My Boy, The Drummer

Wednesday evening saw a local music showcase promoted by the council and featuring school children from across the area. My interest? My son, Matthew, was playing African drums in his first public performance.

The whole evening was very impressive. I don’t expect musical genius at this level but, with barely an exception, every act was extremely talented.

The show kicked off with a steel band performing 4 numbers, the last of which was The Can Can. What an inspired choice of music for the steel drums – I couldn’t have predicted how good it could sound.

Matthew and his school mates were next. His school have teamed up with a nearby special school to learn African drumming. They only did 2 numbers – an African chant called Zugaloo and one called Come ‘n’ Have A Go If You Think You’re Hard Enough! which included the kids chanting the title at the end of every section. To say I was proud and impressed is an understatement. The group sounded great from start to finish.

They were followed by a school choir, a trio of trumpet players and then a solo flautist doing the 3rd movement from Sonata in Bb Op 1 by (if I recall correctly) Beethoven, before the first set was brought to a close by another school choir.

The second half contained a couple more choirs, an orchestra (including Matthew’s violin teacher) and a rock group consisting students from the local college, but the highlight of the second half was, for me, a band of primary school children including my friends’ son on bass. Sadly, their first song was Queen’s We Will Rock You, giving him little chance to show off his skills, so he instead dropped his bass resulting in a loud Clangggg! We’ve all done it at some point, so he’s just getting in his practice early and it didn’t phase him as they went into Rockin’ Robin followed by a revisited We Will Rock You, this time as a 12 bar in the vein of the previous song – despite dropping his bass, he didn’t drop a note – brilliant.

All in all it was a brilliant evening highlighting some incredible talent from some very young kids. I only wish I had started so early – I was 16 before I picked up a guitar. Matthew enjoyed himself, but was shattered by the time we got home and fell asleep in no time. His first gig was to a crowd of about 6-700 – a size of audience I’ve rarely performed to myself – and he joins my wife Karen and our daughter Chloe in having performed at the theatre, something I have yet to do.

Well done boy.

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