Testing, testing 1, 2, 3 … are we rolling??
Hello folks, and welcome to my first blog for Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals … I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and let you all know what I’ll be blogging about!
Growing up in North East England, I was raised on a healthy if somewhat diverse diet of Blues, Jazz, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Chuck Berry via my Dad’s record collection … That said, it was seeing the marching drummers from a visitng Scottish Pipe band to my hometown of Billingham when I was 3 or 4 years old that got me started on the lifelong obsession with all things drums! A couple of years later, my destiny was to be confirmed when I heard Ginger Baker on a beat up cassette copy of The Best of Cream (more of which later) … My Dad took to me to the local music shop and I left with a pair of warped sticks, a tambourine and a practice pad … the rest as they say, is history!
It’s been an ever changing, always interesting and incredibly exciting journey since, taking me all over the world and giving me the opportunity to play with some of the finest musicians around; from The Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra to Rhythm & Blues Originators Jimmy Thomas & Lazy Lester, from 1950’s Doo-Wop stars The Teenagers to Rock Guitar Royalty Bernie Marsden, from the easy listening pop of Tony Christie to the hard hitting chicago blues of Angela Brown … I wouldn’t have it any other way!
These days, I specialise in playing Roots & Blues music and this will be the focus of my blog contributions here – so let’s get started with a run down of which cymbals I play … and why!
I mentioned Ginger Baker earlier – one of the things that really got me when I heard those songs for the first time was the SOUND of Gingers drums and Cymbals … not only that unmistakable Ludwig drum sound that adorned so many records of the 60’s, from Ringo and a pre-Gretsch Charlie Watts to John Densmore etc, but also those dark shimmering musical cymbals the guys played at that time too – beautiful! You will have guessed by now that I am all about vintage tone!
My experience with Istanbul Mehmet cymbals
My introduction to Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals came at the London Drum show a few years back when my good friend Carl Thomson beckoned me across the noisy room to check out the Nostalgia range … with the noise of the show I thought there would be no way I’d be able to hear the cymbals but went to take a look anyway. On my way to the stand Carl played the 15″ Nostalgia Hi Hats and they stopped me in my tracks … They had THE sound!! I was sold!
No surprises, the 15″ Nostalgia hats are a mainstay of my set up now. I love the thick dark closed sound that reminds me so much of those 50’s and 60’s records, and they come into their own when playing a shuffle with them half open … perfect for Chicago style blues and Memphis styled Soul alike!
My other cymbals are pretty much all rides … a 22″ 50’s Nostalgia ride that is tremendously musical, great stick definition with a beautiful controlled wash, this cymbal records beautifully and makes a great crash when things get a bit rowdy! I alternate between this and an El Negro 22″ Light Ride to which I have added 8 brass rivets. This cymbal is one of the most musical I have played and I can get that great trashy sound heard on Little Richard and Young Jessie records when I lay into it on stage – lovely! Added to these beauties is a 70’s 20″ Nostalgia which makes a superb crash as well as a ride – I have used this as the only cymbal on the kit when backing up some of the R&B stars of the 50’s who are still touring and it fits the genre perfectly …
So there you have it, a little bit about me & a little bit about (some of) my cymbals … I’ll be back soon with some updates from the road and to talk more about Roots and Blues music …
See you soon!