2006 Visitors Poll Results
Best Rock Drummer
Snatching his crown back from bandmate Dave Grohl, Taylor is one of the best rock drummers ever to grace this earth. Taylor was first seen on our screens with the Canadian songstress, Alanis Morissette back in the mid nineties when he pumped sheer power into her live shows. Since Dave Grohl spotted him and made him a member of his Foo Fighters, he’s gone from strength to strength. A fantastic showman, pounding down solid, creative, spark-filled beats with the biggest rock band on earth, I can’t see a way this guy’ll get knocked off the top spot anytime soon…
Best Fusion Drummer
There seems to be little point in this category. We may as well rename this the “Dave Weckl Award”. No doubt that there are few as deserving of this title than Weckl himself. This is the fourth year on the trot the stateside wonder-drummer has walked away with Best Fusion Drummer title. Mr Weckl tries to make the trip to British shores at least once a year. A sold out clinic in Birmingham last year saw eager drummers poaching his ideas left, right and centre. Early rumours show he’s back towards the start of the summer with a usual residency at Ronnie Scotts.
Best Jazz Drummer
An unexpected but totally fantastic result! Jeff Hamilton is rarely talked of in the UK, but he is one of the largest forces in jazz drumming and has been for the last fifteen years. What Hamilton can’t do with brushes just isn’t worth knowing about. This years has seen a particularly busy time for Jeff, he even appears on screen in the George Cloony Oscar Nominated film, “Good Night, And Good Luck”, as well as on the soundtrack. He’s even found time to become one of the three owners of the Bospherous Cymbal company!
Best Metal Drummer
A name from the past, or is it? Nicko has MC’ed and performed at the last two Drummer Live shows in London with live bands. A great solid player and in possession of one of the fastest right feet in the business, we need no more proof that the funny-man drum legend is your finest metal pounder.
Best Funk Drummer
Finally! A funk drummer takes the crown in this category! Blackwell is nothing short of a monster. Having gone through tough times, Blackwell is back.  His stick-spinning, double-bass, funkilicious grooves amazed you all at Drummer Live in a rare UK performance when we all realised he’s gotten better since the making of his best selling DVD. Maybe back in the UK this year with his band Matrix, your new winner is most deserved of the title.  There’s also a interview with John coming soon to this website.
Best Live Drummer
For many of the same reasons you voted him Best Rock Drummer, Taylor Hawkins has hit the top spot for Best Live category. His high power playing takes no prisoners, his energy knows no bounds. A well deserved victory, here to keeping our fingers crossed for a Foo Fighters full UK tour at some stage in 2006.
Best Studio Drummer
Steve wasn’t on too many albums last year, he was touring with James Taylor and Eric Clapton, so it’s unsure whether this vote is for the sheer amount of wonderment Mr Gadd has conjured up in the studio in years past. But, hey, who cares?! Just this last year he toured the USA on a very rare clinic tour, playing to sold out venues night after night with the Zildjian crew. Regardless, studio, live, as long as Gadd has a place in the poll I just don’t care. Still among the most revered drummers that ever lived and rightly so. Groovemeister number one…
Best New Drummer
Matt Tong – Bloc Party
The Bloc Party boys have gone from strength to strength this year, supported by the fine and unique beats of Matt Tong. Nice to see a Brit fair so well in this category, especially wit the flood of new bands in this country. Keep music live!!!
Best Overall Drummer
For the second year running, you’ve voted Thomas Lang your Best Overall Drummer. A fantastic drummer on every level and a total inspiration in terms of what the human body can get done on our instrument. His DVD has outsold every other Drum DVD ever released. Recently relocated from London to LA, Thomas’ playing goes from strength to strength.
Someone has finally prised this award from the magnificent Evelyn Glennie! Pete Lockett is most deserving of the title. A fantastically versatile percussionist, his performance at Drummer Live this year reinforced his magnitude to the capacity crowd in the Wembley Conference Centre. That, along with some gigs last summer with DJ Scanner, Pete has cemented his place in the percussive cannon with this award.
Best Live Event
There is no competition here really. The UK’s first drumming-only show was a massive success for its second year running. Testament, as if it were needed, to the sheer power of drumming and the passion of drummers to flock to London and check out the latest gear and hottest players. This year saw the like of Gregg Bissonette, John Blackwell and JoJo Mayer rip down the roof. Far aside from all the trade stalls in the conference area, this was the event not to be missed for 2005. Already scheduled for another show this September, make sure you keep tuned to mikedolbear.com to find out who this year’s line-up includes…
Hall Of Fame
The larger than life Led Zeppelin sticksman makes his mark years after his death with this entry into the Hall Of Fame. A man as big as the sound he made, Bonham was a true rock and roll character, stories of his life and times are chronicled in “John Bonham, ‘A Thunder Of Drums’” by Chris Welch & Geoff Nicholls. Well worth a read for all true rock n’ roll fans.
What a surprise! Well done Mapex! The company has done well to shed the “new boy” image. Their marketing strategy has seen great rewards in recent years with the words with Mapex being on everyones lips. They’ve always made consistently fantastic drums, and are getting the recognition they deserve with beautiful finishes and great deals to boot.  Do yourselves a favour and check these bad boys out.
Drum Workshop 9000 Series
Unparalleled in quality, innovation, reliability and sheer ease of use, the DW hardware rightly scoops the award for the Drum Hardware section for the fourth year on the trot. Constantly expanding and refining their gear, there is a reason why there has never been another winner in this category. Expensive yes, but good? Very…
Mapex Black Panther
Another win alongside their victory for best kit. Again, thoroughly deserved. Well made, truly beautiful and sonically awesome, the Black Panthers come in virtually every shape and size. Meaning there’s one made especially for you…
Zildjian K Customs
Zildjian are the only ever winners in this category.  Zildjian’s K Custom series sees the addition of the new K Custom Hybrid Series developed in conjunction with the magnificent Akira Jimbo as well as the new complete ZHT range coming out later in 2006. Last year saw the addition of the Bill Stewart complex rides. A winner for the fourth year running, a great track record.
For the third year running, Remo heads wipe others off the board. They have set the standard for the last 30 years and are continuing to do so to this day. The Emperors are new in at the top spot shoving off last years winner, the thinner, single ply Ambassadors. A warmer, fatter sound and more durability seem to be the order of the day.
Have you ever been in a studio and not used one of these mics for something or other? The industry standard on snare drums, the SM57 is rugged, powerful and has everything we need in a microphone. All hail the ’57!!!
Any surprises here? We think not. Consistently the best gear on the market. Roland have the best sounds, the simplest and fastest setup, the best pads and they truly trumped themselves with the addition of this new kit.  A fantastic set-up and great fun to use.
The Cornish casers have gone from strength to strength in the last five years. They are the only ever winners of this category which speaks volumes in itself.  These cases provide a safe, affordable way to safely transport your tubs.  They"re stylish, practical and worthy of their popularity.
Even non-drummers know what people are talking about when they hear “Vic Firth” mentioned. A true leader in every sense of the word, the stick manufacturer has walked away with the award for the fourth year on the trot. Is anyone surprised?
Best New Product
Big Dog Pedals
This company has come out of nowhere to be one of the most talked about products of the last year. Affordable, strong and … blue… these bits of kit are begging to be checked out. In particular, the price and the availability of the pedals have taken your fancy. Well done Big Dog!
Best Portable Kit
Whether you buy the Manu Katche Hipgig, the Rick Marotta Hipgig or the Al Jackson Hipgig, you know that you’ll be buying a kit that can be used in a surprising number of applications. Well made, good looking, and great sounding kits. Good choice people!
Best Drum Book
Advanced Techniques For The Modern Drummer
A well deserved prize for the Jim Chapin book. It was one of the first educational sources for drummers who wanted to learn. One of the foremost authorities on drumming for the last 50 years, Mr Chapin still continues to tour and teach well into his 80’s. On its 61st reprint, it’s a true inspiration and a great book to boot.
Thomas Lang – Creative Control
No great surprise here. This DVD has outsold all other educational music DVD’s on the market – drumming or not. What else has to be said that hasn’t already been said about this masterwork? I don’t know why I’m bothering, you probably own it anyway…
The Winner of the Ipod was Jason Pratt from Holyhead in Wales. - Well Done!
Jeff hamilton photo © Ronn Dunnett
Matt Tong photo © Pete Hill
Both photos used with kind permission
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