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  #1  
Old 08-29-2012, 03:35 PM
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Default Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I have been playing for over 30 years in the time too many drum shops have come and gone, they seem to be dropping like flys at the moment.

Birmingham Drum Centre now ebay only...groan!
Professional percussion gone
Footes closing hopefully re-opening somewhere
Musical Exchanges Birmingham gone
and many others too many to mention have disappeared

So here's a list of the ones I know in the UK, who can add others?

Wembley Drums
DrumWright (Reading)
Bell percussion (Acton) small store but interesting stuff
PMT (limited drums in stores)
Dawsons (limited drums in stores)
Kindfisher (Fleet, not sure how many drums they stock now? Wycombe store gone)
Andertons, (Guildford, a few drums in store)
Plus a couple of small rooms in Denmark Street London, but very few kits in either
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

The reason why a lot of drum shops in my area are in trouble is because the people who run them have a very short-sighted approach to business - they cannot/will not compete with their internet rivals when it comes to prices on heads and sticks and most only stock beginner gear from one or two manufacturers. If one ever wants to try out anything it's pretty much a case of buy-before-you-try and many of the ones I have spent good money at have appalling after-sales service (including one that you mentioned).

I've been mucked about by too many local shops so now stick to good shops who do good internet business or 2nd hand. Namely:

Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre (Brighton)
John Scheerer & Sons Ltd (Leeds)
Newcastle Drum Centre (Ipswich . . . nah, kidding)

If anyone wants some really nice vintage gear check out http://www.rustydrums.co.uk/ for a great selection of old Ludwigs, Rogers, Slingerland, Beverley etc.

Also the Buy, Sell and Trade Drums in the UK Facebook page seems to attract a lot of traffic.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

GAK in Brighton (Large selection of drums/cymbals and really nice staff)
Hobgoblin (Canterbury store has small choice of Dream cymbals and kits)

Online, Rockem music and DrumShop are two good stores I use.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Reminds me of Sydney - First Billy Hyde took over Drum City. Then Allens music took over Hydes. How Allens is in receivership. That's all the big chains.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

A1 in Manchester had a great drum cellar they sold it on, it was sold again and is now closed.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2012, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Originally Posted by bennyboyt View Post
GAK in Brighton (Large selection of drums/cymbals and really nice staff)
Hobgoblin (Canterbury store has small choice of Dream cymbals and kits)

Online, Rockem music and DrumShop are two good stores I use.
Hobgoblin does have a good selection of Dream Cymbals. They're a chain so there are a few of them around.

I spend a lot of time in Canterbury - one of my best friends lives there. I actually bought a bass from Hobgoblin in Canterbury in May or June. They were great. Highly recommended - especially if you're after a Mandolin or Bouzouki. Very good staff but definitely not a specialist drum shop.

I once took a double-necked guitar into the Crawley shop and nearly came out with a Hurdy-Gurdy...
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post
The reason why a lot of drum shops in my area are in trouble is because the people who run them have a very short-sighted approach to business - they cannot/will not compete with their internet rivals when it comes to prices on heads and sticks and most only stock beginner gear from one or two manufacturers. If one ever wants to try out anything it's pretty much a case of buy-before-you-try and many of the ones I have spent good money at have appalling after-sales service (including one that you mentioned).

I've been mucked about by too many local shops so now stick to good shops who do good internet business or 2nd hand. Namely:

Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre (Brighton)
John Scheerer & Sons Ltd (Leeds)
Newcastle Drum Centre (Ipswich . . . nah, kidding)

If anyone wants some really nice vintage gear check out http://www.rustydrums.co.uk/ for a great selection of old Ludwigs, Rogers, Slingerland, Beverley etc.

Also the Buy, Sell and Trade Drums in the UK Facebook page seems to attract a lot of traffic.

It certainly is true the the service and particularly aftersales service is bad in many stores, I have had my fair share of issues. Currently I have run out of options regarding yellowing finish on a set of very expensive Ludwigs Silver Sparkle drums, The shops aren't interested and neither is Ludwig. Re-cover at my expense is the only suggestion, which would be fine if it were a cheap. But it's a faulty product that Ludwig, Delmar and the stores all deny responsibility for. Technically the sale of goods act means I can go after the stores but hey its a joke. i've spent thousands and nobody is interested.

Delmar got as far as offering to send me free wrap, but when I sent them the list of sizes affected and my UK address, they never came back, despite the sales director promising!

Compeating with the internet is diffcult but not impossible if you play the same game, stock stuff pro's want not just cheap entry level gear, sell sticks and heads at competitive prices and above all be fast to respond to customer demands.

You can still get caught out online, I checked the John Scheerer site regarding cymbals, they claim 3-10 days for items not in stock (Zildjian) well let me tell you, if the distributor doesnt have it in stock you wait for months and months, trust me I've been there, 10 months for a ride cymbal when the distributor told me one month at point of order.
So beware, dont purchase unless it's in stock or the distributor has it.

When John Scheerer was in London(years ago) he didnt seem to understand customer service at all, I went into his shop and was told I was not able to try any drums or cymbals in store... WTF more fool him, I went on to spend over 17k in the following years, but not in his store, no surprise his London store vanished not long after.

I do get fed up with some sales folk in music stores who think if your not Simon Phillips you are not worth helping and assume you know nothing, I have spent more in music shops over the years then they will probably ever earn. That being said it is getting better and there are some good chaps out there. DrumWright have usually been pretty
good, Wembley too have been ok with me and certainly better then the chaps in guitar shops!

Thing is the internet shops are only good if you know what you want, gone are the days of being able to check out lots of different gear before buying. I recently bought Zildjian hi hats from Thomann in Germany, they were 40 cheaper than anything quoted in the UK. and in stock, which I couldnt find in a UK retailer, they arrived 3 days later. Luckily I knew what I wanted so I didnt need to browse, but that is where a shop will always win.

I spoke to a drum retailer in Chesham months ago, who does stock a very few kits, his problem was people would come in check out the stuff then buy it online...well fine if you want cheap entry level stuff, but generally pro end gear will need to be tried before buying and if you dont stock it, you have no way of coming to a deal on price, sometime going that little extra will mean a customer for life.

The rustydrum site looks interesting cheers for that.

Keep listing good retailers folks all useful stuff
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2012, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

This situation is frustrating for manufacturers too, especially of higher end gear. We're starting to look around for retail outlets to sell our new range, but we're fussy about the environment they're placed in. We need our drums to be available within a reasonable travelling distance of the customer. Displayed properly, kept in tune, & demonstrated by staff who actually have a good degree of knowledge. Without these basics, we might as well do everything ourselves :(
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2012, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Originally Posted by Togg View Post
The rustydrum site looks interesting cheers for that.
That's alright - if you can make it up to Beds Mark will take very good care of you - he does restoration stuff as well I believe . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Togg View Post
I spoke to a drum retailer in Chesham months ago, who does stock a very few kits, his problem was people would come in check out the stuff then buy it online...well fine if you want cheap entry level stuff, but generally pro end gear will need to be tried before buying and if you dont stock it, you have no way of coming to a deal on price, sometime going that little extra will mean a customer for life.
I think I know that shop: a perfect example of a guy who mostly teaches kids and flogs beginner stuff to them. I did not like his attitude when I went in there - no room for negotiation and no desire to, as you say, make friends with someone who has the inclination to keep coming back to somewhere where he knows he can get a good deal and prompt friendly service. If that's the way these people do business then I say good luck with the recession.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I'm from Ireland but I have done Colin Woolways Drumsense exams and I believe he teaches in a shop called Rockbottom in London.

Also Andertons in Guildford whom I've ordered online from.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2012, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Professional Music Technology. They have several branches and an online shop. I went in their Bristol branch and got all the help I needed. They have a lot of quality gear, they are happy for you to try it. They actually know a bit about drums. I'll be back

http://www.pmtonline.co.uk/index.php/contact-bristol/
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

We are lucky up here in Newcastle/Northumberland.

Newcastle Drum Center. Great staff and stock. They invite you to try the kits and cymbals.
The Drum Shop. Started in Gateshead, now moved to a big unit in Washington. Good used selection.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

A lot of the smaller scales one have vanished too. My local drum shop closed about 8 years ago, pretty much leaving a trek to Bristol or a few clicks online. Unfortunately, the internet always wins.

I used to use Pete Wright's Drum Shop in Yeovil, Somerset. Not the best, not the most knowledgeable but at least it was there and they could order pretty anything you needed. Now the only music shops closer than Bristol are guitar shops who can place an order for a pair of sticks but won't get them for about 2 months.

Tough times =/
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I can vouch for Lincoln Drum Centre, excellent prices and good service.
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Don't forget all of these small shops work on a very small margin. Imagine you own a store and buy several thousand pair of sticks a year, then look at the conglomerates like GC or Musicians Friend who buy several thousand pair of sticks a week, your margin is going to be smaller. That won't pay the bills. You have room for maybe 100 cymbals in your store, and MF has every cymbal made by every manufacturer at their disposal. Again it's margin. I buy what I can from my local store. They treat me great and take the time if I need help, but for a variety of kits set up to try, it's just not there. No DW, no Ludwig that I remember so its tough to do a hands on. So we rely on each other for reviews then order whrere we can
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Originally Posted by PDL View Post
A1 in Manchester had a great drum cellar they sold it on, it was sold again and is now closed.
I think I was there a few years ago, met Lea Mullin who was working/hanging out that day. Neat shop, I was tempted by some vintage stuff. Sad to hear.

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  #17  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

This has turned into a very useful thread, cheers guys, always good to know of drum shops areound the country
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:14 PM
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  #18  
Old 09-03-2012, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Don't forget all of these small shops work on a very small margin. Imagine you own a store and buy several thousand pair of sticks a year, then look at the conglomerates like GC or Musicians Friend who buy several thousand pair of sticks a week, your margin is going to be smaller. That won't pay the bills. You have room for maybe 100 cymbals in your store, and MF has every cymbal made by every manufacturer at their disposal. Again it's margin. I buy what I can from my local store. They treat me great and take the time if I need help, but for a variety of kits set up to try, it's just not there. No DW, no Ludwig that I remember so its tough to do a hands on. So we rely on each other for reviews then order whrere we can


In the UK we dont have GC or Musicians Friend the biggest stores are probably only at 4-5 locations in the country and they are still fairly small inside.

Sure they can order anything they like to display it, but they dont. they tend to get the same stuff in as everyone else, the big sellers I guess, which I can understand, but it doesnt make it easy to get to see anything slightly different that you might have read a review of.

Our largest drum store (probably Wembley) has 3 ludwig kits, 3-4 DW, 2 Pearl, 2 Premier and maybe a few odds and sods, plus two cymbal rooms with maybe 100 cymbals in each.

So not too bad, but unless you live nearby you might have to travel hundreds of miles to find a store with more than 4 kits in TOTAL.

In the UK if we order something it can take maybe as many as 10 months to arrive... trust me I have waited that long for a Zildjian K ride!! and a Ludwig Bass drum

99% of the small stores only stock basic entry level kits and a hand full of cymbals, to my way of thinking they are never going to make a living stocking those when you can get them easily and cheaply on the Internet.

If they were to stock some Pro gear, which is much harder to find, sure it might take longer to shift sometimes but it would get more wealthy older drummers in the store that spend bigger bucks.

Stocking gear for beginers is fine but they will only buy low end stuff and not spend much cash at all. Just a thought
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  #19  
Old 09-03-2012, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Sound attak in Colchester and Hornchurch, Essex , Drum stop, Midlands, Drum shop, up north, Poole percussion, south/southwest, Anglian drum centre, Norfolk. Thery're out there! I can recommend sound attak, used them for 7 years and they really look after the customer. It's a dedicated drum store too, and they mail order!

They stock 20 odd kits in Colchester, and a few more in Hornchurch, 30-50 snares, loads of cymbals and hardware. It's awesome!
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  #20  
Old 09-03-2012, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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99% of the small stores only stock basic entry level kits and a hand full of cymbals, to my way of thinking they are never going to make a living stocking those when you can get them easily and cheaply on the Internet.
Exactly - and it's surprising how many of them behave like this during a recession. There was one I visited a few weeks ago that still had the wrong address listed on Google several years after he had moved and didn't seem that bothered about it when I told him; he also had really odd opening hours - like 7-9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. All he had was entry level Mapex and Percussion Plus stuff and when I asked him if he could at least match the best price I was getting sticks and heads for he wouldn't even negotiate: his prices were his prices - take it or leave it. Well there's a short answer for that . . .

P.S. I did very good business with the Northern Drum Centre in Bradford a few years back - dunno if the same people are still there but the shop is I believe and they sell high end gear (online as well).
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  #21  
Old 09-04-2012, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Two thumbs up for our terrific UK Brady retailers:

London Drum Company
SoundAttak
Bell Percussion

:)
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  #22  
Old 09-04-2012, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I would also add the London Drum Company:

http://www.londondrumcompany.com/abo...n-drum-company

And also Andertons, in Guildford, I was in there recently, and it's true most kits on display are electric, but they had two racks of snares on display. According to the guys they had just had a move around in the "Drum Shed" as they call it, so it's possible they are still a bit mixed up. Certainly, the rest of the store is very well laid out, wit a lot of nice gear, in all price ranges.
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  #23  
Old 09-05-2012, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

This is very interesting I had not come across the London Drum Company before, looks Iike I will have to take a trip to Croydon...

cheers for the info
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

happy to help Togg, literally found it driving on the way to a mates BBQ, would have liked to have stopped in myself.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Drum Central Glasgow closed in December, but there's still one in Edinburgh which I think may be closing down soon. That's all I can think of, there are a few more drum shops in Glasgow but I'm not sure where they all are or if they still exist. Alot of the guitar shops have been closed down though.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Northampton Music Center (Northampton)
There is another I don't remember, same place.
Drum-Stop (Sheffield)
RockemMusic (Rotherham)
Rocky Road Music (Corby)


I guess just gotta Google it.

I have noticed there are more and more people setting up production companies here, as opposed to selling. Which is a shame.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I can vouch highly for the Manchester Drum Centre which is actually in Eccles near Manchester..
I bought my first ever brand new drum kit there a few years bac. It was an M Series Mapex kit in Honey Amber...my pride and joy which my arsehole ex-wife forced me to eventually sell.
That shop jump through hoops...and they are drummers as well and ONLY sell drums.
I recall I wanted to extend my kit and they went to the trouble of ordering some toms in for me from overseas to match the existing kit...they made money, I was made happy...guess it's what it's all about.
They are still there, and still trading.

Website...
http://www.manchesterdrum.com/
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I will happily vouch for Rockem. They're great guys, and cheap too, cheapest I've found.

The guys in Andertones, Guildford are also nice guys, but a little pricey.
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  #29  
Old 09-10-2012, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Round my way I've got Rockem in Rotherham, Drum Stop in Sheffield and Electro Music in Doncaster, all within a short drive and good guys all.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Willie Wright (Sunderland Music) in Sunderland, basically does only second hand but an absolute gold mine of kits from all eras and more spares than you could ever imagine. Many name drummers use him for bits and bobs.

Another vote for Drumshop in Washington/Gateshead and for Manchester Drum Centre in eccles. There's also Electro Music and Doncaster and ADC drums in Liverpool.

Scheerers in Leeds in nothing to do with John Shearer (note the different spellings) who used to have the big shop down south. Scheerers is a very long established Leeds music shop.
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  #31  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Originally Posted by Stalwart_Pandora-Chris View Post
Drum Central Glasgow closed in December, but there's still one in Edinburgh which I think may be closing down soon. That's all I can think of, there are a few more drum shops in Glasgow but I'm not sure where they all are or if they still exist. Alot of the guitar shops have been closed down though.
Rhythm Base in Comercial St is still there and doing a roaring trade. Nice, helpful guys too, although I shop around on line always before commiting to a purchase. I use Rockem and Drumshop regularly too by interweb/mail order.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

[quote=Togg;1040776

You can still get caught out online, I checked the John Scheerer site regarding cymbals, they claim 3-10 days for items not in stock (Zildjian) well let me tell you, if the distributor doesnt have it in stock you wait for months and months, trust me I've been there, 10 months for a ride cymbal when the distributor told me one month at point of order.
So beware, dont purchase unless it's in stock or the distributor has it.

When John Scheerer was in London(years ago) he didnt seem to understand customer service at all, I went into his shop and was told I was not able to try any drums or cymbals in store... WTF more fool him, I went on to spend over 17k in the following years, but not in his store, no surprise his London store vanished not long after.

[/QUOTE]


As per my previous post, these two enterprises aren't linked. It was John SHEARER who ran the shop in London. He's nothing to do with SCHEERER'S, the long standing music shop in Leeds.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Sound attak in Colchester and Hornchurch, Essex , Drum stop, Midlands, Drum shop, up north, Poole percussion, south/southwest, Anglian drum centre, Norfolk. Thery're out there! I can recommend sound attak, used them for 7 years and they really look after the customer. It's a dedicated drum store too, and they mail order!

They stock 20 odd kits in Colchester, and a few more in Hornchurch, 30-50 snares, loads of cymbals and hardware. It's awesome!

Unfortunately, Poole Percussion is reportedly closing down.


IIRC, the closest drum store to me is Drumbank in Bristol; but the nearest with a decent stock is Drumwright in Reading: 420 mile round trip.
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  #34  
Old 01-18-2014, 02:13 PM
michaelsbarton michaelsbarton is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Stumbled across this thread whilst searching for something else, but I'd like to throw my hat in the ring! My local drum shop is Manchester Drum Centre, located in an old mill in Eccles on the outskirts of Manchester. I bought my first kit from these guys and they've gone from strength to strength since then, with expansions, more equipment, amazing staff and the odd clinic or two! Make sure you check them out! http://www.manchesterdrum.co.uk/
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  #35  
Old 01-18-2014, 02:20 PM
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Dodeska Dodeska is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I'd like to give another thumbs up to Rockem in Rotherham. I've bought much of my drum gear from them & they've never let me down.
Sadly Scheerers in Leeds closed down last year. I bought my first snare from them.
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  #36  
Old 01-18-2014, 02:49 PM
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Mike Stand Mike Stand is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Originally Posted by PDL View Post
A1 in Manchester had a great drum cellar they sold it on, it was sold again and is now closed.
A1? It's been a while since I left Manchester but I think I would still remember all the drum shops. Where exactly was it?

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
I can vouch highly for the Manchester Drum Centre which is actually in Eccles near Manchester..
Yes, very good shop with helpful staff. However I lived on the other side of town so I usually ended up going into Johnny Roadhouse if I needed cymbals or something out of the ordinary. I hope they're still in business. John, the drum salesman, seemed always to be a bit moody but he nonetheless let me try out the cymbals for what must have seemed like an eternity to him.

Then of course there was good 'ole John Rose's music shop in Sale, just down the road from my Gran's. He had decent prices and stock on heads, sticks, hardware, plus loads of random accessories and spare parts. It was a great local shop for the working drummer. I heard he finally passed away some time ago. RIP John.

Here's a funny little anecdote... When John and his band were touring Europe in a van in the late 60s or 70s they had a traffic accident in the south of France. John eventually left Perpignan hospital with a slight limp which I only really noticed many years after we'd first met (he was always sat down on a drum throne next to the till when I saw him, usually tuning up guitars or whatever!). He only told me about his accident when I mentioned that I'd be moving to Perpignan with my French girlfriend. A few years later and my son was born in that same hospital. An expression about a small world comes to mind...
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  #37  
Old 01-20-2014, 01:28 PM
Snorbuckle Snorbuckle is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

I'm been to Drum-Stop in Sheffield a couple of times and bought cymbals from a very knowledgable and friendly guy there. However, the last time I went I asked for help deciding on a kit to get and ended up with a guy who didn't really know what he was doing. He tried to recommend a Pearl Export but when I asked why he recommended that kit over others in the same price range he couldn't give me a reason. It's a shame for them because I was ready to buy a kit I liked, but in the end they lost a sale. I'd go again, but only on a weekday when they're more likely to have the full-timers in.

I went to Electro Music in Doncaster on Saturday with more of an idea of what I wanted and was very happy with their drum department's selection given that they appear more of a guitar shop. The staff there were very knowledgable and helpful, and helped pack my new kit in the car masterfully. I felt bad in retrospect for not giving the guy a tip! I ended up walking out with an absolute bargain: Natal Spirit Custom Birch WITH hardware for 599.
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  #38  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:20 PM
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keep it simple keep it simple is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

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Natal Spirit Custom Birch WITH hardware for 599.
Natal really do offer some superb value for money kits, & are a brand that shouldn't be overlooked in that price range. Great choice - keen price :)
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  #39  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:23 PM
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Netz Ausg Netz Ausg is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Another addition: Drum Depot, Cardiff.
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  #40  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:26 PM
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SquadLeader SquadLeader is offline
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Default Re: Loss of too many drum shops in the UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelsbarton View Post
Stumbled across this thread whilst searching for something else, but I'd like to throw my hat in the ring! My local drum shop is Manchester Drum Centre, located in an old mill in Eccles on the outskirts of Manchester. I bought my first kit from these guys and they've gone from strength to strength since then, with expansions, more equipment, amazing staff and the odd clinic or two! Make sure you check them out! http://www.manchesterdrum.co.uk/
But not Sonor I found out recently....

And they wouldn't discuss why they don't stock any Sonor equipment.
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