Basschat Herts Bash 2013

On Saturday 1st June 2013 the warm weather had just arrived, finally, when many Basschatters from Hertfordshire and London gathered at Breaks Manor Youth Centre at Hatfield for our first, highly anticipated, Mid-Herts/North London bass bash.

Breaks Manor

As well as using the small reception area to meet up in person, have breakfast and chat, we used for our gear and music activities the three main rooms available in the centre – the smaller hall near the entrance, the large hall to the right after the corridor, and the auditorium. Our main gathering was held in the large hall, which was filling up with basses and rigs even as the very first visitors were arriving early.

Bass parade_01 Bass parade_02

The second photo shows The Only Left-Handed Bass At The Bash – mine, in case anyone was wondering – sitting in Happy Jack’s rack. Despite being in far more refined and expensive company on that rack,  the Höfner violin attracted quite a lot of attention from several fellow Basschatters – regardless of them all being right-handed. After all, the body of that bass is symmetrical, so trying it out upside down is no big problem, if you’re not bothered by the strings being all funny!

Happy Jack
B-Bass with Jack

Lozz196
B-Bass with Lozz

Sibob
B-Bass with Sibob

In the meantime, the hall was being populated with more and more people, basses and rigs, and Happy Jack’s white Mike Lull was in great demand.

General view_01 General view_02 Group at Jack's rig Fat Rich

Every corner of the room was soon a beehive of socialising and music activity.

Mick and group Other side of the room Shelley and Gary

Below are some of the forum regulars and their gorgeous basses. Feel free to drool and gas to your heart’s content.

Happy Jack and Clarky admiring the latter’s vintage fretless P basses…
Clarky, Jack and fretless P Clarky with f-hole fretless P Jack with f-hole fretless P

… while Seashell sticks to her own, lovely white P
Shelley

And then we had the Status corner…

Happy Jack’s Vintage Artist Series
Clarky with Status Vintage Artist

And his Streamline 5, played here by Ratman (Alex)
Status Streamline 5

There was also the alternative to buying a mass-produced bass or even getting one made especially for you – a beautiful, highly personalised instrument, lovingly built by owner Twigman from Warmoth parts.

Warmoth bass

Meanwhile, in the smaller room, Molan (Barrie) from Bass Gear had set up another hugely gas-inducing rig – Aguilar Tonehammer 500 with pedal rack comprising Tonehammer, Octamizer, Filter Twin and TLC compressor on Bergantino CN112s – surrounded by equally tempting basses: below left, some mouth-watering Foderas. He also had a complete series of Fodera strings for all scale lengths (not pictured).

Bass Gear room_01 Bass Gear room_02

Barrie adjusts the rig for the usual suspects to have a go.
Barrie with Aguilar Tonehammer and Bergantino Jack and Clarky with Bass Gear

It was now time to move to the auditorium for Sibob’s effects masterclass, followed by a bit of jamming.

The auditorium is vast and very well equipped, light- and sound-wise
The Auditorium_01 The Auditorium_02

Sibob had us all in awe at the array of sounds and effects coming from his pedals – although I cannot have been the only one there who, on first hearing him mention using an Organizer, thought he was talking about some sort of electronic diary that had somehow found its way on to his pedalboard… right? 😀

Sibob on stage Sibob's pedalboard

This is more or less what it sounded like. Apologies for the poor audio quality – the video was taken with my camera and the sound is a bit distorted:

Then came the time to jam. One drummer, lots of bassists, no guitars in the way!

Jam_01

Here Xilddx (Nige) effortlessly doubles on drums.
Jam_02

And then came the time to listen to none other than jazz bassist extraordinaire Laurence Cottle, invited by organisers Mick (The Greek) and Lozz to tell us about himself, his bass-playing experience across musical genres with many, often totally different bands, and his favourite music, as well as play a few improvised pieces for us.

Laurence Cottle talking

Laurence Cottle

Finally, we all gathered in the reception area for the raffle.

Two tables covered with prizes kindly donated by Basschat members.
Raffle_01 Raffle_02

Fellow photographer Louise picked the winning tickets, and everybody went home with at least one prize.
Raffle_03

I’m sure I can speak for most other Basschatters who attended the bash and say that it was an absolutely awesome afternoon. We met up with old friends and made new ones we had only talked to online, had fun, tried out each other’s gear, learned new things and spent a few hours being totally immersed in our favourite occupation – music.

So when’s the next Herts bass bash, guys? 😀
http://basschat.co.uk/
http://www.bassgear.co.uk/
http://www.breaksmanor.org/index.html

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