That time of year

It’s that time of year at the day gig. Finally we’ve reached the end of the academic year! After one of the busiest periods in the academic calendar we can finally put our collective feet up………or not. This week as well as undergoing continued professional development (training stuffs) and preparation for the forthcoming academic year I have four gigs, a couple of rehearsals and a few tracks to record. Putting my feet up will have to wait. Thankfully its all fun, I’m very grateful for these opportunities.

On Saturday I’m playing the Cornbury Festival with Miss 600 (the band are a stunning group of musicians with scary chops. No pressure!). It looks to be an amazing line up. Gutted I won’t get to see Wilko Johnson as I have another gig 2.5 hours away that evening. Its the second time I’ve missed getting to see this legendary player.

cornbury-final-lineup

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Leicester College Student Gig 14th March

The students from my teaching gig at Leicester College music and sound department are putting on a gig at the Music Cafe on the 14th of March 2013. This is a great opportunity for learners to get a hands on experience of not only playing a live event, but also what it takes to run a successful night. Students will be performing, promoting, stage managing and running the live sound as part of this enrichment experience. Its shaping up to be great night. Doors at 6:30pm and Free entry!
LEC 140313 poster

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March 11, 2013 · 12:49 pm

Dave Marks: Reality Check – Stuck in a rut

Dave Marks (@Davemarks1 on Twitter) is an amazing London based Northern Irish bass player with a massive CV impressive musical and technical ability. His drive and focus coupled with his natural ability has seen him play some stunning music with formidable musicians. I have just been reminded of his reality check series of videos on YouTube which echo a series of lectures I have recently given. Here is Dave’s video let me know what you think.

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Miss 600 make Radio 2 playlist

Just heard that Miss 600 along with Mumford & Sons and Bruno Mars have made the BBC Radio 2 playlist for next week! Exciting news indeed! Its a big year ahead for Miss 600.

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The Aristocrats – Bad Asteroid UK

A friend has just sent me the link to this excellent video by The Aristocrats (ft. Guthrie Govan, Marco Minneman & Bryan Beller) which was filmed at one of the best gigs I saw last year. If you haven’t heard of them The Aristocrats are simply amazing. I’m not normally a fan of guitar led instrumental music, if fact I would go as far as to say I normally avoid it. But The Aristocrats are in another league, they play real music! You can check to their music here.

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Mark Bass Alain Caron 121 lite

A few months ago I switched to using a Mark Bass Alain Caron 121 lite combo. This amp replaced my usual gigging rig of a 500W head coupled to two 1 x 12 cabs. I still have bigger amps, however this tiny combo is now my main go to gigging and teaching bass rig. Gigging with smaller gear has been a bit of a revelation to say the least. This diminutive combo weighs 39 lbs which is 40% of the weight of my old setup! It’s light weight and huge sound coupled to its versatility has enabled me to walk into gigs with the amp in one hand and two bases over my shoulder (in a double gig bag) and a kit bag in my other hand. This has facilitated me booking more than one gig in an evening, which previously was a rare activity and now has become more frequent (and as such more lucrative). It’s a hassle free setup with a great sound. So far I’ve done about 60 gigs over the last few months, I’ll post a more in-depth review shortly. In the meantime here is a great video from Alain Caron himself to explain the design intention of the amp as well as some of its more cutting edge features.

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New Foul Body Autopsy EP

FBA Album cover

At the tail end of last year the one man technical death metal machine Foul Body Autopsy (or Tom as I know him) invited me into the studio to track some bass for his forth coming release on UKEM Records. This is the first time FBA have used a real rhythm section to support Tom’s already strong guitar playing.

So with some trepidation and charts in hand I headed down to SOAN studios in Nottingham . The drums and guitars were already tracked when I added by bass parts. Its a challenge in extreme technical/death metal to produce a solid bass part that supports and highlights the guitars. The original track was a shade over 10 minutes long and is a technical tour de force as well as an endurance test to play consistently.

From a geeky bass point of view (and this is very geeky) I tracked my bass on a down tuned Sadowsky vintage P bass wearing stainless roundwounds in passive mode through an Aguilar DB680 valve pre. This was then sent through an API channel and reamped via a Sansamp bass driver for some added grit. Very Geeky.

After the tracking I headed off to a Miss 600 gig in Derbyshire, this required a very different headspace to say the least.

Any way the Foul Body Autopsy EP came the other week and is available for immediate download in practically any format from Bandcamp and CD’s/T-shirts from UKEM records website.

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