Sheffield drummer Lee rejects Brits

Lee Whitehead, drummer with Soul Fire Saints
Lee Whitehead, drummer with Soul Fire Saints

A Sheffield drummer has snubbed the chance to perform with Ellie Goulding at the Brits tonight – because he’s got a gig at West Street Live.

Lee Whitehead will perform with his band Soul Fire Saints this evening instead of drumming for one of the UK’s hottest female artists.

Lee, who has drummed for Take That, David Guetta and the Rolling Stones, said: “I got a call asking if I wanted to drum for Ellie Goulding at the Brits but I said I was going to have to pass on it.

“The way I saw it is it was first come, first served. You can’t let people down and it just wouldn’t have been fair on the other guys in the band.

“We’re really close friends and this is an important gig for us because we’re doing really well at the moment, things are really taking off.”

Lee, aged 42, of Newlands Drive, Intake, first discovered drumming through marching bands aged six.

At 17, he won a scholarship to do marching band drumming in America and after decades of success began playing a drum kit about seven years ago.

He has held world records for drumming for five days without sleep, and taking turns to drum in eight-hour stints for five days continuously with other drummers.

Father-of-six Lee joined Soul Fire Saints a year ago and plays gigs around running his own landscaping business, teaching drums and being a member of a Manchester marching band.

He said: “I’m very busy but I love it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m loyal to the Sheffield music scene and I’m loyal to my band.”

Soul Fire Saints, an alternative rock five-piece, will support Perfect Crimes at West Street Live tonight.