M-People, Soul II Soul, Nightmares On Wax, Primal Scream, Jamiroquai, Sting, Roots Manuva, Boy George, Jocelyn Brown, Chemical Brothers, Manic Street Preachers, Natural Life, N.O.W., The Beloved, Chicane, Atomic Kitten, Hearsay, Death In Vegas, Kenny Thomas, Wolfgang Haffner, The Sandals, Bud Nubac, Defected Records, Pacha Ibiza, only some of many prestigious names associated with one of the most unique and prolific hand drummers on a global scale. Welcome to the world of Shovell the Drum Warrior… get your groove on.
“Playing hand drums for me is a metaphor for life. Whenever I perform, my aim is to radiate that amazing power, positivity and gratitude I feel for being able to do what I do” Shovell explains. “After all, I consider myself a very happy and lucky man – so whatever it is you want to do, you have to believe in yourself and go for it, because it can happen if you are persistent enough and stay on it. I am happy to say that I am living proof!”
Spending the better part of his his youth in South East London, UK during the 1980s, Andrew Lovell was far from being a Drum Warrior then.
Banned from school at the age of 15, he became a plumber instead and spent the following nine years making a living from an enjoyable, but much less inspiring job… meanwhile banging any sort of drums whenever he could get his hands on some. Channeling his energies, focusing on the beat and getting better at it constantly.
“Drummers to me are hyperactive kids, and that’s exactly what I was, still am and probably always will be. It’s that pure excitement like that of a three month old chimpanzee in a way that took hold of me when I first got my hands on some drums – and somehow I managed to take that into my adult life and make it my main occupation” Shovell says and smiles his widest trademark smile.
Throughout all these hard labour years, he never gave up on his dream and spent many nights after work & on weekends in rehearsal rooms and live locations just to keep going, absorbing all sorts of grooves like a sponge. Deep inside he always knew his time would come.
When finally dance music exploded back in the UK in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Shovell took the chance to rise to the occasion. After experiencing the life changing vibe of a certain club night he went to on a regular called “Shoom”. Andrew decided to swap his draining daytime job for a career as a self employed professional percussionist once and for all within months of his first Shoom experience.
It was not long after that when he joined chart breaking UK outfit M People… the rest is history, as they say. Ever since, Shovell travels the planet in the name of the good groove.
“Some people might think that playing percussion is a very easy thing to do because for them it’s all about banging the drums as hard and loud as you can. But that’s not what it’s about at all really. The most important thing is to know when not to play. Remember you are in a conversation, so it’s mandatory to listen closely to what the other musicians have to say and then make your decision about adding to that conversation. In fact, drumming is the most ancient, tribal form of communication, of connecting with everything around you!”
In the last decade or so, Shovell has played alongside nearly every influential club DJ and with a lot of music’s greatest in the finest locations around the world… among them a residency at Ibiza’s renown Pacha Club as a regular for the highly acclaimed Defected label nights – which also take him around the globe to places like Saudi Arabia, India, Africa, Asia, America, South America, Europe and wherever party people are in need of that certain surplus Drum Warrior groove.
Ever since moving to Ibiza in 2010, Shovell can be experienced doing his thing as part of regular Nightmares On Wax sound system events on the white island (and elsewhere)… his friendship with N.O.W. mastermind DJ Ease goes back to 1994, and Shovell has provided percussion for many legendary N.O.W. tunes over the years both live and in the recording studio.
Lately, Shovell has set up the Universal Rhythm umbrella for tailor made drumming workshops, keeps himself busy working as a certified Cranio-Sacral Therapist (London College Of Cranio-Sacral Therapy diploma 2010) and has developed a huge interest in Shamanism, attending workshops on a regular basis. He’s a practicing Nichiren Buddhist, and also very honoured to be a patron of The Midi Music Company based in Deptford, South East London, and an Ambassador for the Last Night a DJ Saved My Life Foundation .
“For me that’s where the circle closes in really. Everything I do for a living is something that I love to do, and it’s all connected. That way, it all becomes one, and that’s the greatest blessing really!”
Meanwhile, the man they call the Drum Warrior is constantly travelling club world as an ever positive ambassador of all things percussion.