If you have you will recongise things here.
I started playing guitar when I was 15, but like many of us (and perhaps you recognise yourself here) I picked it up every year with the steely determination to master that instrument – then after two weeks – just as the fingers started to callous – I put it away for another year.
Let me tell you about an inspirational character in the band. Phil - the drummer
It was Sept 18, 2016 and the event was Walpole Music Madness. The others in the band had just joined. We had a stand in drummer. Phil had come along to watch with his two boys (my nephews, Phil is my brother).
After the show he came up to me and said "You know what Vinny, I would love to join Free From Gravity as the drummer"
To which I replied(to his amazement) "Ok, You're in. But you will need to learn the drums first."
Yes, he didn't even play the drums. I told him he had to take it seriously. He would need to go to lessons, practice at least one hour a day, take direction.
It hasn't been an easy ride for him. In the November 2016, we went to Real World Studio's (set up by Peter Gabriel) to have a bonding weekend rehearsing with no distractions. He was getting stressed out and on the Sunday morning chucked his toys out the pram and said he couldn't do this. He was having issues with timing - mostly when he tried to do fills.
We sat down as a band and identified that the issue was just because he was trying to be Keith Moon (his icon) but was not working on the basics (ie solid rhythm without the clever stuff). We agreed that he should focus on the basics.
We also changed his drum teacher as we found out that his drum lessons were 30% teaching and 70% the drum teacher showing Phil how wonderful a drummer the teacher was. (Sound familiar?)
Along the way there have been other issues for him. But he has stuck it out and in the past month or so - especially since Jose joined the band - his confidence has grown and his timing is much better. He is even putting in fills without tripping up. I am proud of his achievement, (despite him being my brother) because he has not only had to learn the songs but learn the drums.
And now - 8 months on?
8 months later, nobody can really believe when I tell them the story. Perhaps one day I will get him to relive his experience as it really is an inspiration. 8 Months later - in June 2017, he played the same festival in front of 2,000 people and you would never know he was a novice
So, have you ever tried to pick up an instrument?
Did you ever join a band when you were at school?
Is it something you still hanker after - getting up there and playing with a band?
Take inspiration from Phil's story. You're never too old. Phil was 50, a few days before that festival. You just need to want it bad enough. And let me tell you, when you find band members who are kindred spirits, who get the vision in the same way you do, it is a brilliant experience. Rehearsals are such fun, creative processes where we try and create new moments that will make people remember that part of the show, make them connect with us and feel part of it.
When that happens at a show, it’s like everyone in the show are "locked in" mentally, on the same page. The band, the sound guy, you the audience. So come along and experience it for yourself.
VIP at Driftwood?
Our next big show will be at the Driftwood Festival on July 29th at Stokes Bay. It should be a real fun affair and we are performing a full show. Lots of good stuff in store for you and hopefully you will walk away feeling buzzed up.
If you want to get in as our VIP guest here’s what you get.
1 x T Shirt / 1 X CD – signed by the band
Access our VIP area (exclusive to Free From Gravity)
A Beer with the band / Photo with the band
Proper toilets (thathas to be wroth the entry fee itself)
Then get along to www.ffgmusic.co.uk/driftwood for info
Until then Keep On Rocking!