"Anyone who can play “Three Camps” with their feet deserves attention. Another boy wonder from Down Under. Australia’s Grant Collins takes the Bozzio one-man-percussion orchestra to new heights by incorporating advanced Donati/Lang ambidextrous double pedal abilities and amazing four-limb independence.
Amassing an arsenal of twenty-three drums, thirty-two cymbals, and eighteen foot pedals, Collins performs creative original solo compositions to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd that doesn’t seem to mind sitting through the lengthy percussion pieces. Collins’ drumming skills are world-class, and even thought the recording quality and obstructed camera angels are less than perfect (it is a bootleg), experiencing the innovative concepts that the drummer has developed is worth the aggravation."
"It’s hard to imagine a human acoustic drumkit performer advancing much beyond this level."
"Listening to Grant Collins’ Dogboy you get the feeling that the man has traveled far and wide. There's a definite "world music" vibe and a healthy dollop of history about GC's second solo effort. Seventeen tracks of the most incredible drumming you're likely to hear anywhere!
Even more amazing than the actual playing is there are no overdubs on this CD, every track is live and one take! Listen to the CD you will ask yourself; how'd he do that?! Australian drumming magician, Grant Collins manhandles and massages 23 drums, 32 cymbals, and 18 foot pedals - reported to be the largest working drum setup in the southern hemisphere.
This is not a CD of "look at me - check it out" drum chops and aural tidal wave - this is an eminently musical and intelligent collection of songs - even the multi-dimensional solos captivate the listener. He plays rudimental snare drum solos on his feet, and then plays 3-part ostinato patterns as a backdrop for one hand soloing. Truly inspirational and original."
Inside liner notes:
The concert in Mackay was my first opportunity to do a show as a “Solo Drummer”. I had been working for many years on the compositions and had been told by many venues that it would simply not work and that there was no appeal from the public to come and see a solo drumset concert. I stuck to my guns and was given the opportunity from a very open minded Helen Lancaster at the Mackay Conservatorium. As it ended up, the concert solo out and they had to turn over 100 people away at the door on the night. This was a pivotal night in my career and confirmed my beliefs that people love the drums. This drove me harder and since have had the opportunity to play sell out concerts across the globe.
The music on this CD represents a lot of ‘first drafts’ of my early compositions. It was recorded using two microphones set in front of the kit. Many of the tracks have since matured and gone on to appear on my other CD and DVD releases.
"Grant Collins is a musical drummer! - sounds like a contradiction in terms to anyone not a drummer. Primal Instinct is Grant Collins’ first solo CD, and it captures the primal energy of the drums and creates a musical landscape more akin to a vibes or keyboard player. Primal Instinct was recorded in one take, no overdubs, no click track, just one man & the largest kit in the southern hemisphere (good job he is sponsored by International drum company - Pearl!) A clinician, player, teacher and composer Grant has traveled the world building up a large following of respected artists such as Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck)."
"I think he is one of the most promising of the very few young drummers who are also exploring the ostinato based concept of solo drum set playing. Grant's coordination is amazing and something you should experience. He constructs complex rhythmic and melodic orchestrations with all four limbs giving the impression of a whole village of percussionists playing together."
PRIMAL INSTINCT was recorded by Grant in 1999 - is totally live and contains no overdubs. All tracks are first takes and no click tracks were used.
Grant Collins is the bands drummer, he has that kind of inventive flare that feeds this music, able to utilize odd time signatures, mutated polyrhythms, and creative fills. This music requires a monster player to make it work, and he serves the role to perfection, no doubt he is a drummer who is on the verge of being discovered with his performance on this recording, no pun intended.
Guitarist Paul Wardingham (link to www.paulwardingham.com), originally from the UK, now residing in Australia, compliments Collins' drum talents with precision technique and a mastering of tones, modes and technical brilliance. Both these musicians will certainly make a solid impression on any fans of the artists mentioned in this review, yet the sound of the band is not limited to guitar and drums, there is plenty of bass and keyboards, in fact, if you enjoyed the tonal elements that Derek Sherinian injects into his PX band, a similar keyboard vibe is ever present with The C/W Project.
Live @ the Tivoli: The Official Bootleg
Live @ the
Interactive: The Collins/Wardingham Project
New DVD coming soon!
Grant's CD are available on iTunes, Spotify & Google Play