Drummer back to his best beat

Andrew McDonough (second from the right) and La Femme in the 1980s. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Romy Stephens

A Montrose drummer, who rediscovered his love for the stage, will be performing throughout the Dandenong Ranges and surrounds this spring.

After having a break from music roughly 25 years ago, 57-year-old Andrew McDonough has since picked the sticks back up and is now hitting the local rock scene by storm.

He will be performing with cover band Portal Vision and Melbourne original band The Pharaohs at numerous venues in Melbourne over the next few months, including Brycees Tavern in Mooroolbark.

During the ’80s, Andrew dedicated all of his time to touring and performing for punk rock band La Femme.

He said he commonly spent time with world-famous bands.

“I spent a great deal of my life travelling up the Eastern Board of Australia playing in clubs in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.

“We caught up with Duran Duran one night and had dinner in Sydney.”

He also said he was lucky enough to play with The Cockroaches before they became The Wiggles.

But after spending nine years on tour, Andrew decided it was time to pack up the sticks.

“I stopped playing around 30 just to settle down,” he said.

“My plans were to get a house, get some sort of stability, start a family.”

Wind the clock forward to today and Andrew not only has five sons ﹘ including a set of triplets ﹘ but he has also recaptured his love for drumming.

“My brother who plays in a band, The Rifters, actually said to me just come along and have a go…that was over two years ago,” he said.

“I realised that I was rusty and creaky and I was actually no good, but I enjoyed it and I kept working at it.

“I practised every single day for a couple of hours.”

Despite there being a lot of changes in the music industry since he first started drumming ﹘ particularly when it comes to technology and equipment ﹘ Andrew said he is proud to have overcome the fear of returning to the stage.

“It was something that used to give me nightmares,” he said.

“I’d have these nightmares about being on stage and not being able to perform and getting booed off.

“I’ve got bands chasing me now. That’s really good for the ego.

“Just playing the drums, to be honest, it’s a real release for me.”

Portal Vision will be playing at Brycees Tavern in Mooroolbark on 8 November. The group will also perform at The Black Hat, Geelong on 30 August and Mr Boogie Man Bar, Abbotsford on 6 September.

The Pharaohs will perform at Mr Boogie Man Bar on 7 September.

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