andy.

I play in a band called Feature Creep, and we’re about to lose our drummer – the rock, the giant that is Andy. He’s no longer able to balance the demands of family, work and band, so something had to give. The band is in mourning. We have to say goodbye to a founding member and the guy who leads from the back of the room.

Drummers keep time. They help everyone in a band to stay on track. Everything hangs on the beat. They are key. Drummers can’t make mistakes. If they do, the music begins to unravel. A good drummer elevates a band, but a great drummer, like Andy, does so much more. Great drummers add energy, intelligence, innovation, viscerality and emotion. Andy’s drumming is greater than the sum of it’s synchronised parts. He puts something into the ether that the rest of the band can feed off. He brings panache to the party.

We’ll miss more than his drumming. Yes, he adds musical value. But Andy also brings a sparkle to rehearsal sessions and gigs. If you’ve had a shit day, he makes you feel better just by being in the room with him. He’s able to switch on the sunshine, and that’s a rare quality. We’re gonna miss him. We’re gonna miss him big time.

As Andy would say, “Here’s to you, fella.”

Andy during a soundcheck at Indg02, London
Andy during a soundcheck at Indg02, London, 2012
Andy at Indig02, London
Close-up of Andy during a soundcheck at  Indig02, London

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