A bit of a ramble, but last Saturday we played at Alfold Rock and Blues Festival. We had a great slot at 8.05 pm - the last band before Martin Turner’s incarnation of Wishbone Ash. It was our second post lockdown gig, the previous being four or five weeks prior. Sadly we couldn’t rehearse - our drummer’s daughter had been isolating with Covid, then I had Norovirus, then the drummer had to go abroad for work for a week - so we blagged it!
I’d been looking forward to gigging my lockdown acquired Peavey VB-2 for a second time but was uncomfortable because I’d not really got to know it at volume. Also I’m recovering from a screwed up back and although we have roadies, I still had to manoeuvre it into its case and get it to the door and was really worried about putting my back out again, so I decided to use my Bugera Veyron - the one with the valve pre.
I’ve never seen Wishbone Ash before, but I have the Argus Album and it’s one of my top albums, love Martin’s bass on it and how much it contributes to the songs. Del had promised to introduce me to Martin, and true to his word, prior to our set, he introduced us and what a lovely bloke he is. We talked about his Rickenbacker which turned out to be a rare one with the extra fret. I asked why he changed to a Thunderbird. Apparently, the neck on the Rick got broken and he needed a bass desperately so he borrowed a Thunderbird from the bass player of Mott The Hoople. The Rick stayed at the record label offices from where it was stolen and he’s never seen it since!
Anyway, we played our set and played a bit of a stonker. Big ups to the monitor engineer, he quietly asked each of us what we wanted in the monitors and set them (no sound check) and off we went - none of us had to ask for anything to be changed. My little Bugera? Well I think I got the best sound I’ve had yet with Stray, so if any one’s looking for a Peavey . . . . . No just kidding - I’m going to spend some more time with it yet!
I really enjoyed Wishbone Ash. There were a couple of Jazz moment but it was lovely hearing most of the Argus album played live. And Martin’s tone? Wow - awesome. It looked like he was using an Ashdown ABM head through a couple of maybe 2x10 or 2x12 cabs - hard to see. Really solid sound.
All in all it was a fabulous day. To top it off it was my final official day of employment before retiring from the railway after 42 years of service, so a fabulous way to bow out!!