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Meet the Team

Dr Marcus Smith from the University of Chichester and Dr Steve Draper from the University of Gloucestershire conducted this groundbreaking research.

Dr Marcus Smith

Dr Smith said: "There is a clear link between fitness and performance. Musicians need exceptional stamina to sustain optimum output especially when on tour."

"Footballers can normally expect to play 40 to 50 games a year. In one 12-month period, Clem played 90-minute sets at 100 concerts. When you consider the implications of touring on top of the performance requirements for high-profile drummers, it is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding."

In 1999 Dr Marcus Smith began work with Clem Burke. This collaboration has resulted in the first published data profiling the physiological demands of playing the drums during rehearsal and in concert.

Marcus is a Principal Lecturer and Field Leader in Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester, having completed a PhD in 1998. Primary responsibilities include BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science Programme Leader and MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology Routeway Leader

He is currently supervising two PhD students in the area of nutrition supplementation and strength training, he is also the University representative for opportunities associated with London staging the 2012 Olympic Games at Regional and National level. In 2006 he established a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) interestgroup focusing on weight-classified athletes and in 2007 he became Chair of a research group based at King's College London focused on examining the effect of weight manipulation on brain structure, volume and performance.

As an applied sport scientist working with the England Amateur Boxing Association his role developed from project assistant to sports science manager. During the period 1987-2004 he attended two Olympic Games, four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, two Commonwealth Games, four Senior World Championships, four Senior European Championships, 15 multi-nation tournaments, 30 'Dual' Internationals and five overseas international training camps. He has also undertaken work with elite athletes from the following sports: hockey, triathlon, table tennis, wrestling, judo, weightlifting, football, rugby union and cricket.

A unique dedicated drumming laboratory will be built at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls campus and over the coming months it is envisaged that other professional drummers will come forward to undertake physiological profiling.

Via the Clem Burke Drumming Project, academics from the University of Gloucestershire's Department of Health, Sport and Social Care also aim to join forces with the University’s popular music degree course to develop community outreach programmes targeting overweight and disengaged youngsters.

Clem Burke

In 1999 Clem started working with Dr Marcus Smith on the physiological demands of playing the drums during rehearsal and live in concert.

Clem played drums exclusively on all Blondie recordings including their massive hits 'Call Me', 'The Tide is High', 'Heart of Glass' and 'Rapture'. Each of these songs attained number one status worldwide on the Billboard singles chart.

In addition to Blondie, Clem has recorded and performed with Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Joan Jett, Johnny Thunders, Kiki Dee, Ramones, Robert Fripp, Dramarama, The Romantics, Iggy Pop and Brian Wilson. With the Eurythmics Clem played on three worldwide tours and three albums including 'Revenge' which features the Grammy Award winning Best Rock song 'Missionary Man'.

For more information on Clem visit:

Dr Steve Draper

Steve Draper is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire teaching Sport and Exercise Physiology. After competing internationally in his sport of volleyball Steve returned to education to study Sport and Exercise Sciences. After achieving a First Class degree he completed a PhD studying the energetics of middle distance running. 

Steve has worked supporting athletes in a variety of sports including athletics, cycling and boxing.Steve began working with Clem Burke four years ago, designing and conducting physiology tests for drumming that would allow for the quantification of energy cost. Steve is also a keen musician and plays the guitar in his spare time. Email:

Chris Potter

Chris Potter is Director of Studies for the undergraduate sport programmes at the University of Gloucestershire. Before moving into academia Chris was a semi-professional drummer, playing with a number of bands with styles ranging from jazz to reggae. He has also played in a wide variety of music environments including performances with an Indian Tabla player, a dub poet, and various other performers. His research interests include age-related changes in maximal power and heart rate during cycling, interpretation and implementation of oxygen uptake kinetics studies in children with cerebral palsy, and most recently, the energy cost of rock drumming. Chris is pleased to be able to combine his drumming interests with that of physiology. Email:

Kate Mori

Kate Mori’s the Course Leader for the MA Sports Development, however Kate’s working life began in the theatre, where she worked backstage in the West End and toured internationally with the Royal National Theatre. After several years ‘on the road’ she decided to pursue a career change, and progressed into the field of community sport and physical activity development. Before moving to Gloucestershire she was the Physical Activity Development Manager for St Georges and Pathfinder NHS Trust in south west London, and also the Research Manager for Sport England. Email:

Kate will manage and coordinate the community outreach and development side of the Clem Burke Drumming Project, and is passionate about ensuring that the benefits of this project are seen ‘beyond the lab’.

Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson is a composer and producer who started his career with the band Sneaker Pimps, selling over 2 million records worldwide. He has subsequently worked as a producer and remixer with artists as diverse as Placebo, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Marylin Manson, Natalie Imbruglia, The Libertines and Ian McCulloch. His music has been used in feature films such as 'A life less Ordinary', 'The Saint' and 'Spawn', as well as for adverts and various websites, including the start up ident for MusicMatch. He is also a practising artist with commissions from the CCA in Glasgow, the ICA in London, the BBC and Channel Four. More recently he has produced an album for the band Client for Mute records, producing the Top 20 single 'Pornography'. He is now the Course Leader of the Popular Music BA Hons degree at the University of Gloucestershire. Email: