Thursday, April 02, 2009

All over the shop

All this running up and down the country mucking about with a guitar has meant that I've not been behind the Pro Music counter since early March. I returned on Monday to find an envelope marked 'LEIGH - BY HAND'- it contained a letter from a gentleman who called himself Griff who'd bought a guitar into the shop for repair a couple of months ago. As he unveiled the instrument- it was wrapped in a blanket- he explained that he'd made it himself many years ago but had never really managed to finish it to his satisfaction; he also said that he knew a guitar builder called Richard Bartram and wondered if I'd heard of him? Indeed I had- he was mentioned in these hallowed pages as recently as last month in the 'Seaside Special' posting- and our subsequent conversation revealed that he'd known Richard back in the 1960's when they'd swapped ideas about making guitars, whereas I first met Richard some 20 years later. I showed him Voltarol's blog on the shop computer which he showed great interest in, not least because the then-current posting referenced The Jugular Vein which was the band Richard had been in all those years ago. In with the letter was 4-and-a-bit sides of A4 paper containing his reminiscences about those long-gone days of innocent experimentation involving a man called Length and the staining of a bathtub. It's a good tale, and it's on the Voltarol blog even as I we speak...

Shop-wise we're now stocking Martin acoustic guitars- this has been on the cards for a while, and I for one am really pleased that the idea has come to fruition. As I write this there are 4 in stock and are all as excellent as I hoped they'd be; indeed I've a funny feeling (make that a worrying feeling) that I might end up owning one of them myself in the not-too-distant future. There's an often quoted adage that goes along the lines of 'if you play a Gibson electric then get a Gibson acoustic, if you play a Fender electric then get a Martin acoustic' which if it proves to be true could prove to be rather costly for me as I play examples of both electric guitar types... bugger!

Voltarol tells me that The Jugular Vein played their first gig at The Load of Hay in Uxbridge (they may yet play there again- watch this space, as they say!) and there's another Acts Less Ordinary show coming up at there on Sunday 19th April; this one features an acoustic set by Cowley's finest Colour Me Wednesday ably supported by singer/songwriter Joe Card. CMW are also playing at Club Fluorescent on Thursday 9th April at The Water's Edge in Cowley- I hope they'll still bring a few people down on the 19th, as after last month's euphoric T.V. Smith/Price extravaganza there's a lot to live up to!

Better go- I'm due in Croydon for a soundcheck in around 3 hours...

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