News from the UK premier fans FB page

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Make of this what you will. Personally, I'm super disappointed, but not surprised. I've had discussions with "industry friends" in recent months that painted a disturbing view from the inside.

Note, this is not an official Premier Drum Company post.

SOME BAD NEWS
News has filtered through from various sources that our beloved Premier has once again become the victim of modern, British management practice.
It would appear from reliable sources, that despite recent commitments from the Premier Drum Company, the UK manufacturing facility has been closed with immediate effect. Furthermore, all future manufacturing, if it does continue will take place in the Far East and it would also appear the company is, once again, for sale.
Whilst there is no official announcement at the time of writing, it seems that the company is, on the face of it, hiding behind a façade of ‘business as usual’. Having spoken to a number of individuals who were on the inside, this news will probably come as no great surprise to anyone who follows the fortunes of Premier with as much avid enthusiasm as I do, I know there are many brand loyal fans all over the world.
With this in mind, the anger and resentment this will cause cannot be understated since many of us have been extremely vocal in our support of the current management team (such as it is) in their apparent endeavors to exploit the enviable history and legacy Premier has, but also move with times and make the company a serious competitor in the modern marketplace.
As it stands and as I write, it would appear the garden path we have been led up, is a very long one , which has been badly maintained by ‘gardeners’ who frankly, don’t seem to care as much about the company’s success and development as they do about their own personal aggrandisement and bank account.
It gives me no pleasure to make these allegations and I’m sure there will be many who will proudly announce that they ‘could see it coming a mile off’, well, many of us could – but still held on to that hope, or dream as it now seems, that things could change and we could see a Phoenix. The self serving ‘snake-oil’ team at Kibworth Business Park clearly had another agenda.
I have, in my own little way, done everything I can over the last 20 years of internet access, to fly the Premier flag, with little acknowledgement from the company. I’m not alone, there are thousands, possibly millions who do the same, yet the Ivory Tower team appears to have no conception whatsoever of the best sales team any company could wish for.
We’ve seen artists and personnel alike find pastures new in recent times and from what I’m told, the myopic management style is blundering on, unrepentant that their embezzlement …. sorry, salaries are somehow well deserved, rather than investment in music, musicians and musical equipment.
But then again, how could a company that doesn’t employ a musician, let alone a drummer comprehend this when there are champagne lunches to enjoy?
RIP
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Sad news. I like Premier sets but their offerings I've seen in the flesh in the last couple of years have been solid but underwhelming. It would be a real shame for them to close the UK factory as I believe they have a lot to offer but such is modern business...
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Not surprising. Their showings at NAMM over the last 10 years have been anywhere from not at all to half hearted booths.

A real shame as in the early 90's they were kicking other companies rear ends and making great products. But they seem to have decided to repetitively shoot themselves in the foot by discontinuing anything that was good in favor of rather bland offerings.

My Premier Signia sounds just as good, if not better, than the top maple kits from other manufacturers. It's still a fantastic design.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
...make em an offer Andy.
Hahaha, stranger things have happened :) Even though I like & rate some of the hands on people, there's too much negative business history for me to consider that, & of course, I'd need to change just about everything about how the drums are made. Put simply, we're just too different. I'd want to take Premier up market, dramatically rework the old resonator principal, etc, but I fear the default direction will be quite the opposite.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
just talking about this to you andy haha. utterly gutted, especially as i just bought a 70s olympic (premier elite shells with the solid re rings, you know the ones ;) ) and 2000 snare and am in love. they made supurb drums and i had the pleasure of talking to eddie haynes a few times. my thoughts mostly go out to keith as he is an incredible builder and hope he gets snapped up in an instance. as for english drum companies we now really have guru and natal, and thats really it. Murray drums hasnt got a decent output level beyond snares, and north drums (the guys who acquired carreras tools) dont have the quality level of carrera by miles. such a shame and hit to the british drum industry...
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Too bad to hear. I recently bought a 1971 Premier 2000 snare and am super impressed with its construction and sound. Have been showing more interest in this company since then and thought they were on their way up, but alas it may soon be a fossil.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
how you finding the 2000 open? i love mine :) have you played with the wire settings, and have you got the original pair of 12 strings on yours?
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
more news from DDrums

Cheers for the calls and emails of interest in the recent Premier News...
So sorry we didn't have too much time to chat to you in the shop or get back to the emails but unfortunately it is true that Keith Keough’s Premier plant has been closed. Leaving his team of Duncan and Tim who have been with him since his Pre Premier KD Drums era looking for work. Keith and the boys are gutted to have lost what they’ve passionately created since 2011 under the Premier badge.

We prefer to think of this as a positive move as the wheels have been falling off Premier for quite some time.
We’ve tried really hard to deny the demise by having faith that as long as there was PDC there was a chance.
This unfortunately is not the case. However Keith and his boys will move onto better things through this. There is nothing surer.
He is one of the most respected Drum Builders in the world.
So with immediate effect Premier we're out.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
how you finding the 2000 open? i love mine :) have you played with the wire settings, and have you got the original pair of 12 strings on yours?
Yes all original wires. I bought it from the original owner. iI read somewhere to never fart around with them so never do. The parallel strainer beats Ludwigs but is a tight job to change the reso. This snare to me is like an Acro on steroids but is not as dry as a Supra.

I would like to get a vintage 3 ply Premier mahogany kit like Clem Burke's in Blondie.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
i will agree with dont mess with the wires. premier back then knew more than we do about drums, thus why i asked if you were brave enough. havent played 3 ply mahogany yet, just my 3 ply birch but if they are anything of the quality that im playing they will blow you away im sure.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
As for english drum companies we now really have guru and natal, and thats really it. Murray drums hasnt got a decent output level beyond snares, and north drums (the guys who acquired carreras tools) dont have the quality level of carrera by miles. such a shame and hit to the british drum industry...

And what happened to that Ivor ARBITER guy?
 

gaz farrimond

Senior Member
It's a shame to hear this, but I have to say that the direction new Premier appeared to be making just didn't seem to sit right with me. I know they got a lot of critique from the US market about the new looks, names and even marketing of a lot of the new gear although I really was looking forward to the relaunch.

There is also the 'baggage' associated with the name Premier; unfortunately something that has a higher international profile than the quality of the drums and equipment. I honestly don't think the name will ever truly recover, a real shame as Premier released some stunning drums, and there was no denying the quality of the new drums. Unfortunately it mustn't have resulted in sales.

It's a very sad day for UK builders, as KD made some very good drums prior to becoming Premier and after Highwood in Horbury, would have been my builder of choice for custom drums in the UK. Unfortunately, with the market as it is I don't think the KD marque will be re-floated any time soon.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I had a good chat with Keith last night. He's got stuff waiting in the wings, & told me although he's just lost his job, Friday night was the best night's sleep he's had in ages.

In terms of quality UK builders across the full spectrum of quality / price points, the UK is doing just fine (considering the size of our little rock). We have a competitively priced custom sector, & a highly skilled boutique sector. Unfortunately, the only mass market company we have left is Natal.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I was with one of their endorsers yesterday and he told me all about this and his personal disappointment with the owner.

Really sad to see Premier once again having issues. They really have constant poorly run business issues. It's the main brand I want to see doing well due to being English, always had some pride with Premier but again this life cycle show sto be short lived.

Maybe one time too many now. Might be hard for them to come back, again. Look what happened to them last time they over to an off shore manufacturing model.
 
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StaggerLee

Silver Member
i will note however, natal do make some damn nice stuff. just need more high profile persons using them, especially after their main guy (brian tichy) left them last year.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
I know nothing about the history, but like many a British drummer I learnt on Premier Olympic and then years later bought and giged / recorded with a Genista for 10 years straight.

What a great sounding kit, nice design touches, good finish and really workable sound without being fussy. Easily the best ply 20" kick I have used. So what has gone wrong in the last 20 years since the modern Premier peak (Genista & Signia).
 

mpthomson

Senior Member
Sad but not surprised by this. The latest version of the cormpany seemed to have no idea what it wanted to be. It had almost completely abandoned its core gifted amateur weekend warrior market in favour of trying to run a huge scale high price custom market and it was doomed to failure.

Keith's craftsmanship is beyond reproach but when you saw much of the output I thought where's the market for this? The One series looked and sounded beautiful but many of the kits and snares were quite challenging aesthetically.

The most recent innovation, The Beast snare drum was a solution in search of a problem and a competent and engaged marketing team would have seen that it should have remained a technical exercise rather than a production item.

The recent offerings of APK haven't been worthy of the name and reintroducing the Genista was a huge mistake. Good drums they may be but if marketed at a lower price point and made in a different location from differently sourced wood they were always going to be seen as inferior. They should have had a different lug and have been called something else.

The marketing was incoherent with no advertising of the more sensibly priced ranges and little to no development of those offerings in five years. Pearl and Sonor both have their highly bespoke offerings but understand that the marketing and effort has to be put in to the lower offerings. This generates the revenue to allow a company to market the more esoteric or experimental offerings.
It's a great shame but probably needed to happen.
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
Not surprising. Their showings at NAMM over the last 10 years have been anywhere from not at all to half hearted booths.

A real shame as in the early 90's they were kicking other companies rear ends and making great products. But they seem to have decided to repetitively shoot themselves in the foot by discontinuing anything that was good in favor of rather bland offerings.

My Premier Signia sounds just as good, if not better, than the top maple kits from other manufacturers. It's still a fantastic design.
The Signia was my first love when it comes to drum kits. I remember playing one in the shop window of "The Academy Of Sound" in Leicester (long since closed down) before buying an XPK (I just couldn't afford the Signia, I was at Uni at the time). I loved how the Signia looked and sounded, I thought the lugs were beautiful. I have a Signia snare but would love a whole kit one day. They are kinda heavy though, definitely not for gigging!

The hardware was a bit to be desired though (the stuff I got with my XPK at least).. I still have the XPK, I remember picking it up from the Premier factory in Wigston in 1997.

How things have changed ..

I must admit none of the new stuff really appealed to me.
 
Sad final news for Premier lovers like me. That wailing sound you hear is the ghost of Keith Moon roaming the earth in search of a kit worthy of being blown up on primetime television and coming up empty.
 
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