Basschat South East Bash, 2013

It had been building up for months, and had become frantic in the last few weeks. The list of participants, regularly updated on the dedicated thread on Basschat, had been getting longer and longer. The gear they were going to bring was mouth-watering. The guests, sponsors and masterclasses were unmissable.

It was the biggest South East Bass Bash to date, and it didn’t disappoint.

South East Bass Bash 2013 timetable
The South East Bass Bash 2013 timetable
South East Bass Bash 2013
Jubilee High School, Addlestone
South East Bass Bash 2013

When I arrived with the rhythmic section of Basschat band The Junkyard Dogs – that is, bassist Happy Jack and drummer Paul, to be joined later by multi-instrumentalist MacDaddy – most of the setting up process had already taken place. The foyer was already filled with GAS-inducing gear, and Hamster and Silverfoxnik were at the reception desk to welcome us. Not that I managed to take a photo of them at this stage, mind – they were already rushed off their feet by the steady flow of enthusiastic participants arriving with stuff to find a place for…

A look around the foyer:

Basses in the foyer
Dave Swift’s basses and rig
Monique and Tonehammer
Dave Swift’s Monique and Tonehammer
Joel McIver
Bass Guitar Magazine’s Joel McIver
Chapman stick
Stickman with, er, a stick
Dave Swift with DB
Dave Swift and his slimmed-down double bass
KB1 Baby Bass
Happy Jack’s KB1 is put to the test in the uprights corner
Ampeg and double bass
Clarky’s corner, set up for his talk with his original Ampeg Baby Bass and his double bass
Clarky, mid-talk

The background noise came from Dave Swift, unaware of the talk, and someone he was chatting with. I wish I had filmed the moment Clarky shut both of them up! (Dave apologised, and it was all very friendly.)

JCater playing upright
Jack and Sean
The Matamp aficionados corner: Happy Jack and Billy Apple
Colin and Steve
Hamster and Kiwi
Sarah, Mrs Hamster, running the refreshments corner

We then walked into the hall to set up our gear.

Matamp Head, Barefaced 69er
Matamp head, Barefaced 69er, assorted basses

All around us was this:


Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall

Hall Hall Hall Hall Hall
The talk of the bash, in terms of cabs, was the new Barefaced line and the prototype Alex Claber brought along especially for us.

Barefaced cabs - Basschat SE Bash 2013
The cabs gathered in the foyer earlier in the day (photo by Silverfoxnik)
Alex and Sean
Alex Claber of Barefaced with Billy Apple
Jack's rig
Unaware of what is being set up behind them, Sibob and Happy Jack try the 69er
Aided and abetted by 51m0n, Billy Apple prepares to turn the new Barefaced rig up to 11 – almost literally.

I didn’t spend as much time in the hall as I thought I would, which may have saved me from some serious GAS – as well as hearing damage (!). I made a point of attending at least part of each of the talks held in the theatre.

Bryn Wildish of Markbass, with his midi setup, presented the new Markbass Bass Multiamp.

Bryn Wildish (1)
Bryn Wildish
Bryn Wildish (2)
Bryn Wildish

Kris Kedzior showcased his KB1 and KB Classic Baby Basses, inspired by Ampeg but with vastly improved specifications.

Kris Kedzior
Kris Kedzior with KB Classics
Kris & Anjelica Kedzior
Kris & Anjelica Kedzior. From left: a KB1, the original Ampeg, another KB1 and two KB Classics
Baby Bass
KB Classic in white
Jack and Baby Bass
Happy Jack plays the other KB Classic
Si and Baby Bass
MacDaddy’s turn on the KB Classic
Clarky and Ampeg
Happy Jack’s KB1 and Clarky holding his original Ampeg

Paul Geary and Dave Swift told us about their experience in the music industry and gave us useful insights and advice. and

Paul Geary & Dave Swift (1)
Paul Geary & Dave Swift
Paul Geary & Dave Swift
Paul Geary & Dave Swift
Paul Geary & Dave Swift
Paul Geary & Dave Swift

Bass Guitar Magazine editor and author Joel McIver was interviewed by Hamster and then held a Q&A session. and

Colin & Joel McIver (1)
Hamster & Joel McIver
Colin & Joel McIver (2)
Hamster & Joel McIver

Time constraints meant that I had to miss Urb’s talk completely, as it was being held at the same time as Clarky’s in the foyer. I’ll make sure to attend next year’s! This is a photo taken by Silverfoxnik.

Urb holding his technique workshop in the theatre

Meanwhile, those who needed to relax a bit had gathered in the Jam Room.

Jam Room
xilddx appears to channel Joe Satriani

Jam Room

Jam Room

Jam Room

Jam Room

Jam Room

Jam Room
Walman remains true to his name

Jam Room

At the end of the event, the raffle! We had some awesome prizes – the first prize was offered by Fender and was a gorgeous Squier Jaguar, while the second, equally covetable prize was an Orange mini-combo.

Orange combo and Squier Jaguar
The Orange mini-combo and the Squier Jaguar
Other raffle prizes
Other raffle prizes
Other raffle prizes
Other raffle prizes
Tombola prizes
The prizes for the Tombola that never happened due to time constraints. They are all being kept in storage, ready for next year
The participants congregate
Colin with the prizes
Hamster introduces the prizes
Colin and Nik
Hamster and Silverfoxnik
Colin and Dave
Dave Swift chooses the first winner
First prize winner
Timmo would have won the Jaguar, but he is a lefty! So he opts for the Orange combo.
Colin and Paul
Paul Geary chooses the second winner, for the Jaguar again
And it’s xilddx!
Group pic!
Colin and Joel
Joel’s turn to choose a ticket
Colin and Dave
Colin and Chris
Colin and Steve
Anna (aka Ms Kiwi) picks a number too
The two Colins! (Hamster and barneyg42)
Colin and Nik
Colin and Jack
Happy Jack

For most of us the hope to win a great BC raffle prize has been postponed to next year. Nige has already started modding his Jaguar and posted his build diary on Basschat’s forum:

Despite the day coming and going in a flash, and everybody being incredibly busy from start to finish, Dave and Paul found the time to accept my polite request of a photo of each of them holding our Basschat Relay Baton (see It’s wonderful to see how many stars are genuinely supporting us.

Dave Swift
Dave Swift with the BC Baton
Paul Geary
Paul Geary with the BC Baton

It was a fantastic and fantastically busy day, and I loved every moment of it. There was so much to do and see and hear that it was impossible not to miss something here and there, and it was incredibly hard work for the main organisers, Hamster and Silverfoxnik, as well as pretty damn hard work for co-organisers Obbm and Happy Jack. We are all extremely grateful to them. As a group, we are already beginning to plan next year’s bash – just watch this space!

Roll on the South East Bass Bash 2014!

Additional photos of this bash can be found here:

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