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Ian Palmer
Zildjian Artist | Ian Palmer lg
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: The Ghost
  • Country: United Kingdom

Ian comes from a musical family where both his Uncles, Carl and Steve, provided the inspiration for a drumming career. Carl played with legendary British 'Prog Rock' group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, followed quickly by Asia whilst Steve followed a career in jazz music becoming house drummer at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Birmingham for many years.

From an early age Ian studied with many leading drummers. His first drumset teacher was Malcolm Garrett who can be found honing the skills of up and coming drumset students at City of Birmingham Conservatoire. Ian then found himself in New York studying with the late legendary Joe Morello and then onto further studies in Los Angeles where he studied with Peter Erskine and Jeff Hamilton.

Ian has played practically every style of music, from rock and pop to jazz and classical. He has performed alongside many leading and household names a small sample include the band Ian co founded with vocalist Alex Starling (formerly of Ou est le Swimming Pool), chart break through act The Ghosts, leading Norwegian singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl, legendary LA Producer and Bassist Larry Klein, Dean Parks, Georgie Fame, Michael Brecker, Ronnie Scott, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and BBC Radio 2 Big Band.

Ian is a passionate drumset artist and through his relationship with Zildjian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo drumheads has conducted solo performances on nearly ever continent. Ian has performed alongside legendary drummers Terry Bozzio, Thomas Lang, Ian Paice, Dom Famularo, Steve Smith and Jeff Porcaro. He has been a contributing writer to Europe's leading drumming magazine 'Rhythm', featured on the cover of two issues and has appeared on tv and radio in both concerts and interviews. He can be heard on 'Impressions of Coltrane' with Alan Skidmore (ITM Records), a record that gained critical acclaim as one of the top jazz records of 2007 featuring London based pianist Mike Gorman and New York based Aidan O'Donnell on Acoustic Bass. The release saw Ian perform at the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Hall with legendary British vocalist Georgie Fame.

Ian has an instructional DVD available on Lick Library featuring Gary Husband on keyboards and Laurence Cottle on electric bass and in 2010 performed on Australian Rip Curl model Tahnee McKay's debut release. In the same year Ian performed on a movie soundtrack composed by leading British bassist Geoff Gascoyne called 'The Secret Philosophy' featuring trumpeter Martin Shaw.

Towards the end of 2010 Ian was introduced to Alex Starling of the band Ou est le Swimming Pool by his late and close friend Jon Brookes of The Charlatans. Alex had found himself available following the passing of Ou est le Swimming Pool's lead singer Charlie Haddon at a festival in Belgium. Alex and Ian went on to form The Ghosts. The band includes friend Dan Whiffin on guitar. The album features Jon Brookes on a Led Zeppelin inspired track. The album was produced by legendary UK producer Tim Bran (Paul McCartney, London Grammar, La Roux, The Verve, The View). Throughout 2011 Ian performed a number of concerts with saxophonist Julian Smith. You may have seen Julian on prime time British Television as runner up on the hit series Britain's Got Talent in 2009.

In November 2011 Ian performed at his very successful annual charity concert The World's Greatest Drummer. A tribute to the forefather's of modern drumming including Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Joe Morello, Max Roach, Elvin Jones and Mel Lewis. The 2011 concert at Warwick University's Butterworth Hall featured an all start stellar cast including Steve Smith (Journey, Steps Ahead), Steve Barney (Annie Lennox, The Sugababes), Pete Ray Biggin (Amy Winehouse, Level 42), Steve White (Paul Weller, The Who), Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream), Jake Brown (the TV series Born to Shine) and Ian's long time friend Pete Cater who took the role of Musical Director bringing with him a band featuring some of the UK's leading session players and some of the Buddy Rich Big Band Alumni. For more information on this concert click here.

At the end of 2011 Ian set up Pocket Records and hired Rod Thomson (ex. Chrysalis, Parlophone and Rough Trade) to supervise the day to day running of the label. The label came into existence to form an outlet for the music of The Ghosts but more over focusses on emerging and cutting edge talent.

In January 2011 The Ghosts released their first single Enough Time. The second single released later in 2011 features a video in which Ian plays the part of a Doctor and was the second song on the album the end called Ghosts. The third single release was a reworked version of Underrated from the album - the single was remixed by Tim Bran with additional production from Anders Kallmark (Kylie Minogue). Anders was the Producer who provided much guidance for the Ou est le Swimming Pool project. The three singles from The Ghosts album The End have been utilised by many leading remixers including X-Press 2, VanGuard and Seamus Hadji. Seamus's remix of Ghosts made it to No.8 in the club charts in the Summer of 2012. All three video's by The Ghosts were Directed by Alex Kyrou who is known most recently for his work alongside Tim Burton in the box office hit Dark Shadows featuring Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer. 

In addition to his musical career, Ian is a keen aviator and is a Senior First Officer for leading UK airline Virgin Atlantic Airways. Ian flies Airbus 340-300/600 and Airbus 330-300 aircraft on a regular basis to the USA and Far East and, enjoys the process of travel and discovering the world at large.

Ian was featured in the February 2013 edition of Rhythm Magazine. Ian discussed his artistic partnership with Alex Starling and The Ghosts and a rather turbulent lead up to The Ghosts critically acclaimed debut album 'The End'. Recently The Ghosts have been back in the studio with Tim Bran recording music for the The Ghosts anticipated 2nd album release with the first single due early 2014.

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