Budgie comes to Dublin


Just so the new students at BIMM Berlin don’t have Head of Drums Peter ‘Budgie’ Clarke all to themselves, we arranged for the iconic drum maverick to take a trip for a Dublin Masterclass.

From his work with The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Creatures, CocoRosie, Efterklang and John Grant, Budgie has plenty of experience and anecdotes to draw on, making him the perfect Masterclass guest (and tutor!)

Host James Byrne is a tutor in Music Business at BIMM Dublin and is himself a drummer, having played for Villagers and Mercury-nominee SOAK. James was well-placed to coax some of the most technical aspects of drumming from the Masterclass.

Budgie spoke about his fondness for different drumming sounds and the theory behind them, including his technique for positioning the cymbals up high so overhead mics are further away from high hats and snare to distinguish the sound:

“It also lends itself to that drama of having to reach up for the cymbals. There is a lot of drama in drums. If someone ever said it’s too much that’s fine, I can take it down a notch, there’s no ego!”

Budgie discussed John Grant, whom he first played with two albums ago:

“With Queen of Denmark, it was the first time I was asked to do a studio recording and album since Siouxsie and the Banshees, and now we’ve got laptops and logic it’s very different! I’m playing better than I’ve ever played, and I don’t think it’s anything to do with me personally, it’s the songs, and the songs are telling me what to play.”

Niamh McGoldrick, CPD Vocals, took a lot from the Masterclass:

“The Masterclass really helped me with songwriting. Budgie spoke about thinking outside the box and letting a song write itself. I learned a lot, and it goes to show you can learn a lot from people specialising in other streams as well as your own.”

James Byrne had high praise too:

“Budgie was open, honest and funny. You can see why people like to work with him and why he’s had such a long successful career. He had a good handle on the technical side of playing and clearly puts a lot of thought into it. I learned a lot from him, and I know the students did too.

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POSTED ON: February 18, 2016
  • Dublin, Drums