Sunday, 29 September 2013

Welcome to the Portaflex

Ampeg Portaflex 

I tried one of these on my visit to the Sam Ash Bass Lounge in NYC and instantly fell in love with it. 

You would be easily forgiven for thinking these cabinets, with the flip top to reveal the amp on the other side of the lid, are a smart new innovation. However, these are based on the original B-15 Ampeg Portaflex from 1962. These amps are the stuff of legends for recorded bass, James Jamerson and Chuck Rainey are just two names to have used this in the studio. Since Ampeg stopped their production in 1971 they have become much sort after with a price tag to match. In 2011 Ampeg produced a limited run in their Heritage series, complete with an all valve head as per the original. Along with more affordable 1x15, 2x10, 350 & 500 watt configurations the Portaflex looks here to stay. The tone of these units is that sweet bass classic Ampeg tone, however armed with a very capable and adjustable tweeter modern brighter tones are just a short dial away. 

I loved it so much, I bought one!

Ultimate Tone! Ampeg & Hofner.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

See his POG nose face......

I was originally looking for a synth pedal and was trying out one from Electro-Harmonix, I was scratching my head, not sure if it was something that would earn its keep* when I was asked if I would like to try something different. Out came the POG2 and I instantly fell in love with it. While it was more expensive, it is the most amazing octave pedal I've ever heard, and with the preset function you can go from funky moog to church organ at the click of a switch. And no, that wasn't typo, I mean church organ. Take a quick search on You Tube and you'll see what I mean.

*= Everything from guitars, amps to leads has to financially justify its existence, harsh I know but that's the reality of running your own business . 

Bass Shopping In The USA


What was once Manny's at 48th St became Sam Ash a few years ago. It has now moved from the original site to a brand spanking new shop on 34th Street. What ever your choice of instrument there is a huge selection here along with staff who really know their stuff. So next time you are in NYC pop along, who knows, you may bump into Larry Hartke!

And yes, I've got some new gear! More news on that soon.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


So tonight we are casually walking in Brooklyn Bridge Park between the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridge. We hear some shouting, look round and there is a guy brandishing a gun while two cops are telling him to put it down with their own weapons trained on him. He carries on waving it around and I'm thinking they are just going to take this guy out. Finally he puts the gun on the ground and they pile on him, then I hear someone shout "cut!" At which point I notice the camera crew nearby. 
We always seem to see some filming when we are in NYC, usually TV or a commercial although we did see the last Batman movie being filmed a few years ago. Today's will certainly be the most memorable though.     

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Lovedays reunite

Creatively, it's been a strange year for me.  After some soul searching and an injection of reality, I regretfully gave up Galileo 7 bass duties last year in the main to concentrate on Billy Wears Dresses, it would seem however that I was surplus to requirements in that department!  

This however has given me the impetus to write for myself and in the near future, I'm hoping to get a new band on the road.
For a snippet of these, have a listen at 

Whilst I've still been busy earning a crust from music, there really is no comparison to getting on stage with original material. So it's with great pleasure that this Thursday 25th of July, The Lovedays reunite at The Alleycat Club, Denmark St. in London.  I've had the pleasure of working with some amazing musicians over the years, but this combo is a truly unique experience, and I say that as a fan and a member. Let me explain...

I first saw Ben Jones perform solo in 2007 at a jam night, I was immediately captivated and was surprised he didn't have a band at the time. It wasn't until the following year that I saw The Lovedays for the first time and instantly became fan, playing the debut album to death as soon as it arrived. In early 2009 I got a phone call from Ben asking me if I could dep at a gig, I remember it well as I was in Orlando at the time, fortunately it was the day I arrived back in England. I landed at 7am, then spent the afternoon learning the songs and with no rehearsal did the gig. I must have got something right as the next day Ben & Sam asked me to join. 

So once again we the hit the boards and play as if our lives depended on it. I can't wait.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

This is Rumour Control.....

The time has come to announce my departure from Billy Wears Dresses. I want to wish Nick & Martin all the best for the future album.
I've really enjoyed my time with Billy, particularly in the early days when we created, performed and recorded as a band.
For me those three things are the essence of being in a band. Those Derek Don't Deliver sessions were fun and yielded some great performances. I wish we could have got back to that but it's not to be.

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years.