Recent gig goers may have noticed some of us toting new instruments.In the case of Arty it’s a new Fender Mustang bass in ‘olympic white’. This ‘short scale’ instrument was an entirely practical addition to the stable.
The sheer length of the neck on a standard bass, linked with Stan’s relatively diminutive stature, has always dictated that the band set up with the bass on stage left just to avoid the potential for Stan to get brained by a wayward headstock when things get lively on stage. However, in many smaller venues space is so tight on stage (think Katie’s in Stourbridge) that often Arty ends up playing with a standard bass pointing at the ceiling Bill Wyman style. The Mustang, another Fender classic (ironically often favoured by Wyman when he was with the Stones), is a good three inches shorter than Arty’s Rickenbacker allowing a lot more space.
Nick still has his Hammond and Piano combination but has acquired a Hammond XK-Pro system which is an old school \’dual manual\’ (two keyboards) system and has mated this with the original rotating Leslie 145 speaker system for the most authentic of sounds.
For a while now Sam has been regularly busting strings on the Telecaster. A trip to the luthiers seemed to improve the situation but too often he still had to reach for the beat-up old pawn shop Strat mid gig. The addition of new instrument was long overdue, and so it was that a trip was planned with the view of securing the perfect partner for the Tele.
The absolute intention was that this replacement would be another from the Fender range, but by the same token Sam determined to try out every possible replacement and a long day was spent surrounded by every conceivable model of guitar and a mega six string shoot-out followed. Early fallers in this race to be the next ‘go to guitar’ included Rickenbackers, Gretches and number of different Fender models including a rather gorgeous Jazz Master. Then from nowhere emerged a front runner from the Gibson stable.
The ES is one of the most familiar styles of guitar favoured by artists as diverse as BB King and Noel Gallagher. The ES in this case was a Custom Shop 335 featuring unusual P90 single pole coils that give this particular guitar with a superbly retro tone.
Try-as-he-might Sam couldn’t find a Strat that came close to the exotic Gibson for the tone he was looking fort and ultimately a deal was done that has made the ES the guitar you’re most likely to hear at future Quik Beats gigs.