From The Riser: A Drummer’s Perspective II - David Phillips review

A second visual celebration of wood, chrome, and bronze, with Peart intro


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Drums are the most beautiful musical instrument,” says Neil Peart in the introduction to this second coffee table photobook by David Phillips. While guitar collectors might have something to say about that, there’s plenty of evidence here to bolster Peart’s assertion.

The kits on display range from Andy Hurley’s humble four-piece to the behemoths belonging to Terry Bozzio and Mike Mangini. Phillips’ day job is the UK artist rep for DW and Gretsch so there’s a heavy preponderance of endorsers, particularly for the former. When players appear behind other brands, the shots are typically from an event where Phillips was in the photo pit like the London Drum Show or Download. The strongest images capture a sense of movement and emotional release like Black Stone Cherry’s John Fred Young headbanging, or convey a sense of personality with Evelyn Glennie framed by her marvellous collection of world percussion. The posed snaps of drummers simply sitting at their kits are the flattest. Phillips doesn’t discriminate by genre and prog has a modest presence courtesy of luminaries including Peart, Gavin Harrison and Martin Axenrot. The perfect stocking stuffer for the drummer in your life.

David West

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.