Oulton Drummer Paul: It’s about beating the rest
THEY are known as the crazy men of rock and roll.
But behind every great band is a great drummer, and now an Oulton teenager is looking to make his own mark as a top 'sticksman' by beating out a winning rhythm in a national competition.
Paul Youngs will be competing against nine other promising percussionists next month when he takes part in the Young Drummer of the Year 2013 contest – hoping that victory could give him a shot at music stardom.
Paul, 16, has spent seven years honing his talents as a drummer and he currently plays in two bands – New Instinct and The Gift – as well as in a worship band at Lowestoft Community Church.
To clinch a place in the final, he had to submit a video of himself performing a two-minute drum solo.
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More than 400 drummers entered the contest and these were whittled down to 40 by the judges, who then selected the 10 who will take part in the final at Leamington Spa on Sunday, February 3.
For the final, Paul, who studies A-level music technology at Lowestoft Sixth Form College, will have to perform a two-minute drum solo and play two songs with a band. The judges will be marking him on his timing, technique, his ability in playing along with the music selected and his general attitude.
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Paul said: 'It will be a big opportunity for me. I am very excited to be in the final and it will be a great experience for me. I am not going there thinking I can win the whole thing – but I will give it my best shot.'
At next month's final, Paul will be looking to show off the talent he began honing in his bedroom as an 11-year-old after his parents Richard and Ann bought him a drum set – on the condition he took up lessons.
Since then, his drumming has gone from strength to strength and the former Benjamin Britten High School pupil has continued to improve his skills under his current drum teacher, Tom Eagles.
Paul, who cites his main influences as Neal Morse, Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree, is now good enough a drummer to give lessons himself at the Take Note Music Company in Grove Road, Lowestoft.
'I have always liked drumming,' Paul said. 'I was banging things together when I was three and four!'
Awaiting the victor at Young Drummer of the Year 2013 is a prestigious trophy and a valuable goodie bag – and previous winners have been approached by drum and cymbal companies with endorsement deals.
Paul's father, Richard, 50, said: 'It will be a wonderful experience for Paul and it will be a great opportunity for him.'