Andy is a drummer who makes a statement before he even hits a drum and I believe that statement is “image is important”. His drum kit towers on the stage with its huge circular racking system (with cymbals suspended below) and clear acrylic drums flanked by all kinds of electronic goodies. I once saw Andy in a campsite at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival and it struck me he was dressed exactly the same way as he did in my old 1996 Zildjian VHS tape and the same again at the 2017 London drum show. This, along with his unique looking drum kit, show that it’s not just an image but a brand and looking at his credits within the music industry, a very successful one.

I didn’t get to see his main stage performance but instead caught his appearance on the more intimate “education zone” stage. For this session he was using a slightly smaller kit, not the huge racking system from the day before but still had the Mapex branded acrylic drums and assorted electronic toys.

Andy Gangadeen On Stage

The format was simple, Andy played along with a selection of tracks and answered audience questions in between. The tracks were mostly electronic music with explosive bass frequencies and energetic rhythms being played over the top. I found it very interesting when he explained that he keeps the acoustic drums separated from the electronics, letting the acoustic drums ring naturally rather than changing their sound with electronics like lots of artists are doing now with the hybrid kits, although there was some triggering with the bass drum. His message about listening to lots of styles music to broaden your playing was great, revealing he likes playing jazz and really enjoyed playing in a folk band.

If you go to clinics looking for new sticking ideas or you love watching mind blowing chops, this may not be for you but it’s more of a great example on how you can attach your own unique personality to an instrument and make an impressive career from it.