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.
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.
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!
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.
Every corner of the room was soon a beehive of socialising and music activity.
Below are some of the forum regulars and their gorgeous basses. Feel free to drool and gas to your heart’s content.
And then we had the Status corner…
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.
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).
It was now time to move to the auditorium for Sibob’s effects masterclass, followed by a bit of jamming.
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? 😀
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!
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.
Finally, we all gathered in the reception area for the raffle.
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.