John Coleman : Drums & Vocals

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Johns story….

John was born in 1994 and started playing the drums when he was 5. Although growing up in a massively musical house, as Howie and Chris were always touring and there was always musical instruments and equipment around, he was first inspired to play the drums by a comprehensive school pupil who had come to his primary school to play along with the infants children singing for a Christmas carol recording . From this moment on, he became obsessed with the drums; with a dream of, maybe one day, playing with his Mam and Dad. His first kit consisted of a cardboard box bass drum, 2 plastic paint tubs for a snare and tom and his fine quality cymbals were cake tins! This would be the kit on which he would hone his fledgling skills.

At 6 years old, he had his first real drum kit for Christmas and then there was no stopping him. Along with Howie & Chris, John played a number of times for his school at various different celebrations, along with some impromptu shows for his class. He finally did his first “proper” gig, with Howie & Chris as The Class of ’58, on his 7th birthday; a 30 minute set at a local club. From then on, John progressed at a phenomenal rate, due to his incredible natural ability and work rate; he’s never had a single lesson. He finally achieved his dream of becoming a fully-fledged member of The Class of ’58, completely accidentally, in 2002, aged 8. When the previous drummer in the band couldn’t commit to touring anymore, he suggested John be his replacement, and the rest is history. His first run of shows was a month long tour with the Legendary fifties star, Charlie Gracie. As with any musician, of any age, the more you play and practice, the better you become. Due to the volume of work the band had, and the hundreds of gigs, John improved massively, very quickly.

As John started so young he never really had any drumming influences in the early days, he just played what he felt and developed his own playing style. This only changed as he got older. When interviewed for a Dutch radio show a few years back John admitted “When I was younger, with the exception of the great Ronnie Tutt who was Elvis’ later drummer, I didn’t really have any drumming heroes. It was only as I got older that I really dived into finding great drummers and people who inspired me; people like Bernie Dresel (Brian Setzer), Rob Perkins (Michael Buble), Aaron Sterling (John Mayer) and a whole host of others”. When asked about his drumming style he describes it as “A mix of all of my favourite bits from all of my favourite drummers, kind of mashed into one”.

John has become a very well respected and admired drummer amongst his peers, both in his genres of music and outside of it, and with audiences across Europe, something which has resulted in him becoming an endorsed artist of a  number of global companies, which is a great plaudit for any musician. John currently endorses: Ludwig Drums, Murat Diril Cymbals, Code Drumheads and London Drumstick Co, all of which are linked at the bottom of the page.

John also handles all of the management of the band. From bookings to tour management, contracts, visas, social media, publicity, websites and the whole myriad of other things that comes with it!

Away from touring John lives at his home with his wife Becky, Daughter Kiera and Dog Nico. He’s got a home-studio, where you’ll often find him writing songs and recording demos for future albums. One of his original songs, “Keep Up” is featured on the bands upcoming album release, “About Time”.

Aside from music and his family, John’s other passion is rugby, something which was ultimately his undoing! Back in 2022 John had to undergo a major 5-hour lower right leg reconstruction after breaking his tibia, fibula and ankle when playing for his only team, Penallta RFC, in a small gap between touring commitments. Incredibly, and despite the pain that he was in which he never admitted or showed the public, John didn’t miss a tour date. He returned home from surgery on the Monday evening and was playing at a festival on the Saturday; probably not the most sensible thing to do but a testament to his character and mental toughness. Safe to say, and as a result of the injury, John is now retired from rugby; only making a rare appearance playing touch rugby at Christmas! However, not wanting to step away completely, when not away on tour, you’ll find him on the side of the pitch on a Sunday morning; regardless of how little sleep he’s got or what time he got back after a gig, he’ll be coaching the clubs Under 9’s team.