When it came to amplification, there's no shortage
of delights to be sampled on the exhibitors' stands,
with plenty of amps and cabinets to get down and
dirty with for those of a touchy feely disposition.
Everywhere you look there are pedals, pickups,
strings and accessories available for purchase.
The mighty
Markbass
were there thanks to
MSL
Professional
and
TC Electronic
are turning heads too,
both purveyors of essential (and loud) gear.
There are plenty of positives to come from
the show, as Phil Nixon of
Bass Gear
is quick to
reinforce. “Business has been very good, the show
is better than it's ever been,” he tells us. “A lot of
sales come after the show, but this is the beginning
of the dialogue, although we've had to send out for
reinforcements of everything! We think 80 percent
of players at the show are happy to walk away with
something that's a bit of a treat, but doesn't make
them feel too guilty.”
The
Rotosound
stand is swamped on Saturday
afternoon with signings from Mark King, Doug
Wimbish and Billy Sheehan creating huge queues
of fans eager to meet their heroes. RS's Jason How
explains, “The whole weekend has been really great,
with a huge turnout. The numbers are up - we were
swamped with our marathon signing fest. There's
been a lot of interest in the new packaging, which
offers less weight and waste, and lots of people have
asked for flatwounds and the more esoteric stuff.”
Dan Gooday of
Ashdown
is very pleased by the
player reaction to their new products, “It's been
fantastic and a great opportunity to catch up with
the players and the industry generally,” he says. “The
EVO-IV amp, with its first new incarnation in nine
years, the B-Social and the Retroglide amp have all
LONDONB
BILLY SHEEHAN
How important do you think these events are for the bass playing community?
They're important for musicians in general to network and hang out and to say
hello to people. I get to see people who come out to see my shows and hang out
and have a beer with folks. For me personally, it's a chance to put my thumb
on the pulse of what's going on out there and see what people think, what they
have to say and what they're into and what they're not. I really love a chance to
hang out with the people that listen to some of the stuff I'm doing and come to
the shows - and then I get to see other players that I never get to see, because
we're always on tour.
The reaction in the room to your masterclass was fantastic.
I'm just glad people enjoyed it. The purpose of the masterclass is to help my
fellow musicians, not to show off fancy licks - that's what your records and
your shows are for. I talked to a bunch of people afterwards out on the floor
and they seemed to get something positive from it, and if that's the case then
I'm very happy about it.
W hat is it about Yamaha basses that works so well for you?
The quality control with anything Yamaha written on it is spectacular. The
combination of a real artisan and the ability of a corporation with a lot of
money to put quality control in, that is second to none, creates an instrument
that, in my humble opinion, is as good as it gets. There's a spirit to it. I've been
with them now since 1984.
Tell us about the rig you use these days.
I've been using Hartke for four or five years now, maybe more. I've got a new
EBS pedal, which has a clean, untouched channel and a distortion channel that
mix together, so you never lose your really low-end bass tone - you just ghost
in how much distortion you want as an effect. I'm using a Jim Dunlop MXR
compressor, but I just got one of the Robert Keeley pro compressors and it is a
work of art. The electronics in it are spectacular, so I may be phasing that into
my setup.
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