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Gareth Critchfield - Drums

I began drumming in my early teens. My Dad was given an unwanted, mix-and-match drum kit and when I arrived home from school one day there it stood! That afternoon I played drums for the first time. I played to "summer breeze" by the Isley Brothers and although it was audibly clear that I was baffled and struggling as to were to begin, I knew that I had discovered something in life that truly inspired and motivated me.

I began a crusade for more vinyl and surrounded myself with as many different styles of music as possible. Some of my particular favourites were Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Captain Beefheart, Joni Mitchell, Albert Collins, and all of the kings of blues! Later I became obsessed with Chad Smith's (Chilli Peppers) approach, and the way he mixed a rock style with hard funk rhythms. I also worshipped Stuart Caseland for his rhythmical ideas and for making me aware of syncopation!

When I heard music I homed in on the drums. It didn't matter what style of music it was, if I liked the groove I listened to it. I soon learnt that I had a particular fondness for solid grooves and back-beats, as opposed to non-stop flashy fills. I enjoyed listening to the little intricate moments of genius and uniqueness. For me, it has never been about technical brilliance but musicians who have their own sound.


For a brief spell I drummed for a punk band and after that in several blues bands. One of which (Blue Rocket) my Dad plays lead guitar for. We still get together for a weekly practice. After ten years of being self taught and playing mainly bars in and around Reading I decided to attend "Drumtech" ("Musictech") in London. It was a good education at college and introduced me to things I never knew about drums and the art of drumming. It taught me about good technique and how it could enable you to do things in a far easier way than I had done previously.

In 2003 my Dad was organising a Blues festival in Caversham. We were on the bill and as I arrived I learned that someone call Chris was looking for a drummer. I didn't meet Chris that evening but was given a phone number by my brother. I was curious so I called him the next day. We met for a practice/audition later in the week and immediately joined up as the new drummer for Static Rain.

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