Hi all, I’m just back form the North West Guitar Show. The venue was great this year; Haydock Park racecourse ground, nice facilities, easy parking – recommended. The most important thing though – lots of guitars, amps and effects and several talented guitarists on stage to show off their fantastic techniques and melodies.
There were nearly 100 exhibitors at the show. Most of them selling new guitars by the big names; Fender, Gibson, PRS, Ibanez and Rickenbacker. Several stalls specialised in low price guitars such as Shine and Richwood. There were hand made guitars too by a few makers in the UK. As well as that the was a sprinkling of amps for sale, at least two companies I’d never heard of before – hand making amplifiers here in the UK too. There was a good selection of parts for sale, most reasonable prices seemed to be for Korean made parts I found out. Gladly there were very few made in China components around, mostly people said they were useless copies, badly made and liable to break! I wish all industries were so particular…
Most of the guitars designs were Fender and Gibson copies, not very many original guitar shapes here today. I think the Italia range were the most different but not very interesting. The Chicken Bone John cigar box guitar stall was interesting, but I wouldn’t want one of those guitars, though the prices are reasonable, starting at £50 (this guitar is a one string guitar though)!
There was lots of nice wood on show at the Logarhythm stand; a kind of wooden box foot operated rhythm machine. They seemed to be affiliated with a company that made wooden plectrums! That reminds me of the wooden car company… The body was wooden, the wheels wooden and the engine wooden. But it wooden go. 🙂
Moving on to the performances there were 5 acts lined up but the first act cancelled. Anyway I only just arrived in time to see the second act so I was quite pleased with myself! So the when I arrived the second scheduled act was playing; Chris Woods, who was quite a revelation. He played acoustic guitar and kept rhythm/accompanied himself with the aforementioned Logarhythm. Chris Woods’ skill and playing, his music, melodies and rhythms were mesmerising. I highly recommend listening to some of his music if you love guitar music and have an ear for things a little different. On his own website the techniques he uses to play guitar are described as including, percussive tapping and slapping and most importantly musically wowing! There’s lots of examples on his website above, but I talked to Chris and he said it was OK to link to a video here;
There were three other guitar performers following Chris Woods but I must say while they were slightly interesting they all treaded a predictable path of blues rock that would have been equally at home in 1970. There was a blues rock band with a Les Paul, a blues rock band with a Strat and Bernie Marsden (ex of Whitesnake) playing a PRS in a kind of Santana tribute, so it sounded to these ears. Standard fodder for guitar shows and forgettable.
Here’s looking forward to the next show, I might be showing some of my own design Made in England guitars!