An innovative, intense drummer, Chris Grainger showed an early affinity with drumming, getting his first kit when aged four. Throughout high school, his own band (with James Leach, later of extreme metal band SikTh) played regularly in venues across London.
Although largely self-taught, as a teenager Grainger vastly expanded his musical scope courtesy of inspirational mentoring from award winning clinician and session veteran Thomas Lang, the epitome of the modern drummer.
Grainger is a former member of the Blues Club band, taking over the drum seat from The Kinks’ Mick Avory and Chris Slade (Tom Jones, AC/DC, Asia) to join a line-up which included Peter Hope-Evans (Pete Townshend, Roger Chapman) and Gary Grainger (Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey, Nick Lowe, Ringo Starr).
In 2007 he was invited to perform Bad Company and Free greatest hits with Mick Ralphs (Mott The Hoople, Bad Company), Robert Hart (Manfred Mann’s Earthband, Foreigner, Bad Company), Dave “Bucket” Colwell (Humble Pie, Bad Company) and Jaz Lochrie (Go West, Paul Rodgers, Bad Company).
The association with Dave “Bucket” Colwell continues to this day, with Grainger joining Rick Wills (Foreigner, Bad Company, Small Faces) on numerous shows. Having been impressed with the outfit’s abilities, Brian May of Queen chose the band to play at a 2012 private event with him.
Grainger turned down an offer to join the World Tour of the hit musical Mamma Mia due to prior commitments with other artists such as Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze, Mike & The Mechanics), Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet), Empire State (a superb soul band with a full brass section), and Lost In Music, an eleven piece party band with an impressive corporate client list including British Airways, BBC, Tesco, BT, Lancome and Ernst & Young.
He is most recently known for his full throttle performances with Bruce Foxton, the legendary bassist/vocalist in iconic British bands The Jam and Stiff Little Fingers, stepping in for Mark Brzezicki (Big Country, The Cult, Pete Townshend).
Playing a set of The Jam’s 18 consecutive Top 40 hits including “Eton Rifles”, “A Town Called Malice”, “Going Underground” and “That’s Entertainment” comes with an awesome amount of pressure and Grainger has received brilliant reviews for his strong drumming presence.
Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Porcaro, Terry Bozzio, Billy Cobham, Carmine Appice, Alex Van Halen, Steve Gadd, and Buddy Rich are all primary influences and idols.
However Grainger’s earliest sources of inspiration came from watching performances of bands with his father.
“I was lucky enough to watch my dad, guitarist Gary Grainger, work on some amazing gigs and recording sessions with Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Pete Townshend, Simon Phillips, Kenney Jones, Zak Starkey, Ronnie Wood… I grew up surrounded by these legends and was probably even picking up drumbeats in the womb!
“When I was three we went to stay at Kenney Jones’ country house, where he kindly gave me my first proper drum lesson. Soon after, I was given a drum set for Christmas. A few years later, I guess I felt my Mirage 4-piece kit was not cool enough and traded it in for a snazzy electronic Simmons SDS-8. Far more 80’s and no doubt a whole lot quieter! It was the time of synth-led pop groups and electro drum sounds. Eventually I got bored with programmed drum sounds and turned my attention to a small scale Flying-V guitar. So the Simmons kit got a bit dusty, and was then more or less packed away.
“At around the age of eight, we went to see The Who on their 1989 tour and I was allowed on stage before soundcheck. After checking out Townshend’s sea of red Strats and Entwistles’s basses, something incredible happened. This kind of small character began hitting this huge red Tama Artstar II kit. I could not believe how awesome drums sounded in an empty Wembley Arena. I watched Simon Phillips avidly for the rest of the soundcheck, and indeed the rest of the gig. As soon as I was home, my drums were set up so fast…”