The bass guitar show was my first ‘official’ outing for Markbass – Having been using the Markaudio PA gear for about 3 years (those incredible tiny speakers you’ve seen us use on UK house concerts? Mark Audio), I’ve just got a pair of unbelievable combos from Markbass – the Combo 121 Lites, designed in conjunction with Alain Caron.
So my masterclass on Sunday morning at the bass show was the first time I’d had to really turn them up and see what they can do (they sounded amazing at home, but what about in a gig situation? And yeah, they sounded remarkable. Loud, clear, and able to deal with whatever craziness I threw at them. Markbass have a new UK distributor, who were lovely, friendly, helpful clever people. Look out for more Markbass-related fun in the near future…
The rest of the bass show was fabulous – it’s WAY bigger than London really has any right to be hosting. Partly, I guess, it’s due to the 25+ years of groundwork that the Bass Centre did in establishing bass as an instrument to be proud of – they took the interest in bass generated by Mark King’s rise to superstardom in the mid 80s and opened a shop, organised events and generally built a sense that exciting things were happening on the instrument. Fast forward a quarter of a century and we have a show with (I think) close to a thousand people at it, featuring performances and masterclasses by some world class musicians.
I caught masterclasses by Jon Thorne, Yolanda Charles and Doug Wimbish, all of whom were really informative and inspiring. I have quotes from all three stuck in my head that will make their way into how I make music. Doug’s masterclass was particularly fun as half way through a tune he wandered over and put his bass round my neck – ‘your turn’! It was a lot of fun, and Dave Marks who was on ‘actual bass’ for that tune, shifted the feel beautifully and we made a good noise for a while, before I handed the bass back to Doug and he passed it onto Yolanda, who as well as being one of my favouritest people in the world is one of the most brilliant bassists I’ve ever come across. I’m glad I went first, that’s all I’ll say
It was great to catch up with so many old friends – the show was littered with the great and the good of the world of bass – Paul Turner, Dave Swift, TM Stevens, Svetlana Vassileva, Dave Marks, Paul Lancaster, John Currie, alongside bass gear luminaries such as John East, Martin Peterson, Paul Sips, Sheldon Dingwall, Dave Boonshoft and Dave Avenius from Aguillar, Barry Moorhouse from the Bass Centre, Hugh Manson and Stewart Spector.
Shows like this remind me just how many bassists I’ve taught over the years – so many former students of mine now off doing all kinds of amazing things. I was grinning all weekend at their stories.
So anyway, here are three videos, taken by the lovely Dave Marks, at my masterclass on Sunday. The first is an explanation of my processing/looping set-up, and the other two are performance. Enjoy!
A tour round the toys:
Cover of Hello:
Small Marvels, from “11 Reasons Why 3 Is Greater Than Everything”: