Drummer buzzing with McFly's success

HARRY Judd's job takes some beating.The Essex teenager and former Suffolk schoolboy is the drummer with new pop sensations McFly, who recently spent two weeks at number one in the charts with their debut hit Five Colours In Her Hair.

HARRY Judd's job takes some beating.

The Essex teenager and former Suffolk schoolboy is the drummer with new pop sensations McFly, who recently spent two weeks at number one in the charts with their debut hit Five Colours In Her Hair.

But he could easily have been earning his living with a cricket bat rather than drumsticks if things had been different.

"I wanted to be a cricketer or a drummer," said Harry, 18, whose band have soared to fame in recent months.

"I had trials at Essex and I was hitting this fast bowler all over the place, but I didn't hear anything back from them. It was so annoying."

The youngster starred with the bat throughout his schooling at Old Buckenham Hall School - when he played for Suffolk's under-16s' side - and Uppingham School, in Rutland. He was even invited to join the junior school of merit at Lord's cricket ground.

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But it was in his other love - music - that he made a major breakthrough, even though he was something of a late starter.

"I've only been playing the drums for two years. I've always loved bands and going to gigs but I only used to play the trumpet in the school orchestra - boring kind of music," he said.

"I had friends who were in bands and one day I decided I was going to learn to play the drums - it was something no-one else in my year did. I'm really keen and I'm still having lessons because I want to keep getting better."

Harry, who was born in Chelmsford and grew up in Felsted, heard through a friend that the management team behind Busted were putting together a new band.

He impressed at auditions and beat the competition to join singers and guitarists Danny Jones and Tom Fletcher, both 18, and bassist Dougie Paynter, 16, in McFly.

"It was my ambition to be in a band, but I wasn't looking for anything. I was just doing my A-levels and getting on with life," said Harry.

The group, who have earned comparisons to The Beatles and The Beach Boys with their melody-driven pop, recently completed a sell-out tour with Busted and Harry admitted he had been bowled over by McFly's success.

"It's been just amazing, such a great experience. We're all really happy about it but we're keeping our feet on the ground," he said, adding it was "a privilege" to tour with Busted, who are signed to the same record label and firm friends with McFly.

Harry, who was a schoolmate of Busted's Suffolk star Charlie Simpson at Uppingham, can also count on the support of his parents, Christopher and Emma, who live near Saffron Walden, and his sister, Katherine, 22, and brother, Thomas, 20.

McFly, named after Michael J. Fox's character in Back To The Future, are set to release their second single, Obviously, in June and will follow it up with an album.

Harry, whose heroes include the late legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and Blink 182's Travis Barker, said he was enjoying his new lifestyle.

"There have been some screaming girls but most of our fans are normal guys who are into music.

"We had great support before we had even released anything. We're not letting it go to our heads but we're having fun and enjoying every minute."

nThe band play support slot at Busted's open air show at Christchurch Park in Ipswich on Friday, July 16. Gates open at 2pm and the show runs from 5pm-9.30pm A few tickets, priced £25.50 with booking fee where applicable, are still available for the event, which starts at 5pm. Box office is 0870 2255163, 0870 2255164 or 0870 2255165.

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