Martin Ditcham

Drummer, percussionist, and songwriter Martin Ditcham has been involved in world class recordings and perfomances for over three decades. Collaborations have included The Rolling Stones, Sade, Elton John, Tina Turner, Everything But The Girl, U2, Mary Black, Diana Ross, Brian May, and Chris Rea.

Martin grew up in a musical family, with a drummer father who encouraged him at a young age. His thirst for music meant that at school he said yes to all the offers of lessons in learning Trumpet, Violin & Recorder, playing in the school orchestra for assembly on alternate days. Playing along to the radio on his fathers Ajax kit, he soon got keen to want to play with other musicians. From age 12, he was playing with bands at youth clubs and also doing entertainment spots at functions. From that age onwards hed deputise for his father in various function bands.

The British Blues Boom in the mid 60s sparked a lifelong love of the genre and meant that during this time there were musicians around eager to play, particularly the Chicago Style. Experiencing Peter Green at the Marquee Club was one of the great musical moments. Trying to get in anywhere to see Eric Clapton with John Mayall was almost impossible. The Blues led to Jazz, and another lifelong love affair. Playing around town with various musicians led to an invitation to play with the leading experimental group Henry Cow featuring guitarist Fred Frith, still a leader on the New York experimental scene. Then at age 19, came an invitation to tour with Nucleus,  the UKs most successful Jazz Rock group which included at that time, on guitar, Alan Holdsworth. The 70s led to living a nocturnal existence doing residences in Londons West End night clubs, of which there were many, plus Hotels & Pubs.

 

Hearing Santanas percussionists in the late 60s, then Miles Davis in the early 70s with percussionist Airto Moreira, an interest in the world of percussion began. A collection of instruments was gradually assembled and invitations to play with bands started coming in. 

The 'Linn Drum' then came along in the early 80s. This was the first sample drum machine that gave realistic drum sounds and feel at the flick of a switch. In the recording studios, percussion became popular as an organic balance to the drum machines. Martin got swept along on this tidal wave and drums took a back seat for a while, although gradually they crept back in as the years progressed.

There have been numerous credits with Gold & Platinum selling artists including the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Tina Turner, U2, Sade, Chris Rea, Diana Ross (produced by Steely Dans producer Gary Katz), Mary Black, Everything but the Girl & Talk Talk amongst others, plus successful overseas artists including  Patricia Kass (France), Amaral (Spain), Gronemeyer (Germany), Westernhagan (Germany), Miki Imai (Japan) and Anita Lipnika (Poland) amongst others.

Various other projects have included experimental recordings with Jeff Beck. A TV special with guitarist Brain May (Queen). An album with Man Jumping, a band very much ahead of its time. Brian Eno, at the time, described them as the most important band in the world. An album under the name Umbrella People with piano player/songwriter Julian Marshall. Songwriting credits include The Sweetest Taboo written with Sade.

Much touring has been done over the years with Chris Rea, Sade, David Knopfler (Dire Straits), Mary Black, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones) & Everything but the Girl amongst others.

 

"MARTIN DITCHAM GAVE US 'THE SWEETEST TABOO.' IT WAS HIS GENIUS RHYTHM THAT GAVE LIFE TO THE SONG.MARTIN'S A ONE OFF - IF HE WERE A FOOTBALLER HE'D BE A PELE. IT'S BEEN OUR PLEASURE AND PRIVILEGE TO SHARE A STUDIO AND STAGE WITH HIM FOR OVER 20 YEARS. HIS UNIQUE APPROACH HAS ALWAYS ADDED AN UNEXPECTED DIMENSION TO OUR MUSIC." -Sade