Meinl Drum Festival 2015. We had an early start on Friday morning but after a long day of air ports we were grateful to be picked up by the awesome Jan from Meinl. We were taken to Gasthaus Fiedler which became our welcoming home for 4 days. Then we headed to the Meinl facility where they have their factory, showroom (which includes the 2000 capacity venue for the festival) and their logistics centre.
The first thing we were aware when getting out of the car was unmistakable sound of Benny Greb sound checking – mind blown already!
After a quick look around the enormous showroom which houses a great selection of Tama Drums, Hardcase cases and all ranges of Meinl cymbals and percussion we wandered up to the logistics centre. Beer and BBQ ensued. We cannot stress the level of hospitality and attention to detail that we experienced from the Meinl Family. Meeting Mr and Mrs Meinl, Alexander Meinl and loads of the festival performers was an unexpected honour. It wasn’t just performers, with drummers like Jost Nickel and Florian Alexandru Zorn there to enjoy the weekend. We had a great chat with Jost who is a fantastic guy and well worth checking out whenever you can! Friday night really demonstrated to us what the Meinl Family was all about.
We seriously doubt there are many festivals in world that would be opened by the force of drumming that is Thomas Lang. Thomas was due to perform with Luke Holland who unfortunately could not play due to his broken leg. Thomas himself was on outstanding form and received the first standing ovation of the day.
The rest of the day passed in a blur, with Adam Marko and Ralph Peterson giving fantastic and contrasting performances. We sadly missed most of Krim’s performance due a tour of the inner workings of Meinl’s logistics centre. This might not sound like the best way to spend time during a drum festival but it was a truly eye-opening experience as to the scale and efficiency of Meinl’s operations. Seriously guys – they’ve got freaking robots!
We knew we wanted to check out Richard Spaven who was the only British drummer on the bill, but we didn’t really know what to expect. In a word – he was mesmerising. Watching his unique approach to drumming was one of the absolute highlights of the festival.
Anika Nilles showed us why she’s quickly becoming one if the most in-demand clinicians in Europe. An incredible performance received a fantastic response from the crowd.
Matt Gartska proved that you can play incredibly technical and challenging music while still beating the sh*t out go your drums.
Sput was the last solo performer of the day and was well worth the wait. He gave a truly musical performance that cemented his place on the bill of such excellent drummers.
The day closed with a performance from Benny Greb and his band Moving Parts. Finishing the day with a full band performance was an inspired move by Meinl and getting to see Benny’s drumming in a musical setting was a great experience.
We had a really amazing time at the festival, and were delighted to represent Scotland within a great international community with 24 nationalities present.
Once again, we’d like to thank everyone at Meinl for the love they gave us over the weekend. Particularly we’d like to take a second to thank Bernhard Amon. Bernie was the one that invited us along to this fantastic festival and the care and friendship he gave to us over the weekend meant a huge amount to us.
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