Wednesday, March 05, 2014

London Bass Guitar Show - abbreviated highlights!

My first LBGS. And I'm impressed! Went in on the Saturday, and:

- saw Lee Sklar, always nice to catch someone you aspire to be later in life - a true laid back Californian player, you can see why he gets so much work, he loves his craft and is obviously so easy to get along with. And has a good philosophical view on his work.
- saw Frank Bello, massively enthusiastic player (get a new iPod, Frank!). Huge smiles as he cranked out Anthrax classics, and the way he plays Rush had me in stitches!
- totally failed to recognise Jeff Berlin at the Cort stand - he was inviting bass players to try the setup on a bass (which was ultra-low) - lovely fellow, I thought he was a stand-guy. The player before me nodded appreciatively, Jeff offered me the bass, I sat down, played some of Midnight (arranged for bass, it's a 2-handed tap piece by Joe Satriani) and said it was ideal for that and that my Aria is similarly set up. Then I dug in a little and said that the E was too low and had buzz - "what if you play really gently so you can hear every note", says Jeff - "nah, it's still too low", says I. At this point one or two eyebrows are raised in the amassed audience. I gave him the bass back and someone asked "what are you going to do now?" And he said "raise the action on the E!" Hehe
- changed strings at the show just outside the auditorium entrance haha
- tried out Gallien-Kruger, Eden and Warwick amps with the Warwick I brought along for the job
- tried out a Rikker bass, an utterly stunning olive top 5 string fretless with Piezo in individual bridge saddles - gorgeous tone, setup perfect, ~£2100 worth if heaven! Turns out it uses the same Aguilar OBP-3 as I'm having fitted into the Tobias, so I'm hopeful the boost and control will give me something great. The rikker guys talked with me for more than half an hour on the Metaphysics of Quality and how they make the guitars: they wind their own pickups, meditate and use zen breathing, I love their approach. The basses just ooze the results of it. I will be saving up for one.

Also met several bassists and chatted - including one who spotted my bass in earl's court tube and told me there was a train running to Olympia, which was massively appreciated!

And I got to see Paul Turner and shuffler, whose groove and infectious smiles are exactly what you want to see in a band. They love their little side project!

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