So, saturday and we’re onto the EuroBassDay – Verona is a city I’ve visited a few times before, and the organiser of the Bass Day, Giambattista Zerpalloni is an old friend. I get to the venue, and run into lots of Italian friends from prevous visits, and Oteil Burbridge, who I’ve met a few times at NAMM shows, and always got on very well with.
I check in at the hotel (which is miles away from the venue, but nice), and then go back and get ready to play. First up is a half hour Looperlative demo in the main concert hall (the venue is the Palazzio Della Grande Guarda, right in the main square in Verona – a stunning location for a Bass Day!) which goes very well. the LP1 once again behaves itself, proving that it’s fixed, and the response is v. positive.
After that, it’s time to just relax. I head off out to get away from the noise of bass, run into Oteil and his lovely wife at a restaurant in the square, and have dinner with them. A hugely enjoyable meal that set the tone for the rest of the weekend – playing a bit of bass punctuated by hours and hours of hanging out with totally wonderful people.
The rest of the american contingent are Epifani endorsers – Oteil, Andrew Gauche (gospel bass legend), Lincoln Goines (stunning Latin groovemeister and lovely fretless player), Dominique DiPiazza (French solo bassist, possessed of the most terrifying flamenco skillz I’ve ever seen on bass), Nic Epifani and Joey Lauricella from Epifani and Fodera. It’d be tough to find more enjoyable company at a bass day. Hours and hours of hanging out, chatting, joking, and occasionally playing. We get back to the hotel at past 2am, and crash.
Day two of bass day, and I’m on earlier – 2.15 – and it’s a 45 minute set. Oteil agrees to come and play a duet, and in the middle of a gig that also features Grace And Gratitude, MMFSOG, Nobody Wins, Scott Peck, Deeper Still and What A Wonderful World, we do an extended improv thing that just blew my mind. Really really lovely RecycleMusic at a bass day. Totally delicious (I really want to get hold of the video of it!)
After that it’s escape time again, and this time, Oteil’s wife Barri and I head out shopping, me being the honourary girl of the group, so deemed acceptable as shoe and handbag shopping partner. I also prove to be an expert haggler and berry gets get a 45€ bag for €15.
Out for dinner with the whole Epifani crowd again for more fun and japes, and back for the final gig, which goes on far too long, features a few stunning moments (musical hero of the weekend is a harmonica player living in Holland called Tollak who really does have a musical midas touch), and ends with a fairly loose and messy 8-bass cover of Big Bottom, all of us taking solos. Dominique wisely hides and sits this one out. Fun, but hardly a stunning musical finale to the weekend.
Bass Days are a weird thing – on the one hand, there are occasional moments of great music, and some fantastic people (even moreso at this one than usual), but there’s also an awful lot of slapping and tapping and overplaying and noisy nastiness. On balance, I really enjoy it, but I could happily go another year without hearing anymore slapped or tapped demi-semi-quavers.
Another late night, and we’re up to now, sat in my hotel on Monday morning, about to go and spend the day in Verona with Oteil and Barri. Yay for the touring life!by