The Company Story...
The short version of Hugh's journey from kitchen table to micro-multinational.
It started in 1997. Hugh Lawrence was learning how to play Jazz Ride patterns and his drum teacher gave him a homemade cymbal mute, simply a band to stretch around his ride. The idea of a 'stretch it around the rim' cymbal mute is a simple tried and tested concept. BBC engineers on 'Top of the Pops' used to do the same thing as far back as the 1960's, and a few people (like his teacher) had either made their own or sold homemade versions via local drum shops.
As the years went on Hugh continued to make his 'cymbal belts' for himself, and his drum students. Many people said he could "sell these things" as they were such an effective and simple item. During the Christmas break of 2012, Hugh coined the name 'Cymbomute' and started to think about how to market them and produce them to a good quality. In Spring 2013 cymbomute.com opened for business.
Initially Hugh was making up Cymbomute orders himself with his sewing machine on the kitchen table! Sales were a trickle, but it was enough to see that Cymbomute was worth doing. Before long, the unique material used for cymbomutes was commissioned, packaging was designed, the logo label added, and a professional seamstress was employed to keep up with demand. in 2014 Cymbomute GOLD was offered as an alternative colour. In 2015, the Cymbomute WIDE RIDE was launched for larger cymbals.
Nominated for 'Best Drum Innovation 2014' by Music Radar, Cymbomute has recieved great press from: Mike Dolbear, Rhythm Magazine, Drummer Magazine, Modern Drummer, Drum! and Drumhead magazine - all running features and reviews.
By late 2015, Cymbomutes are being made to exacting standards by computer controlled cutting and sewing machines in a UK factory, the material remains a custom weave of top quality, and they are shipped to dozens of countries. Retail giant Amazon came onboard and they hold cymbomute stock across Europe, the USA, Canada, Japan & Australia.
2016 brought the first retail distribution deal, with VBV in France, quckly followed by r3music in Benelux, Armas distribution in Italy, and DPmusic in Scandinavia.
August 2017 bought the launch of the premium Cymbomute Pro360º - made from an industry first HYBRID material that uses a 'bumper' of silicone to add durability.
Hugh is always seeking ways to improve Cymbomute, find new sales avenues, and get his cymbomutes into the hands of more drummers who value (as he does) the feel of practicing on REAL cymbals but at lower volume. - No need to tolerate a "not what you use on stage" practice set-up!
2018 was the year that Hugh changed the company name to UK Percussion Concepts Ltd in order to launch more products. A MAGNETIC brush holder seemed like a good idea, especially for Jazz and Show drummers, Hugh was suprised to find that no one had ever marketed such a thing, and after legal advice a Patent Application was filed. Magnobuddy was launched in September 2018 and is the world's first magnetic drummers brush holder - only available from here, and protected as a concept by international law.
While developing Magnobuddy, Hugh needed a way to secure a tension rod and prevent de tuning for the mounting options of the Magnobuddy - Solid Brass 'LugLockers' were sourced, and are now also available direct.
As well as running UK Percussion Concepts Ltd, Hugh continues to hold a position as head of Percussion at Cheadle Hulme School, and keeps a busy diary of professional playing engagements around the NorthWest of England. He is proud of the fact his products are 100% UK made, and this business has become a serious enterprise to help him support his family.