Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog here on the Istanbul Mehmet site!
I am currently on a long European tour with Chris de Burgh and I want to talk a little bit about how I prepare for a tour, the equipment I use and just a bit of general insight. This tour is quite different to what I have done in the past and has presented a big challenge from the get go. We are performing 2 albums in their entirety as well as a set of encores consisting of other hits.
We are fortunate to have 2 weeks of band rehearsals before the production runs which is quite unusual these days I guess. But for me, the work starts way before that. I spend a lot of time listening to the material which is key in figuring out what exact bits of equipment I need in order to get as close as possible to the sound of the records. To give you an idea – one of the albums was released in 1986 and the other in 2010. Naturally, they are completely different in style, sound and production. So on one hand I need to trigger a lot of samples to get the 80’s vibe while on the other I am trying to play traditional Irish music, emulating a Bodhran which is a frame drum used in Irish folk music.
I had the idea of including a gong drum into my setup to try and get close to this sound and it actually worked!
Check out the video below for a full walk through of my setup and more detailed explanation!
Once I’ve got my equipment together and learned the songs as well as plenty of dry runs in my own studio, I’m ready to go into rehearsals with the band. One thing that is hugely important to me is that I have be gig ready before rehearsals. Rehearsals are there for rehearsing the material, not for learning it! And there is a huge difference in that. It also leaves a good impression if you come fully prepared! It’s super important!
We spent 10 days in a studio just outside of London with the band before CdeB joined us for another 4 days. Luckily he was very happy with our effort, it all ran very smoothly and a day later our crew was setting up in a huge production studio in Essex for 3 days of production rehearsals. There is a lot going on behind us! About 16 big TV screens showing video and animations as well as a ridiculous amount of lights and moving heads and things that fall off during the show. It really does look very impressive!
So these 3 days were all about running the show back to front. It’s all about time codes and making sure that everything works together, flawlessly as one. You also get an idea of what to expect when you eventually are on stage in terms of lightning and so on. It does get very dark, especially in between songs so you really need to know where that crash cymbal is in order to hit the ‘one’ of the next song together with the lights and everyone else!
We are now about 5 weeks into this 10 week tour and the shows have gone really well! We started in the UK getting to play great venues like the Royal Albert Hall, made our way through Ireland and back down to Birmingham before moving across the channel into Switzerland and Germany where we are at the moment. The tour will continue to run through Lithuania, Poland, Austria, parts of Scandinavia and the Netherlands before concluding in Belgium in December.
This is the selection of |stanbul Mehmet Cymbals I have taken on the road with me:
– 14” Hat Trio Hi Hats (I use the heavier top and I removed the rivets from the bottom cymbal)
– 8” Sultan Splash
– 10” El Negro Splash (again – I removed the rivets just for a shorter, faster effect)
– 16” X – Ray Holey
– 18” Turk X – Ray Random
– 18” Session Crash
– 19” Session Crash
– 20” Session China
– 22” Traditional Ride
We are spoilt for choice here at IMC and I strongly recommend you checking out the range here on the website or at your local dealer!
Feel free to pop over to my social media channels and if you have any questions, please get in touch!
Phil G x