Words: Luke Voogt
At just six-years-old Newtown’s Kempton Maloney had already drummed at his first pub gig.
“He certainly drew a crowd that night,” says mum Simone.
Kempton’s drum tutor Brad Dawson invited him and his parents to a packed Saturday night gig with his band Trojan in 2014.
Before he knew it, he was on stage smashing out hits like The Killer’s Mr Brightside and Toto’s Africa.
“He got me up to play,” the eight-year-old recalls. “I think there might have been a Foo Fighters song too.”
A fitting choice, as Kempton dreams of being the next Dave Grohl or Taylor Hawkins.
The dream began at eight-months-old with pots and pans on the kitchen floor, says Simone.
“He would strategically place them on the ground to get the sounds that he wanted.
“It was quite funny. You could actually see him listen for the different sounds when he hit them.”
His parents bought him a junior drum kit for his first birthday, unable to get drumming lessons for someone so young,
“He would play and play every day,” Simone says.
“Finally we were able to tee up some drumming lessons with him.”
Years later his parents gave him another surprise, getting Australia’s Got Talent finalists Sisters Doll to play at his eighth birthday party.
“I didn’t know they coming,” Kempton says. “We had a jam and stuff – it was really good.”
Last year Kempton came runner up in a national drumming competition in the under-12 age group, where he met drummers who perform for superstars including Lady Gaga, Madonna and Ringo Starr.
“The fact he’s found his love so early is fantastic,” Simone says.
But Kempton’s talents don’t end there – already he’s making a name for himself in theatre.
He took to the stage recently as Jeremy Potts in a Geelong production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
“It’s my first musical,” he says.
“I love pretending to be Jeremy, he’s got some very good lines and he has a lot singing.”
Kempton hopes to one day audition for a movie.
He appears at least to have fine-tuned the art of the acceptance speeches, as he rattles off the names of all who had inspired him so far.
“And a big shout out to my family for encouraging me to do this,” he says.