"Toby was great to work with because he totally understands & masters both the playing & programming sides of making rhythm tracks. His playing has a great natural feel, & he is tireless in pursuing the best sounds for a song, whether played or programmed."
Jim Abbiss (Adele, Bjork, Artic Monkeys)

"Toby has no ego, genuine enthusiasm, and serious talent...my favorite three qualities of any musician. He makes any song you're working on a breeze and he can swing like an MF."
Sam Farrar (Maroon 5, Phantom Planet, Newton Faulkner)

"Toby Couling has an infectious cheerfulness that artists, bands and musicians are drawn towards. Luckily for us, it just so happens he’s an exceptional drummer too"
(Drummer Magazine)

"Toby Couling is fast becoming a mainstay of the studio and touring world"
Ian Croft (Editor of iDrum Magazine)

"Toby is a really fun and expressive performer"
Kevin Spacey (Actor)

Newton Faulkner

How I ended up recording for his new Album:


When it came near to the end of Jan and work was still a bit slow I started to worry a little..I thought to myself that I have probably been concentrating on playing and practicing for me and forgetting about getting gigs and sessions when suddenly I had a call from a Producer friend  Matt Wiggins who wanted me to go in the studio to record with a new artist called Foxes for her new album. The sessions went really well and it was a whole lot of fun. I recorded with my 20″ DW kick with a soft beater, some dirty 15″ Istanbul hats, the studios 14″x5.5″ black beauty with a Remo Controlled X coated Skin and a 70′s maple Singerland 18″Floor tom. The KIt sounded amazing!

A few days after this session I had a Noisettes rehearsal and a show back to back for the Music and Sound Awards at KOKO.. This was great fun (as usual) and we got to play some new songs from the new record (which should be out in August time by the way). Just after the Noisettes sound check I was sorting out my stick bag when I felt a tap on my left shoulder, I looked up and saw massive ginger dreds and a big smily face… It was my old mate from music college Sam (aka Newton Faulkner). We had a nice catch up chat for a while and then went our separate ways until the gig began later on in the evening..(A few hours pass) I watched his set in the crowd and then made my way backstage to say hello again. Just as I was going to go up stairs and warm up for my show he said “What are your plans for the next few weeks?” I said “umm, I’m not sure.. I think I’ve got some free time.”) he sad “cool! can I take you number again?”) I was a bit confused by the random question but thought it was just Sam’s funny way. The gig went well and I thought nothing of the Newton’s phone number exchange apart from hoping we might hook up along the way sometime.

Two days later I received a text from Sam asking me weather is was free on the Monday coming to record a track for his new album. I was free and well up for it! I turned up on Monday to the address given which turned out to be a big red boat moored on the Isle of Dogs. The boat was an old lighthouse boat that had been refurbished into the most amazing studio that floated twice a day with the Tide!!

I recorded a track with another drummer who used to be in a band called the Sundays. we came up with a great complimenting part which built really nicely throughout the song, It was pretty fun to record with another drummer (a first for me, him and the producer) after we got the take they were looking for I started packing up my stuff when Sam farrar (the Producer) said, “do you mind staying a bit longer? I think I have a few more tracks that you might suit playing”  I said yes (of course). I played on another track that day and learnt one more to record the next morning as they had other things to get done. I went back the following day and was told that I was going to record on another track that day too!! After finishing the two tracks I started to pack up my stuff for the day. when again, Sam farrar and Sam (newton Faulkner) said, “are you up for playing on one more track? I couldn’t believe it, This was amazing! The song was awesome and I did the third track that day and went home with a great feeling in side my belly.

I had call a few days later from the Producer asking me If I was free anytime next week to record on one more song.. I couldn’t believe my luck. With a little bit of date jumbling I was there on the friday. We recorded a Ballad live with Sam on Guitar and John from Nislopi on double bass. after two listens to the demo in the control room we were in the room getting ready for takes… in the second verse of the third take the boat starting wobbling from side to side from the tide moving fast in from the Thames barrier and for the rest of the song we were bobing about like a yellow rubber duck in a bath. to be honest, I got a little lost in the take because of this and I think everyone else did too. when listening back to the takes, There was something about (the wobble take) which had a certain “something” that the others didn’t. That was the take we all went for!

The kit I used on these session was a mixture of my 1964 Ludwig and a Yamaha 70′s maple that the studio owned. I think I used my Limited edition ludwig 400 on all but one song when I borrowed Patch from the Sundays yamaha Brass snare. I think I used most of my cymbal collection too..nice! one of my favorite kit sounds was when I convinced the engineer to mic up my manuscript note book pad with a small snare wire in side. I played by flamming the note pad with a brush (left hand) and a hot rod (right hand) I did so to try and  make the the first verse and chorus more dynamic and light.. It sounded mental! like a weird programed snare hit from a garage tune.

Any hoo,

This is the most I have typed in ages…I better go and play drums to balance my self out!

Bye for now



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