Hello…Is this on?…
Welcome to my first ever blog. I have written several articles for the official magazine for the band I play around the World with & I post all the time on Facebook and Twitter, but this is a new adventure for me.
My first blog, I decided should be me introducing myself.
So, Im Scott Ottaway, I’m 43, Male, I play drums, I am the 5th drummer for the 60s legends, The Searchers & I use Istanbul Mehmet cymbals, which, as this is a blog on their website, is very lucky.
When it comes to drum equipment, I am a geek!
When you tour round the World, you do need equipment that won’t let you down and gives you a sound which is ‘your’ sound.
Before I was picked up by The Searchers, I was doing loads of studio sessions. I was also a deep for Tony Bourke on the hit Queen & Ben Elton musical, We Will Rock You. My hero as a kid was Roger Taylor & I know every drum part to every Queen song.
It’s through one of these studio sessions, (for a christmas single written by ex Radio DJ Mike Reid, with Dave Hill from Slade on guitar), that The Searchers got to hear about me & when in December 2009, Eddie Roth told them he was retiring, the band called me up for an audition.
Before that I had many happy years as ‘house’ drummer on cruise ships (P&O, Costa) and holiday parks in the UK (Haven, Park Resorts, Butlins) as well as being in several tribute bands (Queen, Slade, Elton John)
Because of all these different bands and situations, I became very versatile at different styles very quickly & my equipment adapted with me over the years.
When I joined The Searchers, most of the songs are played on the ride cymbal. The rides I had at the time were a little to brash and loud, so over the first 14 months, I went through 6 ride cymbals.
I was using a Sabian dry ride, which had a sound I liked, but I knew was still not 100% for the music. I played a show, I think in Germany, and the hire kit had an Istanbul Mehmet Sultan ride. I loved it!
A few weeks later, after an email to Andy Anderson at drumshop, and I had the ride I had been searching for. A ride I still use in the band now. My crash cymbals have changed, (from Radiant to Traditional) but that ride has stayed firm.
So now we are here, 2016 and my 6th year in the Searchers. On 1st February we leave for a 5 week tour of Australia. A tour we do every year and a country I have grown to love.
The band this year will play between 140-170 shows around the globe. An amazing achievement when you realise that the founder member, John McNally is 74 and bassist Frank Allan is 72
Like every musician, sometimes there are days you just don’t feel it, but when you have a 74 & 72 year old running past you to get on stage, you don’t really have a valid excuse not to put 100% into that show.
Well my first blog was painless and now the serious stuff is out of the way, I promise my next blogs will be more light hearted, more insightful into playing with The Searchers and more info on the equipment I use on the sessions I have lined up in 2016
Take care & see you all soon