DRUMS OF REAL POP IDOL
He is accustomed to playing massive sell-out concerts in New York, London and Barcelona.
As the drummer in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith is also idolised by countless millions of rock fans.
But last night, the man rated the best rock/funk drummer in the world showed that megastars don't always come with mega-egos as he touched down for a humble gig in Norwich.
The contrast was accentuated by the venue for the man whose band took excess to another level - the stately St Andrew's Hall.
More used to being caressed by gentle applause at an Anglia in Bloom award ceremony or the sound of the string section at an evening concerto, the leaded windows and paintings of Norwich grandees were vibrating to thunderous drum solos.
Smith was suitably incredulous at the historic surroundings, saying: "Who are all these dead guys on the walls?"
The musician, who was accompanied on stage by former Deep Purple bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes, played to keep a promise made to Matt Goom, owner of Norwich Drum Academy.
Mr Goom met the drum legend at a concert in Holland, told him about his business, and thought “yeah, right”, when Smith promised to stage a drum clinic in Norwich.
But last night his dream came true in front of 850 people.
Mr Goom said: "To have Chad come to my home city is a thrill and an honour. I'm trying to bring top players to Norwich, and you cannot do any better than Chad. I could've sold this out twice over. The demand is extraordinary."
Smith, who mixed with fans, answered questions and wowed the audience with his hand speed on the drums, said: "It's a beautiful hall. The acoustics are nice. Usually when I do drum clinics the atmosphere is a bit clinical, which doesn't help the vibe.
"I met Matt when we played in Holland. He told me all about his drum store and academy. He told me he does clinics and teaches drums. I said I'd come up to Norwich and do a clinic. He said: "yeah, right". And here I am."
He said he had been to Norwich in 1990 when the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who he joined the previous year, played a gig at the University of East Anglia.
He also stressed the difference between the huge outdoor gigs and an intimate show like last night's.
He said: "This is about good fun. Playing music is really fun. Playing the drums is what I'm very passionate about and if I can get that across to the young people I'm very happy.
"It's a good chance for other musicians and drummers to see someone who's in a band. And to see them up close, rather than somewhere like Hyde Park."
The 42-year-old paid tribute to the British bands and drummers who influenced him as he grew up in the US.
"I was very influenced in the late 1960s and early 1970s by people who played in this beautiful country of yours. Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen and The Who.
"Their drummers, like John Bonham, Keith Moon, Roger Taylor, Ian Paice, Simon Kirke of Free and Bill Ward of Black Sabbath. What's in the water around here? I'm going to drink it."
EDP24 - edp24.co.uk
Thanks David! Nice article. Sounds like they had a great time. A full house is also great news. So how does big daddy fits into the story? Would be interesting to know.
Watch out for my full review and some pics which i should be posting after work tonight.
Blast, I wish I had known about the show earlier!