Premier Percussion

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Premier Music International Ltd.
Company typePrivate
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded1922; 102 years ago (1922)
FounderAlbert Della Porta and George Smith
Area served
ProductsDrum kits

Premier Music International Limited is an English musical instruments manufacturing company based in Kibworth. The company, founded in 1922, currently produces drum kits, sticks and accessories.[1]


Premier was established in 1922 when a drummer, Albert Della Porta, partnered with George Smith to establish a company. They set up on Berwick Street in London, and were soon joined by Albert's brother Fred, who eventually became the first sales manager of the recently created company.

Premier Percussion, South Wigston (2005)
Premier Percussion (2005)

In the beginning, they manufactured drums for other companies like John E. Dallas (with the "Jedson" trademark), then starting with "Premier" instruments. Early drum kits consisted of a bass drum, a snare, a stand, a cymbal, and sometimes a small tom-tom. The company grew to two factories, ending up in West London's Park Royal. By 1938 they were also producing brass instruments, as well as supplying drums to the armed forces. The company even built a guitar called "Premier Vox", in the early 1930s.[2]

During World War II, the Government forced Premier to manufacture gun sights and electrical plugs and sockets for radar equipment. After the West London factory was bombed in 1940, the company moved to the Leicestershire town of South Wigston, where they occupied three small factories.[3]

By 1986, Premier was one of the biggest factories in South Wigston, with 100,000 square feet covered and 180 employees. The company also exported its products to 120 countries.[4] However, in 2005 after 65 years of activity, Premier finally closed the factory and the entire site was eventually demolished in 2017.[5] Once established in its new home in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, the brand was purchased by the online retailer Gear4music on 21 June 2021.[6]


Premier's replica of the classic "Pictures of Lily" Keith Moon's drumkit
Premier Impression bass drum
Premier 1920s 'jazz' drum kit

Drum lines[edit]

  • APK/XPK series
  • Elite Series (1970s)[17]
  • Resonator Series[17]
  • Soundwave Series (1970s & 1980s)
  • Black Shadow – A unique run of the Resonator series with a specially applied lacquer finish
  • Projector Series[17]
  • Signia Series
  • Signia Marquis Series
  • Genista (original 90s version used only birch)
  • Gen X (4ply maple/2ply birch)
  • Artist Series
  • Series Elite (Maple/Birch/Gen-X Hybrid)
  • One series drums – unique one off kits and snares named of British towns and places of interest
  • Modern Classic drums[18]
  • Club (rebranded continuation of 1979 Olympic)
  • Olympic by Premier[19][20](1937-1979, 1991–present), inc. Super Olympic
  • Royale

Snare drums

  • 2000 Snare
  • Premier Signia. Flagship of the company, produced in the 90's
    Royal Ace Snare
  • Carmine Appice Signature Snare
  • Project One Snare
  • 2003 Snare
  • 2005 Snare
  • Heavy Rock Nine 14"X9" Brass Snare
  • Modern Classic Snares
  • XC Series – part of the 90th-anniversary line.
  • B.E.A.S.T. Snare
  • 1005 (Olympic brand)


  • 250 & 250S bass drum pedal[21]
  • 252 bass drum pedal
  • 1251 bass drum pedal


  • Gordon Mann 1 Wing Pipes and Drums
  • Zyn Cymbals (Formerly)
  • Power control unit: Model 1650.Bass drum damper. Worked by pivoting damper towards head, using a lever:


  1. ^ Interview With Keith Keough from Premier Percussion on The Drummer's Journal (archived), 6 Jun 2014
  2. ^ Vintage (Over) View - Premier on Mike Dolbear website (archived), 14 Feb 2015
  3. ^ The Rocky History Of Premier Drums by Robert Henrit on Drum Magazine, 24 Aug 2011
  4. ^ Premier Drum. South Wigston, Domesday reloaded on BBC (archived), Sep 1, 2017
  5. ^ "Premier Drum Factory". GWHS. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  6. ^ "Gear4music Regulatory News. Live G4M RNS. Regulatory News Articles for Gear4music (Holdings) PLC". Gear4music (Holdings) PLC. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Premier Music International Ltd". Premier Percussion. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Artists". Premier Percussion. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Mike Dolbear DRUMS | Interview with Clem Burke". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Phil Collins - Modern Drummer Magazine". Archived from the original on 18 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Nick Mason's Drum Gear". Spare Bricks. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  12. ^ "Nicko McBrain celebrates 20 years with Premier Drums". Future Publishing Limited. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Premier drums to return to UK manufacture by 2012 (in time to celebrate its 90th anniversary!)". Drumcool. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  14. ^ "1967–1968 Pictures of Lily kit | Keith Moon's Drumkits | Whotabs". Whotabs. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Phil Selway's Rig". The King of Gear. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  16. ^ "History". Premier Percussion. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  17. ^ a b c Youell, Andy. "Premier". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  18. ^ Ltd, Eazytiger. "News – Premier launches British-made Modern Classic drum set". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Vintage Olympic - a unique online history of Olympic drums". Vintage Olympic. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  20. ^ "Olympic". Premier Percussion. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  21. ^ "Miscellaneous | Keith Moon's Drumkits | Whotabs". Whotabs. 9 January 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2022.

External links[edit]