The buzz about the 2016 London Bass Guitar Show started as soon as we had recovered from the excitement of the 2015 show. At first, new information came as a trickle: the 2016 date was announced; we were promised the event would be amazing. ‘Huh, that’s what the organisers always say, isn’t it’ we mumbled to ourselves. How could the relatively unexpected, huge success of the 2015 show be topped?
But we had faith, and with each new announcement, our interest rapidly escalated. Several large exhibitors, such as Warwick, who had had to skip 2015 due to schedule clashes with other events, would be back. 2016 would be Spector’s 40th anniversary. The show would have a larger than usual number of brand launches for the UK – both new luthiers and amplification companies. There would be big stars giving masterclasses and playing in the auditorium – the names came in like a flood: Michael Manring, John Rhino Edwards, Peter Hook, Dave Swift, Neil Fairclough, Adam Ben Ezra, Freekbass, Suzi Quatro (wait, Suzi Quatro!?) Oh, and Rob Trujillo. Yes, that Rob Trujillo. Plays bass in some low-key Californian metal band, produced a documentary about a guy who defretted his bass… He would be sharing the stage at the Bass Show with some awesome musicians of his choice, including Mark King, and answer our questions in a masterclass.
This year I was working as a reporter for Bass Guitar Magazine – as well as being Basschat’s roving representative, as always – so I had to juggle interviewing exhibitors and stars with my attendance at shows and masterclasses. I did well; I only missed Rhino’s and Federico Malaman’s appearances on stage; I hope they come back soon, so I can make sure to attend. Luckily I had the opportunity to say hi and exchange a few words with each of them backstage and in the exhibitors’ hall.
A few shots of the stars offstage:
I had time to say hi to a few visiting Basschatters, although I spotted many more in the crowd than I managed to speak to or take photos of.
Before we go on to the images of the exhibitors, it’s useful to bear in mind that most of the photos showing the stands in all their glory were taken early in the morning, before the general public was allowed in. The show was as crowded as ever; the pics below were taken while one or more masterclasses and shows were on (that is, during relatively quiet times).
I only started playing bass later in life, and I have chosen to do it just for my own enjoyment, without joining a band or playing live.
I am a contributor to Bass Guitar Magazine and a moderator on Basschat, Europe’s largest online discussion forum for electric and double bass players.