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  1. I loved DSOTM and WYWH, but lost interest after that. Perhaps that's the reason why?
  2. The biggest gig I’ve played in recent years was to 2,000 plus bikers at a bike rally. We were the middle band of three, no soundcheck as headliners were late and then took forever (ska band). We hit the first chord and absolutely no sound from the bass (it turned out later that a wire had come loose when I had changed a battery, five minute repair with a soldering iron). I pulled out my spare bass from the double gigbag at the side of the stage and no one was any the wiser (even the drummer didn’t realise until he saw the video footage after the show). When I first joined a regularly gigging band, I was offered the gig on the basis that I would get a spare bass, even if it was just a beater just to get me through a show if anything happened. In over 40 years of gigging, I’ve only needed the spare maybe half a dozen times, but that has included a few of the most important gigs that I have done. So, I always take a spare wherever possible and always for the bigger gigs. I’ve probably had more issues with amps than basses over the years and yes, I do take a spare (a TE Elf these days, which fits in a gigbag and will get you out of trouble at a push) …
  3. The point is that it doesn't really matter whether you like it or not - it's something that inspired (several) generations of bass players, some who may have influenced you (even if indirectly). I managed the whole lot. Not really my thing, for me the Jaco album kicked into gear with the second song (i.e. the tune after this one), but still interesting to get an understanding of how he interpreted a very challenging bebop standard.
  4. I noticed that in the most recent Bass Direct newsletter, the first two bass builders being promoted were: Dingwall (as used by Lee Sklar) and Spector...!
  5. Red Baron off the Spectrum album (Billy Cobham)
  6. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that they are that predictable! There were often quite leftfield tracks and ideas, although you probably had to be a fan to have heard ‘Groovy Little Hippie Pad’ or ‘Manic Mechanic’, etc. Of course, Eliminator was quite unique at the time. I saw them at Hammersmith Odeon (pre Eliminator) on one their first ever European shows, which is still one of the best gigs I have seen. Having said that, I wasn’t as impressed with the Eliminator tour and I’m afraid that I haven’t been inspired to buy any of their albums post Afterburner. Still, a great band on their day…
  7. Reflecting on his friendship and working with the great Jeff Porcaro
  8. Playing a version of Black Hole Sun in fives...!!
  9. Would love to see it - perhaps I should think about getting Netflix??
  10. Would it help if I used less confusing adjectives like ‘sterile’ or perhaps ‘crap’?? The point that I am making is that the majority of bands using a silent stage approach in pubs do not sound very good. That is not to say that it doesn’t work in bigger venues, because it obviously does. But not at the Dog & Duck… As far as drummers goes, you are missing the point. You may be dismissive of ‘Dad Rock’, but that’s what a lot of us play and there is certainly an audience there. If you ever were to venture into that genre, you would find that any decent drummer will tend to be a reasonably heavy hitter. The challenge for them is to then vary their technique or otherwise find ways to get their levels down to work in a small venue / stage area. For example, I have seen drummers change the angle of their snare drum so that they get less rim every time they hit it. There are always compromises that you have to make when you are playing small venues. I should mention that there are plenty of perfectly good small pub gigs that I have happily done with R&B or blues bands that I would refuse to do with the louder hard rock band (despite being asked).
  11. Haha :-) That was part of a discussion about playing a bigger venue, the point being that in pubs normally everybody can hear the onstage sound and it can sound odd if they can't...
  12. That’s the point about the drummer – small gigs are inevitably a compromise between getting a great sound and be able to make it work in that venue. A drummer can get an awesome snare sound that sounds great to them and to a punter 30 feet away, but there are problems if he is blowing out everybody’s ears onstage and you can’t hear anything else every time he hits the damn thing. However, you do have to accept that the top rock drummers around are all big hitters (e.g. the Kenny Aronoff, Josh Freese, Deen Castronovo & Brian Tichys of this world). But you do need to find a compromise when you are playing in pubs and on small stages. You may prefer the clarity and spread of a soundless stage, but some musos (like me) and indeed many punters might prefer a more organic, ‘immediate’ sound. To take the example of my mates’ band that I mentioned above, (IMHO) it can sound more like a CD coming out of the PA rather than a live performance. It is undoubtedly different in big venues with proper stages, where only the first few rows can hear the onstage sound anyway.
  13. Far be for me to intervene in a private argument, but just a couple of points: The first problem is that the biggest and best, fattest snare sounds occur when a decent drummer hits an ‘obnoxiously loud snare’ hard with just the right amount of rim. The trouble is that the such a snare sound risks completely overwhelming everything else in a pub gig, especially one with a small stage area. There are similar issues (to an extent) with certain guitar sounds. The trouble with these types of gigs is always finding the right compromise between getting great sounds and still having a suitable level for playing such small venues. Also, speaking purely as a punter, I would have to disagree that low onstage volume with everything coming through the PA. The problem is that pubs can have rooms of all sorts of shapes and they don’t usually have significantly raised stages, so there is often no clear demarcation between the stage and where the audience is. Different parts of the room can have different sounds and if you are stood in the wrong place then things can sound a bit strange without sound coming from the stage area to reinforce what is coming out of the PA speakers. For example, some friends of mine have a band that has completely embraced modern technology and rely totally on IEMs, electronic kit, Kempers, samples, etc. It’s not that it doesn’t sound great, it’s just that it sounds a bit unnatural in a pub (different thing in a decent club venue where it certainly does work). They laugh and say that I’m just old school, but I’m hardly the only person to have told them this. Their bass player came to see one of my bands and thought that we sounded great. He told me that he had to admit, he missed the big sound and physicality of having an amp behind him and a relatively loud stage.
  14. Quite…! I would strongly advise the OP to ignore the last page or so of posts, just keep it simple and stick with what he is already doing. The thing is, there are several ways to get a great sound and even more ways to get it wrong. I have seen bands with loads of good gear sound awful because they don’t know to use it, as well as bands using cr*p gear sound terrible. Of course, I have also seen guys who actually know how to operate a mediocre PA system sound fine. A mate of mine (who I have played in several bands with) runs a big, well known PA hire company that works across Europe and beyond. He says that he hates having to deal with local sound engineers because the vast majority of them are useless. He reckons that most learn how to get a half decent sound from their own set-up without really understanding what they are doing. If they encounter something that they are not used to or have to use different gear, then they haven’t got a clue. What annoys him is that then they won’t listen and learn from people who know they are doing! FWIW, his preference was to keep things as simple as possible, use amps and for the band to be happy with the sound they were hearing onstage and then for the PA to reinforce that out-front. But that is not the only way to do it – it all depends on the gig, venue, band, etc. We would play pubs using £15k of Meyer Sound gear and often the only things going through the PA were the vocals, a mic in the kick and an overhead for the kit…
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