For me the final show that I saw at the London Drum Show 2017 was the one I was most looking forward to as it was the drummer that I’ve never seen before except on modern drummer festival DVDs. I have been hugely impressed with education side of the show but more than a little disappointed with the exhibition floor due to the sheer number of big names not exhibiting this year. It was great to see smaller companies emerging, but you know there’s something wrong when the likes of Yamaha, Pearl, Sabian, Meinl, Promark, Remo, Evans, Vater, Premier, Sonor and lots more all decide not to exhibit products despite a lot of them exhibiting at the new UK drum show in Manchester. Hopefully a lot of them will return to London in 2018 because when speaking to some of the manufacturers who exhibited at both shows, the London Drum Show proved to be far more successful for them in sales terms. For me the best exhibitors were the British Drum Company and Natal whose momentum in popularity seems unstoppable. Anyway, like I said with all that behind me and some great information to take away with me now I just wanted a powerhouse drummer to blow me away, enter Aaron Spears.

Aaron Spears On Stage

If you’ve ever heard anyone talk about Aaron Spears the word you almost likely here is “humble” so much so it seems to have turned into a bit of a cliche, a bit like any Italian sports car review will use the word “passion” but with Aaron you really do get what they mean, his demeanour is so calm and relaxed when confronted with a theatre full of drummers watching him you could almost be forgiven in thinking this was a one-to-one lesson in his mind. The format was again performance pieces played along with the backing track with question and answer opportunities in between each track and the occasional funny story, most memorably one involving a live TV performance, bad pizza from the night before and a toilet…

Aaron is an absolutely astonishing drummer, tons of soul and groove and then explosions of lightning quick flamboyance that seemingly effortlessly resolves on the one of the beat and back to the pocket. He explained that all the flamboyance and superfast gospel chops where great to show a drum clinic but getting simple playing right is the key to getting good work. He joked saying “If you guys wanna just concentrate on the complicated stuff that’s fine, more big gigs left for me!” a great message to end my visit to the London Drum Show 2017. See you in 2018!