Basschat at the London Bass Guitar Show 2014

It’s back! The most widely anticipated bass-related UK event of the year again took over the Olympia Conference Centre on the first weekend of March 2014, and again Basschat was there, sharing a stand with high-end bass equipment retailer Bass Gear. I set up home – with our brand new BC backdrop, as well as our usual posters and my long-serving music stand – to the left of the booth, in a reasonably quiet corner.

This year I hadn’t needed to assemble any lanyards, as I had some left to give away from last year. This time we had a brand new, large vinyl backdrop in addition to our usual small posters, and an extra prop for our photos: a white BC baseball cap which TheGreek had had made for the occasion.

Since I’m car-less as always, I carried all the BC bits and pieces to the Conference Centre by bus on the Friday, with a little ingenuity and the help of a bass gigbag for the posters’ cardboard tube.

LBGS Load

That was two bus trips’ worth.

In case you’re curious to see what an exhibition looks like “before”, this is it, and it implies a lot of hard work.

LBGS the day before

That was the view from Bass Gear’s stand.

I was going to have visiting BCers wear the white cap while I took their photo at our corner, and most were happy to oblige. I kicked off the proceedings a few days before the show, with our official BC backdrop+cap photo I took at home.

Bluejay

Bluejay in faux-glamorous mode

Anyway, when I got to the conference Centre at 10am on the Saturday, our shared Bass Gear/Basschat stand looked like this.

Bass Gear and BC Corner

Our shared Bass Gear/Basschat stand

And the BC corner had a secret – the entrance to the storage area at the back, on the left of the big Basschat backdrop. Handy for us and several other exhibitors and stars, and a good excuse to say hi to those using it.

The BC Corner

The BC Corner

The Masterclasses

While I spent most of the show’s weekend at the BC corner or walking around saying hi to other exhibitors and passing Basschatters, and taking photos of all and sundry, I did manage to catch two masterclasses by star bassists who are important to me: one of my metal idols, Frank Bello of Anthrax, and Roger Glover of Deep Purple.
(In fact, I also attempted to go and see Steve Lawson’s show at the Auditorium, but that soon ended in failure when, just after the show had begun, I first received and ignored a text, then received and ignored a call, then listened to my voicemail, had to give in to technology and got out of the auditorium to call the person back. Heh… next time.)

Frank Bello

Frank Bello is inspiring both when talking and when playing bass.

Frank Bello

Yes!!!!! \m/ \m/

Roger Glover

Roger Glover is incredibly modest and incredibly awesome.

Roger Glover and Joel McIver

Roger with Bass Guitar Magazine’s own Joel McIver

Steve Lawson

Steve Lawson mastering special effects and playing along to them

What particularly struck me is the genuine, absolutely infectious enthusiasm these stars have for bass playing and making music, and the infinitely powerful inspiration and motivation they can be for us. If you thought that playing music and touring and talking to fans is to them just a normal job, full of drudgery and déjà vu, well, you couldn’t be more wrong. And thank God for that.

The visitors to the BC Corner

EZBass

EZBass talking to Kiwi

Iamtheelvy

Iamtheelvy

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Lozz & OBBM

Lozz196 & OBBM

Marcin

Such

Merton

Merton

NickD

NickD

Ped

Ped

Rootmaster

Rootmaster

TheGreek

TheGreek

Jeanmarienoe

Jeanmarienoe

Stuart

Fellow leftie Stuart

Group with Bluejay

L-R Doctor of the Bass, Kiwi, Anna, Bluejay, TomKent

Jonnyboy Rotten

Jonnyboy Rotten

Acebassmusic

Acebassmusic

Now for the exhibitors! Please note: I made a point of taking as many photos as possible on Saturday and Sunday morning before the throngs arrived, so I could at least attempt to show the stands properly.
The LBGS was much better attended than it appears from most of the stand shots. In fact, most of the time it was like this:

General View (1)

The entrance hall

General View (2)

The main hall

OK, then, here they are, in alphabetical order.

The Exhibitors

Aguilar – http://www.aguilaramp.com/

Aguilar

Aguilar

Anaconda Basses – http://www.anacondabasses.co.uk/

Anaconda Basses

Anaconda Basses – Andrew Taylor-Cummings ready to record the guests at his stand

Anaconda Basses

Anaconda Basses – Andrew welcomes urb at his stand

Andy Baxter Bass – http://www.andybaxterbass.com/

Andy Baxter Bass

Andy Baxter Bass

Andy Baxter Bass

Andy Baxter Bass

Andy Baxter Bass

Andy Baxter Bass – sooo GAS-inducing it was unreal.

Barnes & Mullins – http://www.bandm.co.uk/

Barnes&Mullins

Höfner at the Barnes & Mullins stand

Barnes&Mullins

Höfner at the Barnes & Mullins stand – Lefty spotted!

Barnes&Mullins

Spector at the Barnes&Mullins stand. Not a lefty to be found among so many basses, though

Barnes&Mullins

Spector at the Barnes&Mullins stand

The Bass Centre – http://www.basscentre.com/

Bass Centre

The Bass Centre – lefty model on the right-hand side

Bass Centre

The Bass Centre – oooooo!!

Bass Centre

The Bass Centre

Bass Direct – http://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/Home.html

Bass Direct

Bass Direct

Bass Direct

Bass Direct – Definitely impossible not to notice that Dingwall…

Bass Direct

Bass Direct – the Vigier corner that made Ped a happy man 🙂

Bass Direct

Bass Direct – I don’t know who that axe bass was made for, but I now want a lefty one for myself!

Bass Direct

Bass Direct – Wouldn’t mind that almost-edible multi-coloured Sandberg either…

Bass Direct

Sheldon Dingwall with Basschat’s Grand Wazoo at the Bass Direct stand

Bass Gear – http://www.bassgear.co.uk/

Bass Gear

Bass Gear’s stand was very well attended from the start, even without Basschat’s help.

Bass Gear

Bass Gear’s Ritter corner

Bass Gear

Bass Gear’s Fodera team! Joey on the left, Jason on the right. Who is the lucky guy in the middle?

Bassline Publishing – https://www.basslinepublishing.com/

Bassline Publishing

Bassline Publishing

Bass Guitar Magazine – http://www.bassguitarmagazine.com/

BGM

Bass Guitar Magazine’s stand in the entrance hall

BIMM – http://www.bimm.co.uk/

BIMM

BIMM

Cort – http://www.cortguitars.com/uk/

Cort

The guys at Cort

Cort

Basschat’s own Dood pays a visit

D’Addario – http://www.facebook.com/daddariouk and http://www.daddario.com/

D'Addario

D’Addario, makers of my fave flats

East/ACG – http://www.east-uk.com/ and http://www.acguitars.co.uk/acg_admin/wordpress/

East/AGC

The eminently GASsable East/ACG shared stand and BCer Mcruiz67 with John East

East/AGC

East/AGC

Eden Electronics – http://www.eden-electronics.com/

Eden

Eden Electronics

Elixir – http://www.elixirstrings.co.uk/

Elixir

Chloe Treacher and Kat Bax at the Elixir stand

Elixir

Andy Palmer and Dood at the Elixir stand

Elixir

Chris Attwell and Carl Dawkins at the Elixir stand

Elixir

Yolanda Charles at the Elixir stand

Eve Guitars – http://www.eveguitars.co.uk/

Eve Guitars

OMG – Eve Guitars!

Eve Guitars

Jim and Vic visit Eve Guitars

FM Cables – http://www.fmcables.com/

FM Cables

FM Cables, one of the sponsors of our BCBass Relay, were so busy from the start that this is the best photo I could get.

Gallien-Krueger – http://www.gallien-krueger.com/ and http://www.ampeg.com/

Gallien Krueger/Ampeg

Gallien-Krueger/Ampeg

GB Guitars – http://www.gbguitars.co.uk/

GB Guitars

GB Guitars

Hartke – http://www.samsontech.com/hartke/

Hartke

Hartke were our closest neighbours!

Harke

With Dood again

The Custom IEM Company – http://www.custom-inearmonitors.co.uk/

IEM

The Custom IEM Company had chosen the quiet area by the auditorium and masterclasses entrances to display their awesome gear.

MSL Professional/MarkBass – http://www.markbass.it/

MarkBass

Unmistakable MarkBass

MarkBass

MarkBass stand complete with GASsing visitors!

Maruszczyk Instruments – http://www.public-peace.de/

Maruszczyk

Maruszczyk Instruments had no stand to speak of, but had visitors gasping at the craftmanship and sound of their instruments.

Maruszczyk

Maruszczyk Instruments – Both I and my bank manager are so lucky that that acoustic was a righty…

The Musicians’ Union – http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/

MU

The Musicians’ Union’s stand in the entrance hall

Ortega – http://ortegaguitars.com/en/

Ortega

Ortega

Ortega

Ortega

Ortega

Ortega – they also had a lefty model

Promenade Music – http://www.promenademusic.co.uk/

Promenade Music

Promenade Music, and Dave Swift 😉

Promenade Music

Promenade Music – more OMG…

Promenade Music

Promenade Music – lefty spotted!

Promenade Music

Promenade Music – another lefty, yay!

Rikkers – http://www.rikkersgitaarbouw.nl/

Rikkers

Gorgeous Rikkers

SiMs-Enfield Guitars – http://www.enfieldguitars.com/

SiMs/Enfield Guitars

The shared SiMs-Enfield Guitars stand, and BC’s own Doctor of the Bass demonstrating the impressive range of choices offered by SiMs pickups.

SiMs/Enfield Guitars

Enfield Guitars – OMG this is so disco it hurts, and I now want a lefty one for myself!

Strings&Things – http://www.stringsandthings.co.uk/

Strings&Things

The Strings&Things stand was in the entrance hall, as always

Strings&Things

Strings&Things – one of their many lefty models. Well done guys!

Strings&Things

Strings&Things – more choice of lefties too

Strings&Things
Strings&Things – another lefty!
Strings&Things

Strings&Things – Yes, that awesome double bass is back!

Strings&Things

Strings&Things – and so are the colourful DR strings.

TC Electronic – http://www.tcelectronic.com/

TC Electronic

The rounded, acoustically-optimised TC Electronic stand

Vanderkley/Ellio Martina – http://www.vanderkleyamp.nl/home/ and http://www.elliomartina.com/ and http://www.bassmute.com/

Vanderkley/Ellio Martina

The awesome Mark Vanderkley and Ellio Martina

Warwick – http://www.warwickbass.com/en/Home.html

Warwick

My all-time fave bass makers, Warwick, had a smaller stand this year, but packed a lot in it. I started GASsing early on Saturday morning and haven’t stopped yet…

Warwick

Warwick – the only lefty there was this Streamer. Better than last year, though, when they had no lefties at all on display.

Warwick

Warwick Infinity – I’m speechless and in lust.

Warwick

Warwick Starbass!

Warwick

Warwick GAS line

Warwick

Warwick amp/Streamer GAS point

Westside Distribution – http://www.westsidedistribution.com/

Westside Distribution

Dunlop and Mesa Engineering at Westside Distribution

Westside Distribution

Westside Distribution’s stand was very metal friendly! \m/

Westside Distribution

Westside Distribution – Dunlop/Mesa Engineering

In conclusion

There has been a long discussion, on the dedicated thread in the Basschat Events subforum, about the reduced number of exhibitors at this year’s show, the absence of some of the big names, and the scarcity of cheaper gear and accessories resellers. Another criticism has been about the almost constant, at times intolerable, noise from folks trying out amps and basses, and mostly insisting on doing so through horridly cacophonic slapping.

The absence of certain manufactureres could have been due to the British Guitar Show happening in Birmingham on exactly the same weekend, as well as probably to the tail end of the global financial crisis making the cost of getting a stand at the LBGS prohibitive or simply not good value for money. The slapfest, though, is another matter. Quite how you can hear the real tone of a bass or amp by hitting the living daylights out of it in a fast, percussive manner is beyond most sensible bass players. The inconvenience to both visitors and exhibitors wasn’t relieved by the apparent lack of enforcement of the 15 minutes noise to 45 minutes silence rule.

So, LBGS organisers, next time please 1. don’t price the show out of existence, and 2. make sure to actively support exhibitors in stopping players who flout the silence rules and ruin the experience for us all. Having bought a ticket is no justification for punters being selfish and creating problems for others.

Having said all that, I absolutely loved being at the show for the whole 8-hour duration on both days, I didn’t have to wear my earplugs despite being tempted to put them in a couple of times, and would much rather go with the LBGS as it is at present than have to do without a LBGS altogether.

For me, it was another awesome, epic weekend. Roll on the London Bass Guitar Show 2015!

LBGS Tickets

http://basschat.co.uk/

Additional photos of Basschatters at the LBGS can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluejay_my_photos/13113722125/in/set-72157642269750404/

Additional photos of stands and guests can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluejay_my_photos/sets/72157642582270085/

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6 thoughts on “Basschat at the London Bass Guitar Show 2014

  1. Thanks for this Sylvia, some great photos which are already bringing back memories. Hopefully next year I won’t be as bug-ridden and I’ll be able to socialise a bit more – thought I managed to get through the event without being photographed but you somehow managed to catch me unawares. Also nice to see the BC baseball cap making an appearance in some of the photos. Thinking about it since, it might have been nice for it to acquire some celebrity autographs – there’s always next year I suppose.

    • Thanks Mick! I know you were under the weather, but i thought that pic of you was nice, so I published it 🙂
      Regarding autographs, if we want to go looking for the star players (all of them were walking normally among the crowd) I’ll need to plan special trips around the hall or have “chasing” times after they finish their masterclasses. This year I hadn’t worked all the into the BC schedule. Next year we’ll work to a different plan 🙂

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