Drums made in North East to share stage with Coldplay on UK and European tour

Andrew Street of Liberty Drums, customer Hugh Lawrence with his bespoke drum kit and Business Durham MD Simon Goon. Picture by Stuart Boulton.
Andrew Street of Liberty Drums, customer Hugh Lawrence with his bespoke drum kit and Business Durham MD Simon Goon. Picture by Stuart Boulton.

Handmade drum kits fashioned by a team of County Durham craftsmen will take centre stage on Coldplay's upcoming tour this summer.

Grammy-nominated Lianne La Havas, who is supporting Chris Martin and co, will have Liberty Drums backing her up in her set.

They have been personally fitted for her drummer Kwake on the tour, which includes four nights at Wembley Stadium and a date at Barcelona's Olympic Stadium.

The musician is just one of a growing band of Liberty Drums devotees, using the instruments hand crafted in a factory on Shildon’s Dabble Duck Industrial Estate as their instruments of choice at gigs worldwide.

Bespoke Liberty Drums kits made by chief executive Andrew Street and his team have also been used by drummers backing best selling artists, including Nicki Minaj and supporting James Bay.

Business Durham worked alongside Mr Street to find new commercial premises after the company outgrew its previous base in Newton Aycliffe.

Since moving to the Shildon industrial estate, business is booming with an award, as the world’s best wooden snare drum maker from Rhythm magazine.

Mr Street, an accomplished drummer himself, said: “We make drums like a tailor makes suits. About 90% of the world’s drum making companies might call themselves custom drums companies but they buy pre-made shells.

“We manufacture our drums in Shildon. We have veneers off the log, raw, bundled up and sent to the factory where we press them and make our own veneer combinations for whatever sound or genre it is the artist requires.

“We literally start from a blank piece of paper. I will ask the drummer what sort of style they play and we look at the type of music they play in the different venues that they play in.

Andrew Street sanding the inside of a drum at Liberty Drums premises. Picture by Stuart Boulton.

Andrew Street sanding the inside of a drum at Liberty Drums premises. Picture by Stuart Boulton.

“We come to an agreement where we will make the shells to reflect their environment. We build the shell depending on whether it is going to be for jazz, rock, folk or pop which puts longevity into our business.”

Each year, 50 drum kits and 300 snare drums are made from their workshop. A kit can take up to 40 hours to make and retail for up to £3,000 with a snare drum costing £300.

Simon Goon, Business Durham managing director, added: “We were delighted to be able to support Andrew in his search for a new premises to allow him to scale up production.

“We are on stand-by again to help him find another premises from our stock of commercial properties to allow him to service his growing client base and look forward to playing our part in helping his wonderful business thrive.”