People, Gear, Events, Gossip
happening people, gear, gossip, events
WHO'S HAD MORE HITS... Madness or Madonna? Or how many separate times has Slade's glorious 'Merry Xmas Everybody' hit the charts? Don't know? Well find out with the seventh and latest edition of The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and bore people stupid with your encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music. Compiled by Tim Rice, Jo Rice and Paul Gambaccini, the book is in fact infuriatingly compulsive reading. The updated edition covers the period 14 November 1952 to 31 December 1988 and has barely been put down since arriving in the PHAZE 1 offices. For example, can you believe that Ken Dodd has spent one and a half times as long on the chart as Prince? Preposterous, but true! Anyway, before the did you knows get out of control, we can offer you the chance of learning more of these useless but fascinating facts. We have 3 copies to give away - all you have to do is answer the following easy questions, send it to the usual address on a postcard or letter, and be one of the first three names out of the PHAZE 1 hat!
1: How many times has Bowie's 'Space Oddity' made the top 5 ?
2: What was the title of The Toy Dolls superbly silly and only chart single?
Not too difficult we're sure you'll agree! Then you could stand a chance of finding out if Liverpool FC have spent more weeks in the chart than Iggy Pop etc etc... (The 'Pool in fact take the honours by 16-11!!). Quite remarkable, Iggy must be sick as a parrot! A truly great book.
IBANEZ HAVE JUST published their new 1989/90 catalogue featuring some new models arriving in the UK shortly. The first to arrive is the RG750 (pictured, left) which clocks in at £665, slotting into the range between the RG550 (£480) and the start of the JEM range (£825). The Ibanez range definitely leans towards the heavy-rock side of things with high-power pick-ups and precision whammy-bar systems in abundance, but there are also some exquisite jazz guitars.
Gone are the days when Japanese guitars were strictly second best - Ibanez's current range boasts some notable endorsees such as Steve Vai and George Benson. On the right of the picture is the RG760, which will be used as a basis for the Ibanez USA custom finish guitars, available later this year. Guitarists will be able to choose from a set of custom pictures, pickup configuration, neck and pick-ups etc, and have the guitar custom built in Ibanez's new American factory. Serious moolah no doubt required for such a luxury. Still, what's money for if not for spending?
INFO: Cougar Audio Technology Ltd, (Contact Details).
PEAVEY HAVE RECENTLY been getting quite excited about their "breakthrough in neodymium/titanium/polymeric technology". And why not? After all, it's helped them to develop their new microphone, the PVM 380N. In the past, using a bigger diaphragm and voice coil for greater sensitivity also lead to distortion as the diaphragm lost rigidity. (Moulded polymer diaphragms incorporating neodymium magnet technology can be 0.0005" thick, a third of the thickness of human hair!) But Peavey's engineers (no doubt after pulling all their hair out) have come up with a design that involves strengthening the diaphragm with titanium to provide a microphone with a large diaphragm offering exceptional response, sensitivity and high level performance. So break-up levels associated with such thin diaphragms are no longer a problem. Science is indeed wonderful, but couldn't they make it a bit easier to understand?
INFO: Peavey Electronics Corporation, (Contact Details).
FOLLOWING QUEEN AND The Wedding Present, young hopefuls Ice Cold In Alice are more contenders in "the most educated rock band" category. Lead singer Scott is studying at Cambridge University, guitarist Ed is at York and bassist James is at Oxford. Still, the band are keen to gain a reputation for their live work and not their homework, and so far they must be pleased, with many people studying them closely.
With their debut album produced by ex-10CC man Graham Gouldman and their manager one Peter Rosengard (mentor of Curiosity Killed The Cat and the man behind London's Comedy Store), the band have quite a bit of clout behind them. And after a few rave live reviews, Ice Cold (as they like to be known) could well become hot property. Vowing only to chuck in the academia if their musical careers really take off, the foursome have obviously learned a thing or two about hedging their bets. But if their current slab of danceable pop is anything to go by, they should be assured of their fifteen minutes of fame - any more than that though, is open to debate.
THE GATEWAY SCHOOL of Recording and Kingston Polytechnic have recently announced details of their new "Music and Technology" BA degree. The three year course is a blend of traditional degree material (composition, harmony, history of music etc.) and the latest developments in music technology. The school now has one 24-track, two 16-track, one eight-track and six computer and sequencing facilities available.
The course is structured so new developments can be incorporated as they become available - "continual evolution" being the favoured buzzwords! Applicants are normally expected to have 'A' Level music and to have grade five keyboard skills, or equivalent. Mature students are also encouraged to apply and several have already won their place on the course which starts in October 1989.
In addition, Gateway have updated their week-long course in "Creative Recording" (with hands on experience of SMPTE, MIDI and more traditional technology) and the two-week 'Essentials of Multi-Track Recording and Sequencing'. Kingston is now at the forefront of musical education in this country, and lets hope a few other seats of learning follow their bold example. To try your luck at getting onto one of these courses...
INFO: The Gateway School of Recording and Music Technology, (Contact Details).
AFTER THE SUCCESS of their Professional guitar line, Hohner have introduced a line of British made amplifiers. There are four separate ranges, in power ratings from 45 watts to 150 watts, and all are fitted with Celestion speakers.
At 45 watts, the lead and bass Vision combos are the best bet for a musician on a tight budget. The 45L and 45B have separate pre and post gain controls, with three-band equalisation, plus a bright (45L) and a deep (45B) switch. The 45L also features a spring reverb. At £199 and £210 the Vision amps could be quite an eye-opener.
For a bit of extra venom you could try the 75 watt Viper lead and bass combos. The 75L is a foot-switchable twin-channel design with two gain controls for each channel. Unlike many other amps, the tone and reverb controls are stacked so that the player can use different settings for each channel. Complete with master, bright switch and high and low inputs, the 75L will set you back £275. A single channel bass version is available for £279.
Then there's the Vampire series, available in top and combo form, and all rated at 130 watts. As much noise as you like, starting at £245. Top of the range for guitarists are three all-valve amps, available in 30, 65 and 150 watt versions. But you'll need at least £339 to get your mits on these.
An extensive range of goodies, and at competitive prices too - so why not say hello to Hohner?
INFO: M Hohner Ltd, (Contact Details).
RECORD COLLECTORS, DJ's, retailers dealers look out! Those ambitious folks at John Humphries have come out with a tome of biblical proportions, that could prove essential to record enthusiasts.
A new version of the labels list, it not only contains the names, addresses, contacts and telephone numbers of every record company and distributor (up to presstime, February '89) but also lists the 6,000 odd labels marketed in the UK and details of who is currently marketing them.
For the first time this new edition also includes a product checklist for all the labels covered. Arranged in catalogue number sequence this means that you can look up the full list of recordings for any label. Info is brief but includes the artist, title, format and release date. All the big ones are there, so you can check what's been released on all your favourite labels, but it also opens your eyes to smaller, sometimes obscure but more often than not fascinating labels.
Inevitably with a book of such scope and size (over 800 pages for you to peruse) there are some small inconsistencies but aside from that it's difficult to fault. One small gripe is that it doesn't mark deletions, which is always helpful to know when raiding the archives for that elusive lost gem you're always told you'll find at Car boot sales and junk shops - but never do.
But that's just being picky. Otherwise it effortlessly achieves its aim of being the definitive record label reference book - and lookout for future publications in the pipelines including singles and CD catalogues.
INFO: Music Master Labels List '89 £12.95. Available by post from (Contact Details).
3000 SCHOOLCHILDREN took to the stage in June as part of the BBC's Schools Radio Festival. The winners of the young band of the year competition were Rosewood, from Leicestershire. Paul Wood (16), Stuart Rose (18) and Adrian Fowler (18) recorded their demo in Stuart's bedroom, and only got their tape in just on time because of the vigilance of their music teacher.
Much to their delight they also received an offer of a recording session at Pebble Mill studios under the watchful eye of Radio 1 "jock" Mark Goodier.
So, more evidence that opportunities are there to make an impression at an early stage of your career. Go out and get 'em!...
...TALKING OF WHICH, Yamaha continue their search for new talent with the 1989 National Tape Showcase. Open to musicians of all ages and standards throughout the country, the Yamaha Tape Showcase is an opportunity to have your work assessed by a music journalist and receive professional advice.
The best 50 tapes will be selected to be heard by A&R talent scouts at major record companies, leading to a final ten bands considered to have the greatest chart potential.
Each of these will receive £500 worth of Yamaha Musical Instruments, plus the possibility of being auditioned for the four Nescafe Yamaha Band Explosion Showcase Events. Closing date for the entries is July 31 1989 (sorry, but we've only recently heard about this too). All entries should be sent to Graham Taylor, (Contact Details).
THE MEAN FIDDLER have announced further improvements to the Reading festival - the introduction of a marquee tent 150 metres away from the main stage featuring an eclectic mix of smaller acts. Among those appearing are Tom Robinson, Andy Pawlak, The Senators and The River Detectives (Friday): The Cropdusters, Frank Sidebottom, Orchestra Jazira (Saturday): Clive Gregson and Christine Collier, Hank Wangford, All Because The Lady Loves (Saturday). In addition The Wedding Present have been confirmed for the main stage on Saturday. What a gift!
INFO: Mean Fiddler Hotline (Contact Details)
Q. When is a cable not a cable? A. When it's a washing line. Thankfully, the new range of cables from Anner do not fall into the above category, relying instead for their appeal on the mysterious "crimped on" factor. The range includes XLR - XLR and XLR - Jack mic and instrument leads, available in standard and star quad cable, and a whole host of colours and lengths. They're unique because they feature revolutionary "crimp-style" connectors, making them the strongest leads in the business.
Anner cables are distributed in the UK by Beyer Dynamic, the famous microphone and headphone company, who are more than happy to offer a lifetime guarantee.
INFO Beyer Dynamic GB Ltd, (Contact Details).
PLANS ARE TAKING shape for the Bristol Music Fair to be held at the Watershed Conference Centre on the weekend of 18/19 of November. Organised by ABC Music of Clifton, the fair already has the backing of Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg and Akai among others. There are special seminars planned on software from C-LAB and Steinberg and on the guitar side, Carlsboro, Trace Elliot, Aria, Fender and Steinberger will all be present.
It's hoped that local bands will be playing over the weekend, and anyone interested in playing should contact Rob Husband at ABC Music, (Contact Details).
YOUNG BEAT GROUP the Who are set to make an impression with a short tour later in the year. The band, who are apparently all 25 years old, will be treading the boards at the following clubs in October - The Birmingham NEC (Friday 6th and Saturday 7th) and Wembley Arena (Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th). We hear the band already have already gained notoriety for their live performances, spurred on by bassman John "Wildman" Entwhistle. Catch them if you can - you read about them here first!
INFO: NEC Box Office: (Contact Details). Tickets priced £16.00 and £14.50
AFTER AN AWESOME response to the Axe percussion competition we can announce the lucky winners. The first ten people out of the PHAZE 1 hat are as follows: Alison Nye of Brighton, Richard Ingham of St. Ives, Mark O'Hara of Morden, Sean Masters of Cambridge, Jonny Kingsman of Ilkley, Ali Laker of Horley, Bernard Achampong of Bromley, Gary Jenkins of Forth, Annie Walsh of Bristol and David Turner of Warminster. Congratulations to all of you! Your Axe percussion sets are currently winging their way to you - because of their bulk they may take a week or two to arrive so don't panic! Our thanks once again to Axe percussion.
Didn't win this time? Well how about trying the Roland D5 competition in this month's issue?
MORE BMF NEWS has been flooding into the PHAZE 1 offices. As you'd expect from the industry's showpiece, there'll be lots of new products launched. Here's a few things to feast your mince pies on...
...KAWAI will be unveiling a host of new keyboards for your delectation. There's the K4 Super Synth, which they claim will be the star of the show, the PHM Super Mini MIDI Module, a new high spec, mixer. In the personal keyboards stakes, they're hedging their bets on the new PH50 'pop' keyboard...
...TRACE ELLIOT, specialists in state of the art bass gear, will be showing their new "cheap" 715 combo - hit the Trace Elliot stand with £500, buy one and you'll still have a fiver to drown your sorrows afterwards in the bar...
...EVANS of Canada are spotlighting their Eliminator series I, offering a choice of Classic Lead, Hot Lead, Rhythm or Hot Rhythm pickups. Alex Lifeson, Jeff Healey, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Adrian Belew have already changed to Evans pickups so if you want to get wired too, visit the Evans stand...
...CARLSBORO have put their complete range of amplifiers, mixers and PA systems under major cosmetic and open heart surgery. Look out for the metal grilles, black and red graphics and charcoal grey finishes. Four new combos will be shown - the 100 watt Rebel (guitar), the 100 watt Cobra (keyboards), the 65 Colt (guitar) and the 100 watt Viper (bass)...
...BEYER DYNAMIC will be showing a new range of mics too numerous to mention - so you'll just have to go and find out for yourselves!..
...HOHNER, as well as showcasing their new professional amps (see elsewhere in Frontlines), will have a new range of Marlin guitars, a new range of "rockordians", and all the usual Dean Markley and EMG products they distribute...
...ROLAND will be revealing heaps of stuff, as you'd expect! Among the feast will be the PRO-E Professional Intelligent Synth, the DAC-80D 80 watt guitar combo and the BE-5B Multiple Effects unit for basses...
...JHS will be launching a new range of Charvel guitars and they will also be showing the full range of Jackson guitars. On top of that, Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) and the infamous Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.) are expected to be demonstrating the Jackson "axes". New Semi-acoustic Encore guitars and the entry-level Thunder drum kit will also be taking pride of place...
The public days for the BMF are the 28th/29th/30th of July, so if you've bought your PHAZE 1 early, you'll still have time to organise your visit. If you can't make it, we plan to feature a report on the goings-on in a future issue - you can't say fairer than that!
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