Basschat Herts Bash 2014

After its success in 2013, the highly anticipated Herts Bass Bash returned to Hatfield on a warm Sunday in early July 2014, again thanks to organisers The Greek (Mick), Lozz196 (Laurence) and Bassface2K10 (Chris). Despite clashing with the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Wimbledon Men’s final, the bash was well attended. We would be treated to a talk about Modes by Doctor of the Bass and a Precision bass blind test carried out by Lozz, and we would have access to Sibob’s vast array – and infinite knowledge – of effect pedals, there for us to try or ask about.

The Main Hall

Early birds setting up in the main hall

Early birds setting up in the main hall

 

Ready for the P-bass test

Two beauties ready for the P-bass test

Grand Wazoo's Dingwalls

Grand Wazoo’s Dingwalls

Rigs in the main hall 01

Rigs in the main hall – Stephenyork’s Alpher

Rigs in the main hall 02

Rigs in the main hall – plus lots of pedals!

Rigs in the main hall 03

Rigs in the main hall – Singray5’s proggy-traddy stuff 🙂

Stingray5 has a 6 too

Stingray5 has a 6 too…

Stingray5

…. as well as – er – a Stingray5.

Rigs in the main hall 04

Rigs in the main hall

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The Middle Hall

basses-in-the-middle-hall

The Greek’s two basses on the left, Bluejay’s wrong-way-round Warwick and Happy Jack’s assortment of quirky stuff in the middle

Mick The Greek's beauties

Closer view of The Greek’s Ritter and ACG

back-of-the-ritter's headstock

The back of the Ritter’s headstock reveals the original owner – a BCer as opposed to THAT Pete Townsend

doctor-of-the-bass-and-mick the Greek

Doctor of the Bass tries the Ritter

grand wazoo

Grand Wazoo and his camera

grangur with bluejay's warwick

Grangur (a lefty who plays righty) tries playing bass the “correct” way round for once!

group-in-middle-hall-01

Now it’s the ACG’s turn

group-in-middle-hall-02

Yup, it looks and sounds good…

group-in-middle-hall-03

Stingray5, Happy Jack and Mrs Grangur

happy jack and mick the greek with the ritter

The Ritter goes around again

happy-jack-with-micks-ritter

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mick-and-peter

… and here it’s with Peter, Doctor of the Bass’s student and Modes talk assistant

happy-jack-with-fender-mustang

Happy Jack with a Fender Mustang…

happy-jack-with-micks-acg

… and with the ACG

jazzneck-with-candy-apple-fender

Jazzneck with the Candy Apple Fender

jazzneck-with-happy-jacks-bass-uke

… and with Happy Jack’s bass ukulele

 lefties-in-the-middle-hall

It’s now Seashell’s turn on the Corvette (she too is a lefty who plays righty). Some of you guys should do a Michael Angelo Batio and play a two-necked bass or something! 😀

mick-and-his-acg

The ACG is back with its owner

mr & mrs grangur with seashell

Meanwhile, Grangur has switched to Happy Jack’s righty KKBabyBass, while Seashell seems to like playing lefty

seashell-with-happy-jacks-bass-uke

Nah, the righty bass uke is more fun, after all.

seashell-happy-jack-jazzneck

seashell-with-happy-jacks-kkbabybass

And this is brilliant!

sibob-with-happy-jacks-fender

Sibob goes vintage with Happy Jack’s year-of-birth P-bass

stingray5-with-happy-jacks-bass-uke

Hmm, how can I find an excuse to play this on the next Landmarq album?

stingray5-with-happy-jacks-kkbabybass

And this would sound good on it too

 

The Small Hall

Sibob had his Pedals Corner there, and later Doctor of the Bass held his talk about Modes in the same room.

sibob-prepares-his-pedal-corner

Sibob prepares his pedals display

Sibob's P-bass

with his loyal P by his side

Sibob's corner is ready

All ready!

Sibob and ??

hmm-interesting

Theyellowcar admires the wares

happy-jack-and-sibob-search-for-the-perfect-effect-1

Happy Jack is looking for a pedal to spice up his upright bass sound

happy-jack-and-sibob-search-for-the-perfect-effect-2

Cue a series of noises of varying degrees of weirdness!

happy-jack-and-sibob-search-for-the-perfect-effect-4

Decision time – Happy Jack ended up choosing to use chorus with a bit of flanger, and went off to buy a BF3. In the background here, Doctor of the Bass sets up his corner for his Modes talk.

 

sibob-with-happy-jacks-kkbabybass

Hang on, I’ll try playing this while I’m at it

 

With his Modes talk, Doctor of the Bass inspired us to get back to our music theory books, and then to practice with additional insight.

doctor-of-the-bass-1

“Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls”

 

doctor-of-the-bass-2

Doctor of the Bass gave his talk while playing his Enfield with SiMs pickups

 

doctor of the bass's tools of the trade

There were a bunch of other axes too

group-attending-the-modes-talk

Part of the audience at the Modes talk

Group in small hall

Gary Mac noodles after the Modes talk

peter-and-nick

Student/assistant Peter accompanied and harmonised

 

peter-and-nick-keep-rocking

There was further rocking after the talk!

 

Back to the Main Hall – The highly anticipated event held here was the “blind” P-Bass test.

Lozz gathered 12 basses fitted with a P pickup – mostly Fenders, with a couple of notable exceptions – and played them one after the other while hiding behind the curtain. The audience had paper sheets and were asked to take notes, give scores to each sound, mark their favourite and guess if the fingerboard was rosewood or maple. Lozz used the same rig for all the basses, and played the same few bars of four songs on each.

lozz-and-mrs-grangur-prepare-the-test

Lozz prepares the P-bass tert with the help of Mrs Grangur

lozz-introduces-the-test

Introduction to the test

 

Hear Lozz’s introductory words here: http://youtu.be/Giu3-wVhAwU

 

listening-to-the-invisible-bassist

And then off they went behind the curtains, and we all listened attentively

 

Here is one of the tests: http://youtu.be/51F3S4NVLmQ

(There would have been no point in recording all the 12 tests, as my camera’s sound facility isn’t good enough to reproduce the subtle differences between basses.)

 

some-of-the-basses-in-the-test-and-a-guitar

Some of the basses played in the test. Yes, that’s a Warwick Streamer in the centre, and a Dingwall and a guitar on the left. No, Lozz didn’t play the guitar – but he did play the Streamer and the Dingwall.

preparing-the-results

The results are fed into a spreadsheet

 

This is what Lozz said to conclude the test: http://youtu.be/h9gyopUJxHM

The results were collated from the audience’s sheets of paper and announced later in the day, just before the raffle.

 

Introducing The Rock Den

Introducing The Rock Den

Before the audience left the room at the end of the test, we were told that Breaks Manor has a running rock night once a month, and we were asked to please spread the word to our bands or any bands we know that may be interested.

The venue does rock, heavy rock and metal, but they were equally happy that Stingray5 promised to mention the rock night to his prog outfit. So grab those phones, and get clicking here:

http://therockden.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/TheRockDen

rockdenpromotions@gmail.com

 

The Raffle

At the end of the bash we all gathered by the kitchen – stocked with cake and pastries donated by Truckstop – for the raffle and, before that, to discover the winning P-bass and the name of its owner, and the name of the BCer(s) who got most of the rosewood/maple details right.

The owner of the winning P-bass got first dibs on the prizes on offer, followed by the author of the most correct answer sheet, then the rest of us shared the remaining prizes at the raffle.

 

Raffle prizes (2)

Some raffle prizes

Among the prizes were strings offered by D’Addario and books from Stuart Clayton, as well as an acoustic bass donated by Bassface2K10.

Raffle prizes (1)

More raffle prizes

Ernie Ball UK  offered a tub of string and instrument wipes as freebies, and the organisers created some  customised Basschat plectrums

Free wipes

EB UK’s Wonder Wipes

BC picks

The Greek’s customised BC picks

 

Lozz announcing the winner of the P Bass test

Lozz announces the winner of the P-Bass test

 

And here are the full results!

The results of the P-bass test in table format

The results of the P-bass test in table format

 

This was Lozz’s message to the community, posted on the forum after the event:

“Well today, at the second Herts Bass Bash, I had the honour/pleasure of presenting a Precision Challenge! Many of us Basschatters have opinions on Precisions, so the theory was, let the ears make the decision, not the eyes or hands. So I got to play a bunch of Precisions – some rather tasty ones as well I might add, plus a couple of curve-balls to see if people were paying attention.

“So, playing each bass in turn – Down In The Tube Station by The Jam for pick-style, Hello Happiness by The Drifters for finger-style, This Is Not A Love Song by PIL for slap-style, and London Calling by The Clash played together with a drum-machine for an “in the mix” sound.

“From there, everyone chose their 1st, 2nd & 3rd faves, based on what they`d just heard. The below shows the results, and we had a runaway leader, a Ferrari in a skateboard race is my reckoning. Many congratulations to The Yellow Car for winning so easily. I should add that I couldn`t even get my own beloved `78 into the top three!

“And, seeing as there has always been the maple/rosewood debate, as a bit of fun we simply had to choose which you reckon each bass was. And the results were good, with two winners, Gary Mac and Herts Bass guessing 8 out of 12 correctly. Extra smart*rse points go to Gary for correctly identifying my `78 just by my playing. Good ears there Gary.

“Thanks to Mrs Grangur for assisting on this challenge, her help was much appreciated and enabled the whole process to flow easily.

“Thanks also to Mick (The Greek) for being the main organiser of the event, Sylvia (Bluejay) for the blog and inevitable pics, Sibob for his (many) pedals, Dr of The Bass for the session on modes, and lastly thanks to all who came along, yet again another good Bass Bash was had by all.

Cheers
Lozz196

 

and-the-winner-is-theyellowcar-02

And the winner is Theyellowcar, and he takes the 3-string acoustic bass 😉

and-the-winner-is-theyellowcar-01

Yes, that is the winning P-bass! See above 🙂

gary_mac-and-hertsbass

Gary Mac and Hertsbass were joint second winners for the maple/rosewood challenge

 

And so another bass bash ended, and you guessed, I’m counting down to the next one!

Bluejay's lanyard

 

Links

http://www.breaksmanor.org/

http://basschat.co.uk/

http://www.daddario.com/

http://www.ernieball.co.uk/

http://www.notreble.com/buzz/contributors/stuart-clayton/

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4 thoughts on “Basschat Herts Bash 2014

    • Thank you Ted! And I haven’t forgotten about replying to your messages – it’s simply been hectic in the last few weeks. Thanks for following me 🙂

  1. Wow! A great day and a fabulously detailed Blog, Silvia.. Well done! And just what the day deserved too; it looked like another really successful event. Congrats to one and all ! 🙂 Nik

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