DC bangs the Harris Tweed drum

WHILE it may have been the Bay City Rollers, and sometimes Rod Stewart, who were best known for using Scottish textiles in their on-stage performances, a drummer in the Western Isles has taken the idea further with his own twist.

Ace drummer and tutor David Macmillan is causing a stir by using locally-woven Harris Tweed to decorate his drum kit and hopes to extend the hard-wearing cloth to many other instruments too.

Far-travelled David, known in Stornoway as DC, said the idea to refurbish his drums in the handwoven fabric came from a friend who got to work enhancing the metalwork while he stripped the shell, sanded it down and applied the fabric.

“It doesn’t significantly alter the sound. I bought more tweed than I needed so I may start doing other drums too. Harris Tweed is now so trendy that we may eventually have guitars in tweed too,” he said.

DC, who is 25, plays with Stornoway band Face The West and they have recently returned from their fourth gig in Vietnam at the invitation of the St Andrews Society in Ho Chi Minh City.

He has been drumming for nine years and is one of the few performers in Scotland doing gigs in pubs and clubs as a solo drummer.

He said: “I can sustain an evening of drumming by using software to run the songs together without breaks. The sets last about half a hour.”

Lorna Macaulay, the chief executive of the Harris Tweed Association, said: “I’ve seen many innovative applications of Harris Tweed from all corners of the globe but this is something new and the drum looks great.

“DC is a very talented musician and we are thrilled he is joining us in banging the drum for the Harris Tweed industry.”