A VINTAGE drum specialist who supplies kits to UK pop stars is heading to Chicago for a major show next month.
Nick Hopkin, 41, has been restoring and selling the rare kits, some dating back to the 1920s, at his shop in Union Road, Abergavenny, since 2012.
The store has attracted Manic Street Preacher drummer Sean Moore, Steve White who has worked with Paul Weller, as well musicians with Portishead and Radiohead.
Mr Hokpin, of Govilon, also writes columns for magazines including Drummer in the UK and Not So Modern Drummer in the US.
He will exhibit rare kits from the vaults of British drum-maker Premier at the Chicago Drum Show on May 17 and 18.
Mr Hopkin said: “These kits have been tucked away at the Premier facility in Leicester for decades and their presence at the Chicago show will be their first time they’ve been seen by the public. They are super-collectible.”
The former drummer recently sold an early 1980s kit used by Carl Palmer of the prog-rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
His shop, Nick Hopkin Drums, now ships kits all over the globe including Australia and Germany.
He said collectors and musicians bought drums and accessories from him because of their sound and quality.
Mr Hopkin said kits lost some of their quality when they began to be mass produced in East Asia in the 1980s.
Most of his vintage drum kits date back to the 1960s and 1970s and feature better metal – in particular chrome – and wood including maple and African mahogany.
He said: “Production changed in the 1980s.
“The UK has a rich history in drum design and manufacturing, with brands including Premier, Ajax, Beverley and Hayman being highly collectible.
“A lot of good drums were made in the UK.
“Now they use cheaper wood and cheaper metal.”
For further information on his kits, log on to the Nick Hopkin Drums website at nickhopkindrums.com