On the 5th September 2007, 15 year old me decided to set up my webcam, pick up my bongos, and play along to one of my favourite songs... 'I'm No Superman' by Lazlo Bane (famously used as the theme tune to Scrubs).
With everything set up, I hit record. And I was off - recording my first ever video of myself playing!
After doing a single take I excitedly opened Windows Movie Maker, slapped on a very blue start and end screen with the witty title 'Bongoboy Bongoing', and uploaded it to my new YouTube channel at 240p - which probably took a couple of hours.
(On reflection - I probably should've done second take, but I was caught up in the moment.)
But finally - I was on the internet!
I will admit now - it was a bit rubbish - the playing wasn't great, and the audio was horrendous....but at the time, I thought it was awesome!
Fast forwarding to today - the 5th September 2017.
I just uploaded a new video. Recorded a month ago at Debenham Community Centre, with my Meinl Floatune congas & bongos, filmed on HD cameras, with professional audio & proper lighting, edited in Adobe Premier, and uploaded to my YouTube channel at 1080p in just 8 minutes.
.....and it was of 'I'm No Superman' by Lazlo Bane (famously used as the original theme tune to Scrubs).
That's what 10 years of playing (and hopefully improving!) looks like.
In that time I've played around 400 gigs, with 15 bands, recorded on 65 songs across 10 albums, uploaded 96 videos to YouTube, gained nearly 250 subscribers and over 50,000 views.
And I've loved every minute of it! :)
Thanks to everyone who's supported me over the past 10 years - especially to my dad, for being my biggest inspiration.
ast week, one of my videos on YouTube hit 10,000 views - which is massive!
Thanks to everyone who's supported my channel, and (hopefully) enjoyed my playing!
I do a number of covers, which get interest because people look for the original song and then see the thumbnail of me playing along to it - so I get a lot of my views that way.
But the video that just hit 10,000 views is actually a completely original solo that I posted 2 years ago!!
To say I'm over the moon is an understatement!
You can check out the video here:
Thanks again to all my subscribers and followers!
I'm hoping to do another series of covers soon - so make sure you subscribe to my channel!
So it's been exactly 740 days since I last uploaded a video to my YouTube page - that's 2 years and 10 days!
So, last week, I decided to get my act together and book the Debenham Community Centre for a morning, grab my gear, head down there, set up, wait for the rain and thunder to stop, get angry that it was taking so long to stop, rejoice when it did, and then record some covers that I've wanted to do lately!
In total I recorded 12 covers! And I've just uploaded the first one: 'Hard Times' by Paramore.
I intend to upload a video every Monday for the next 12 weeks, and try and record some more within that time so I can keep uploading them beyond those 12 weeks!
If you have any requests - let me know!
I'm also wearing my 'In Music We Trust' t-shirt - IMWT is a clothing brand based on the idea that music helps people through all sorts of situations.
Depression is something that affects most people, in one way or another, at some point in their lives.
Their designs are based on how important music is to so many people, and 50% of their profits go to 'Mind' in order to support those with depression and other mental health issue.
Head over to www.inmusicwetrust.co.uk to purchase your own!
Make sure you subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with the latest videos!
I recently had a gig with Fern at 'La Raza' in Cambridge. Mark McGivern saw us playing at Relevant Records in Cambridge and asked if we're available to play at one of his nights - at La Raza!
There, half way through the set, Fern did her normal plug - "I have CD's and cards - Sam has some cards too! So if anyone is in need of a percussionist..." then suddenly 3 people in the crowd all perked up.
There was "I am actually!" and "Ooo - yeah me too!" - and then Mark came up and said he knew a band who was looking for someone just like me. Their name...
A week later, Mark put me in touch with Russell Murder & Anna Ballads (not their real surnames - that would be too perfect), and we arranged our first practice!
With a hop, skip and a few timing issues, we were sounding like a proper band! And we all loved it!
After just 2 practices we had our first gig - which was today (30/04/17) in Cambridge, and it went brilliantly! I can't wait to do more gigs with these 2 awesome people! :D
Just a quick announcement and self-plug. When I'm not hitting drums, I love working as a photographer and designer!
So, nearly 5 years ago, I set up my own business for photography, design & videography - called Yellow Hill Media.
And I recently got round to finally revamping the website!
You can find out all about Yellow Hill, and get in touch with me if you want any work done - I had designed a number of the CD artworks for the CDs I've recorded on! So musicians - get in touch!
Also find @YellowHillMedia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Well...it's a new dawn, it's a new day.....it's a new year!
And this year, there's a lot of exciting things happening.
Possibly a special announcement depending on how everything goes.....
Just make sure you keep checking up on here - or better yet, Like me on Facebook (I actually tend to post on there every now and then!)
But until next time - Happy Easter/Halloween/Christmas!!
So - it's been 9 months since my last blog post. That's a while - but I kinda forgot about it (Sorry!)
Anyway, the last post was about a great project I was starting called 'Don't Judge An Album By It's Cover', where I review a different album with awesome artwork every week for a whole year, meaning I'd have 52 reviews by the end of 2016. And it was going great! . . . . . and then I moved house and got a promotion at work.
The moving house on it's own put me back 4 weeks, and then with the promotion I didn't have as much time to listen to music.
Therefore, instead of it being a 52 week thing, I'm going to have it as a 'if I have time, and in that time remember to review an album, then I will' blog.
But for now, it's still at number 14.
But it's still live, so you can go and give it a look if you'd like!
Here it is: http://52-album-artworks.blogspot.co.uk/
I'm available to review albums, so if you'd like to send me yours I will write up a review that you can use to promote your album! (for a small and generous fee).
Hopefully I'll write another blog before June next year, but don't hold your breathe!
Happy New Year everyone!
I'd just like to quickly say thank you to everyone who's supported me throughout 2015. :)
Now - to business!
I'm planning on doing a new blog every week or two throughout 2016, this is part of my '52 Album Year' - I got this idea from Fern, who is listening to an album she's never listened to before every week, and then writing her own blog about the albums (I'll link her blog at the bottom of all my blogs - but as of now, she hasn't started it!). She's been asking people for recommendations, and has more than enough albums to listen to throughout the year - this will obviously change as the year goes on, and new albums are released.
It's a really great way of learning about artists and bands you've never listened to and expanding your musical knowledge.
Where as Fern is listening to recommendations and new albums, I'm adjusting the challenge a bit.
I'm listening to a different album every week, but the choice will be based sorely on the albums artwork.
If I look at an album cover, and I think it's awesome - I'll listen to it. Doesn't matter who it is, or what genre, just on whether the artwork is cool or not! I'll then listen to it, and write a blog about each album (or join together 2 weeks) and give the album a full review.
The way I'll do this is by going into music shops, and just looking out for really cool looking CDs!! Then, if they're a good price, buy them and listen to them - or look for them on Spotify and listen to them on there (and if I like them, go and buy the CD!).
The reason I'm choosing albums with cool artwork is because I'm a designer myself, and have designed a few album covers for people, so a great artwork really speaks to me, and I feel it needs to reflect the type of music on the CD.
So as well as reviewing the music, I'll do a short piece about why I like the artwork, and whether I think it showcases the music well or not.
I am very much judging a book by its cover - let's see if it works out!
If you have any suggestions of albums I can listen to (baring in mind, I won't review albums I currently own, because I want to listen to stuff I haven't heard before. (I do have a couple of CDs on my list which are from artists I've heard before, but I haven't actually listened to that particular album.)).
Then please get in touch via the Contact page, or send me a Facebook message or a Tweet!
I got the 'Physical Graffiti Redrawn' cover album on MOJO magazine this month, and it's absolutely awesome! For those who don't know, 'Physical Graffiti' was the sixth album from Led Zeppelin - it came out in 1975, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
MOJO got a load of musicians together to record covers of each of the songs - 'Bron Yr Aur' (an instrumental number) was covered by Laura Marling.
It's a brilliant song, and a brilliant album - so go check it out!
Ever since I first heard Ed Sheeran's new song, I just keep thinking, it really needs bongos!!