Where would music be today without the beat? Long stereotyped as “gargoyles” and often relegated to the back of the stage out of audiences’ view, drummers are key to making or breaking a performance (this Lars Ulrich compilation is proof of the latter). Singapore Drum Fest puts drummers centre-stage under the much-deserved spotlight for all to marvel at the magic of rolls, fills and rudiments at the two-day spectacle, Ultimate Weekend. With over 20 performances spanning August 19 and 20, the weekender converges a number of world-renowned performers and local legends from a wide spectrum of genres to bring the beat back to the forefront.
Among the international lineup is Chris Coleman, an icon in the drum world who has played for a long list of pop and r&b acts including Prince, Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder; Eric Moore, ex-member of legendary punk outfit Suicidal Tendencies and former touring drummer of Sly & The Family Stone and Bobby Brown; and Dave Elitch, former beat-maker for The Mars Volta who has also worked with the likes of M83, Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus.
Local drummers will be seen spinning their sticks next to international virtuosos, including Teo Jia Rong (Inch Chua, Dru Chen, L.A.B., T.A.J.), Er Chow Kiat (Corinne May, Eric Moo) and percussion juggernauts Tribal Tide in honour of the late Edmon Branson JR, while finalists from the Drum Off competition will get the chance to flex their stuff in the presence of percussion elite. If you can’t fight the beat of the drum, you best be rushing and not dragging to get your tickets.
Singapore Drum Fest Ultimate Weekend takes place on August 19 from 7pm to 10pm ($48 single-day pass) and August 20 from 12pm to 7pm ($68 single-day pass), with two-day access passes available for $98. Get your tickets at APACtix.com.
Text Trent Davis
Images Various Sources