The London Bass Guitar Show is a venerable institution. Bass players from all over the world come to play, try gear, watch their idols, ask them questions (sometimes even polite ones) and meet them in a setting that is at once intimate and comprehensive. The entire bass world is here, from manufacturers, luthiers, amp designers, tuition specialists and common-or-garden bass enthusiasts like you and me filling the Olympia venue. This year the event takes place over the weekend of 2-3 March, and our job is to present a for-your-eyes-only look at the treats that await you when you walk through the doors.
We pride ourselves here at Bass Guitar Magazine on the fact that we cover all the bases (and the basses, ho ho ho) in every issue, and the ethos behind the Show is identical. We invite bass players from all styles of music and from both band and session backgrounds to come and play, and we know that visitors appreciate this. There’s truly something for everyone this year as there is every year, from soul and funk bassists through to metal and avant-garde jazz musicians, and of course we love to bring along bass players who can’t be classified into one particular pigeonhole. Look at this year’s star guests, for example.
The great Peter Hook and Jah Wobble, who first emerged into the public eye in the very British post-punk acts Joy Division and PiL, have very different bass styles. David Ellefson, of the thrash metal titans Megadeth, may be a demon of the plectrum but he has other techniques at his disposal too. Nate Watts and Malcolm Joseph, soul/funk/jazz/dub cats that they are, will shock and awe us with more than just thunderous low notes and quick-thumbed slap. And so it goes on, with session veteran Guy Pratt, jazz/metal overlord Jonas Hellborg, blues aficionado Andy Irvine and many others still to be confirmed on the bill. All that is before we present Die So Fluid frontwoman Grog Lisee – who has sessions under her belt with Mel C and many other artists – South American tech guru Igor Saavedra and rockabilly upright legend Lee Rocker. Yes, we think we’ve covered pretty much all the territory there is to cover. Add to the bill the chance to explore a couple of large halls’ worth of bass gear and the LBGS is the ultimate show for anyone into the low notes.