The distance from the drum riser to center stage can be vast – especially for a drummer best known as part of a world famous band and less known for his guitar strumming and singing. Radiohead drummer Philip Selway has ventured into this uncharted territory with the release of his first solo album, “Familial.” In support of the album Philip took to the road, playing headlining gigs as well as support for Wilco on several dates throughout Japan, Europe and the UK. Along for the jaunt was a full compliment of Heil Sound microphones.
The Heil Sound connection for Philip Selway can be traced to Sean “Sully” Sullivan, a long time Heil mic user who brought his mics on tour with Thom Yorke’s band “Atoms for Peace.” Philip’s monitor mixer Mick Brown and FOH Gavin McComb were suitably impressed with the microphones’ performance and sound, which lead to an input list being sent to the Heil Sound factory. A package consisting of (7) PR 35s, (6) PR 30s, (2) PR 40s and a HDK drum mic kit were shipped for the tour that kicked off in Tokyo.
The show is acoustic driven and Philips versatile four-piece band provide support with vocal harmonies and a variety of instruments. Between them Caroline Weeks and Kath Mann play keyboards, recorders, flute, viola, harmonium, glockenspiel and even a musical saw. Adem Ilhan plays bass and handles lead vocals on one song. Drummer Alex Thomas sticks to drums although he has help on the last number, “What Goes Around,” when everyone grabs sticks, clusters around his kit and bashes cymbals and toms at will.
A recent review in SPIN.com stated, “At this fragile volume, Selway’s voice stood out magnificently, the mic picking up every tiny nuance. Each bout of reverent applause came as a deafening shock; this being Tokyo, there was no heckling, no chatter, just total immersion.” Gavin McComb concurs and expands, “I have pretty much converted to Heil. The PR 35s are fantastic for Philip’s voice. The big test for me though were the PR 30s on the very quiet instruments such as musical saw and the glockenspiel. Before, we were using condensers, but failed to get enough purchase (level) and I was always close to howling feedback. I was excited to try the PR 30s and when I finally did I was thoroughly delighted. Good level with great sonic quality. Happy days!”