On November 11, 2018, the first edition of a drum event called Śląski Festiwal Perkusyjny (Silesian Drum Festival) was held at the Chorzowskie Centrum Kultury theater in Chorzów, Poland. The event was kicked off by its originator and owner of the Śląskie Centrum Perkusyjne drum store, Wojtek Węglarczyk, who played a short drum intro with the stage lights off. This was supposed to suggest that the first drummer on the bill was just starting his workshop, but the lights went on and Wojtek officially opened the festival.
Wojtek is a member of the youngest generation of YouTube drummers and enjoys a considerable and steadily growing following. He started off with two tracks by the female singer Rosalie, then, presented his own concept of playing to backing tracks, arranging a groove and practicing routines. The drummer was able to communicate well with the audience and, answering numerous questions from the participants, provide all the drummers present with a great deal of valuable guidelines. The appearance was finished off with an extended drum solo. We thought Wojtek’s performance was very successful, especially considering that it was his first time at such a major drum festival.
Kerim ‘Krimh’ Lechner
The fans of extreme metal couldn’t have been happier. Krimh took the audience by storm presenting fast and energetic drumming to backing tracks by his main band Septicflesh (but not only limited to that). Kerim also made a great connection with the audience and was asked a lot of questions, which he answered with great sense of humour, applying all the Polish language skills he had. We have already made an arrangement with the man to make a drum cam from a Septicflesh gig. Watch out for that!
Robert Luty and Piotr Żaczek
Once more (see our report from Meinl Drum Festival 2016), drummer Robert Luty and bassist Piotr Żaczek nailed it big time. Their workshop (that’s what their performance actually was) was abundant in a great deal of good advice, wonderful rhythm section work and lots of HEART. Apart from conversing with the audience members, the two gentlemen played a bunch of tunes from Piotr Żaczek’s solo releases, including the “Balboo” album. Once again, we have to say the duo offered the best and most valuable performance at a festival.
Josh Dion, Geoff Kraly (Paris Monster)
After an intermission forced by the need to do a soundcheck before the next performance, the stage was taken by the Paris Monster duo – drummer Josh Dion and bassist Geoff Kraly. In this case, we witnessed a 60-minute live performance with minimum talking and maximum music. The two musicians presented a modern approach to playing and arranging music combined with inventiveness. Apart from playing drums, Josh takes care of the keyboard parts and great vocal parts (all done at the same time) while Geoff delivers resourceful bass guitar parts. The duo were promoting their new album, which was available for purchase during the event.
Unquestionably, main attraction on the festival bill. Mike Johnston knows exactly how to prepare and do a show with drums as the main focus. Apart from performing to a number of tracks live, Mike made a great connection with the audience. During his talk, he touched upon the interesting topic of returning to basic rudiments and checking if we REALLY know them as well as we think. The example for this was playing doubles and accenting on 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 as well as orchestrating that for the entire kit. There was an element of preaching when Mike talked about ‘how much you give to the world and how much you take from it‘, but certainly to a healthy extent. An excellent show. Towards its end, Mike Johnston promised to come back to Poland next year.
During the intermission, the organizers had a lottery, in which members of the audience could win very attractive prizes sponsored by the Meinl company.
Having seen lots of events like this, we must say we are impressed with the way the festival was organized. We should stress it was organized and (most probably) paid for by a drum store. Obviously, the support from Meinl was visible, but who would refuse to back up a professional drum festival like this? We are certainly going to keep our fingers crossed for future editions of the Śląski Festiwal Perkusyjny (Silesian Drum Festival) and attend every event organized by the Śląskie Centrum Perkusyjne drum store.