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Feelers On The Dealers

Kingfisher Music

Article from International Musician & Recording World, September 1986

Billy Punter dons naval drag and trolls down to Fleet, home of Kingfisher Music

Big 'fishers in a small pond

Fleet? Another small town, another big shop. Waking up one morning after a night on the town (most of it was spent on the floor actually) the prospect of doing a bit of feeling as opposed to any 'real work' was very appealing. So after falling asleep on a train at Waterloo and being thrown off the train by a ticket collector at Fleet I toddled along to Kingfisher Music to sample their wares.

The first thing that hits you as you walk in the door is the gear. There's stacks of the stuff, from Washburn's extra-spikey heavy metal guitars to Yamaha PF80 electric pianos. The drum section has more drums than a couple of drum shops I could mention... But I digress. While wandering around a bit in a veritable maze of guitar racks I came across a strange sight: a Fender Jazzmaster with the plastic covering still on it! (Amazing, I can hear you all yawn, but Jazzmasters haven't been made for years and years.) So off I shuffled to find an assistant, of which there is no shortage; there are no less than ten assistants who all know their stuff in various fields. After a couple of minutes of convincing one of them that I was a genuine punter, I was standing there playing my best Beach Boys riffs. A crippling hangover does very little for either voice or virtuoso playing but obviously even someone looking like the Creature From The Black Lagoon with playing to suit was not enough to perturb them. I didn't even have to ask any questions about the guitar as its ins and outs were explained to me as I was playing. Dumb questions and deliberate mistakes were answered and corrected without a hint of malice or contempt.

Other punters (no relation) were having equally good care taken of them in the various departments which are all very comprehensive. Each stocks the major brands of the relevant instrument (eg Fender, Yamaha, Pearl) though there really are too many to list. There are about 200 various guitars and basses, several drum kits, and a number of keyboards, all of which are set up for playing if you should wish to do so.

After having put down the guitar (preferring this course of action to the eventually inevitable ultimatum: 'buy or leave'), I was left to amble around and play with the various toys on display including a Yamaha PF80, the workings of which were also explained to me by an equally competent assistant.

Other good points about the shop are that it is well set out, and there is plenty of room to play without falling over hideously expensive pieces of equipment which you can't afford to pay for if you're anything like the average punter — as of course you are. There are facilities for hire purchase, and all major credit cards are accepted. As for guarantees, there is no problem 'cause everything they sell is repaired in the shop: no hanging around for manufacturers to get their act together. In fact, Kingfisher's only real bad point is that it's about a mile uphill from the railway station which is a bloody long way to walk if you've got a hang over and are just out to lie to shop owners for an hour or so.

Kingfisher Music Company (Contact Details)

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The Cultural Revolution

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Awopbopaloomopalopbamboom or Bust

Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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International Musician - Sep 1986



Feature by Billy Punter

Previous article in this issue:

> The Cultural Revolution

Next article in this issue:

> Awopbopaloomopalopbamboom or...

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