How to make your drum clinic appeal not just to drummers but people who have never so much as held a set of sticks?

That has never been a problem for Mark Brzezicki, who brings his clinic to Swindon Arts Centre on Saturday, January 18.

As a permanent fixture on the international A-list of drummers in demand, he can intersperse words of musical wisdom with stories of his years with bands including Big Country, Ultravox, Procol Harum and The Cult, and with other international acts such as Pete Townshend, Lionel Richie, Brian May, Sting and Peter Gabriel.

As much in demand as ever, he works constantly on both sides of the Atlantic; a recent project was a cover of John Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth in aid of the War Child charity, alongside other heavy-hitters including KT Tunstall and Average White Band veteran Hamish Stewart.

Mark has been delivering drum clinics for a long time, and they have evolved over the years.

“I did quite a few in the 80s and 90s between gigging,” he said.

“It was something that my drum sponsors - my equipment sponsors - encouraged me to do.

“The concept is not just, ‘Here’s a drum solo’! It’s a bit of a one-on-one with me, close-up and personal.”

Other musicians appear in the drum clinic, including Big Country bass player Scott Whitley and guitarist Nick Johnson; the latter, like Mark, was a member of the re-formed incarnation of Thunderclap Newman, whose hit single Something in the Air, was one of the biggest hits of the 1960s.

Mark has no fondness for a drum clinic consisting of, say, an hour of nothing but drumming; he is always conscious of the drummer’s role in a band, which he sees as vital.

He said: “It’s going to be very eclectic - with music from a vast catalogue of people I’ve worked with.”

His inclusive musical philosophy has served him well during his decades as a band member and session musician.

“You’ve got to play what they want to hear but bring something to the table. That makes it exciting.”

Originally from Slough, Mark is almost entirely self-taught, although he credits a book with helping him on his way.

“My father was in the RAF and he had a book about the RAF skill of drumming.

“Military music was something I first looked at for the rudiments; marching drums are the best way to go.

“I would sit at home and tap these things out on the arm of the chair, much to the annoyance of my family.”

Thanks to his work with Big Country, which he was invited to join in 1982, Mark was famous by his mid-20s.

The band was one of the most prominent and successful of the decade.

Mark’s style was influenced by some of the drummers who came to prominence in the 1970s in rock and prog.

His list of favourites includes Stewart Copeland, who was with prog band Curved Air in the mid-1970s before joining The Police, and Phil Collins, whose work with Genesis and earlier band Flaming Youth is said my many aficionados to be among the best drumming of the decade.

Mark believes drummers working in Britain at the time were especially good.

“They had something unique - always this personality and style. I think it was because they were making it up as they went along!”

Tickets for the January 18 drum clinic, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £15 with concessions available.

The box office can be contacted via and on 01793 524481.