Radiohead and Paul Weller among stars to buy Abergavenny man's vintage drum kits

Stars buy Abergavenny man's vintage drum kits

DRUMMING UP BUSINESS: Nick Hopkin now makes a living from his former hobby of restoring drum kits

STAR CLIENT: Paul Weller

BAND BUSINESS: Radiohead

RESTORATION: Nick Hopkin in his workshop on Union Road, Abergavenny

First published in News Free Press Series: Photograph of the Author by

IN JUST six months of trading a Monmouthshire businessman has been in demand from Radiohead and Paul Weller’s bands for his vintage drum kits.

Nick Hopkin decided there was a gap in the market for buying old instruments people no longer wanted, restoring them and selling them on after he started it as a hobby.

His talents, honed at his Abergavenny workshop, in Union Road, caught the eye of Steve White, who worked extensively with Paul Weller and Clive Deamer, who wanted a special snare drum for touring with Radiohead in Europe.

Father of five Mr Hopkin has also supplied equipment to the Monnow Valley studio, Monmouth, which has had the likes of Oasis and Manic Street Preachers through its doors.

Much of his business, which includes selling drum parts, comes from abroad, however.

“You wouldn’t believe it, I’ve shipped a screw to America and rubber feet for a drum kit to France. It may be a little part but I’m helping people fulfil their music ambitions,” he said.

Mr Hopkin, 40, who lives with his wife, Tanya, 31, in Govilon, has a young helper in the shape of daughter Alice, three.

“She used to watch me clean drums, strip them and put them back together and she can do that now,” he said.

His one-year-old son, Joel, is also keen on picking up Dad’s kit and making lots of noise, like Mr Hopkin once did.

“I have always loved drumming and as a child I was always banging on pots and pans. As I grew older, I played in various bands and toured the country, but got tired of the lifestyle,” he said.

With help from the Centre for Business his new venture was born, and he has successfully promoted it using social media.

Thanks to his growing reputation, Mr Hopkin has now been approached to catalogue and sell Europe’s single largest collection of drums.

A restored kit costs £350 on average, with older models worth around £2,000.

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