Behind the kit 1996 - 1998

This kit started its life from the bass drum. I was on the look out for a bass drum to integrate with the ddrum 4 kit. It wasn't important which brand or even how it sounded as the plan was to trigger sounds from the Yamaha DTX brain using a ddrum trigger attached to the bass drum.  This time a trip to Tin Pan Alley didn't produce any luck. I was a bit fed up and tired of trawling up and down Tin Pan Alley and got back on the tube to head home. I got slightly lost and ended up at Kentish Town tube station. I went above ground to grab some air and something to eat. In the distance I could see the Golden Arches, time for a Big Mac. Heading towards McDonald's I passed a large window display full of odd second hand drums. Got to check this out, the shop was called Pro Percussion. To get in I had to climb a narrow stair way, at the top of the stairs was a door. It was like opening the door to Aladdin's cave. Stacked floor to ceiling with drums and more importantly second hand odd drums. A red bass drum caught my eye, it was a Pearl Export bass drum with a £30 price tag. Just what I was looking for, I asked for a discount for cash. A bit cheeky to ask but if you don't ask you don't get... Deal done Pearl Export bass drum for £25!

Ddrum trigger attached to this bass drum worked perfectly and fitted in well. Sounded and looked great. (the bass drum was red) The Ddrum 4 kit was great but it did take time to set up. This wasn't a problem on most occasions, however there were times when a smaller kit was required. At the time I was in the band 2nd Generation. We were touring round the local church circuit drumming (no pun intended!) up support and promoting The Message a christian multimedia event. Many of the churches were limited on space. The Hayman Kit had vanished from Romford Evangelical church and the Hayman/Rogers kit was just to loud for some churches. Setup time had to be quick, some Sundays we had to visit two different churches or just go in for the second service. This led to setting up outside on occasions, carrying the kit in and just sit down and play. Then up and leave again onto the next church! Snare, bass drum and hi hat was all I needed. I had the bass drum, (Pearl Export) I had the Hi hats (Sabian) but didnt have a snare drum. The search was on for a snare drum. This coincided very nicely with the annual music show in London. An exhibition and trade fair, a great place to pick up a bargain. I went with two other friends and members of 2nd Generation: Simon Edward (Bass) and Griff (Guitar). This was the 5th year we had been but was the most disappointing year due to the lack of shop stands. Hardly a snare drum to be seen and certainly not one I could afford on my budget. Im guessing the cost to rent stand space must have kept the drum stores away that year. However the Music Show was at the Wembley conference centre. The Wembley Drum Centre was only round the corner. The shop was giving exhibition show discounts but from their store rather than renting a stall. We headed over there, Snare drums by the plenty and all at discounted prices. I spent a good hour trying out various snare drums, finally deciding on The Omar Hakim Signature Piccolo snare. It sounded great! I can still picture Simon and Griff sitting on the floor of the sound proofed room with their hands over their ears! 

By 1997 I had the best of both worlds, an electronic kit and an acoustic kit. I say an acoustic kit but it was just the Pearl Export bass drum and The Omar Hakim Snare drum, but not for long...

Enter the Pearl/Premier/Mapex hybrid kit.

Acoustically I had a bass drum, snare drum and a mixture of cymbals. To complete the kit I needed toms, the search was on for second hand toms. I didn't feel I could carry a set of toms home on the tube so I decided to keep my search local.  I didn't have much luck searching the classified items for sale in the local papers and ebay hadn't taken off then in the UK. Fortunately a new drum shop had opened in Hornchurch, Essex. The shop was called Drums Inc. (now taken over by Sound Attak)
Drums Inc sold new and used kits as well as odd drums and the shop was right on my door step, perfect! I was greeted by a dog and really friendly owners. The shop had a great vibe, a great place to meet the local drumming community. It was here in later years I had my first drum lesson! I had a chat with the owner and explained I was on the look out for some second hand toms. He had a couple of odd toms at the back of the shop. They were Premier Royale toms, second hand and they were red! 8" and 12" toms, second hand both for £60. 'perfect' I said, 'just need a floor tom now.' The owner said 'I've got a second hand 16" floor tom but its a Mapex."  He went and got the drum, it was a Mapex Saturn floor tom, and it was red!  At the time Mapex was a new and unknown brand, this didn't worry me I was more interested in the second hand price. A deal was done and I walked out of Drums Inc with a set of toms for £100!