Apr 23 2015

Maggie Reilly on the Vintage TV Sessions, April 30th

Hello folks

Just a quick post to let you all know that you can watch Maggie Reilly, Mark Hornby and I performing a few songs on the Vintage TV Sessions, which airs April 30th at 8pm.

We recorded the show a few weeks ago at the beautiful Tabernacle in Notting Hill. This episode also features performances from Thunder, The Young Folk and Mark Nevin. Here’s the trailer…

Vintage TV is available on Sky 369, Freeview 242, Virgin 343 and Freesat 515. Most of you should be able to watch us in one way or another! You can also check their website at http://www.vintage.tv for more info.

We’re hoping to do a full ‘audience with’-type show sometime over the next few months. Sorting out the dates as I type. Fear not; I’ll post about it here to let you all know when it’s happening.

Hope you enjoy the show next Thursday. Tell your mates…

Apr 11 2015

Pimping My Bass With John East, Part II

*** Geek Alert!! Non-bassists might find this post a bit boring but I don’t care***

***Brace yourselves boys and girls!! ***

Welcome to Spring folks!

A lot has happened since my last post when I first visited bass maestro John East at his workshop with my Marcus Miller bass. Those of you that have been following my updates on Twitter and Facebook will be well aware of all the various gear I’ve bought and sold over the last six weeks or so. But that is for another post entirely…

John East Triumph Bass #4

This post is a little late coming (apologies for that) as I actually visited John again a few weeks ago now. This time I took back my beloved Warwick Triumph electric upright bass. In the fortnight since our previous encounter, John had been busy building a brand new custom preamp for the Triumph.

Based on his famous J-Retro design, the new preamp features stacked bass/treble (with a pull/push bright switch), stacked volume/pan and a stacked parametric mid control. Very much like the Marcus-retro preamp in fact.

John East Triumph Bass #6

Having now done couple of gigs on the Marcus bass since John’s modifications I can now firmly say that his system is by far the best preamp I have ever used! The vast array of tones now available to me from the one bass is astounding. From the classic Marcus slap tone right down to a convincing P-bass thump; it’s all there.

John East Triumph Bass #1

I was very excited to see what John could do for the Triumph. It has always had a beautiful sound of it’s own but with only the one tone control and pickup blend (magnetic/piezo), the tonal variations possible were incredibly limited. I was relying heavily on amp EQ to get my sound. Which basically requires quite a lot of extra high-midrange boost and a touch more bottom end.

John East Triumph Bass #5

It ended up being quite a long process to balance the two pickup systems. The original Warwick preamp had some kind of passive mixer so some on-the-fly modifications had to be made when it came to fitting it. The bass now sounds incredible! Like the Marcus-Retro it offers complete control over the tone of the instrument and now I can set the amp flat for total onboard tone-shaping. The bright switch is like a secret weapon on this bass!

John East Triumph Bass #2

We’ve got a little more tweaking to do in order to match the response of the two pickups (I will be paying John one last flying visit sometime soon for the fine-tuning!) but I am over the moon with what he’s achieved. I recommend anyone with one of these instruments (or any electric upright that has space for it) to get in touch with John for this upgrade. He’s a genius.

My next post will invariably also be about gear so apologies to those of you in search of glamorous touring tales and photos! The big bass gear-shift continues. Next up for sale will most likely be my entire looping rig. You heard it right folks. I’m desperate;y trying to scale right down so everything is as portable and lightweight as possible. I’m halfway there with the amp rig but the looping rig is next. If you’re in the market to seriously upgrade your looping rig, I have the perfect solution for you. Send me a message on Twitter or whatever.

Until then…

Simon Little's Bass Rig 10/04/15

Feb 24 2015

The Overdue Divine Comedy Philharmonie de Paris Post!

Hello folks

So I waited way too long to post about the big Paris show but better late than never, hey?

On the 11th February The Divine Comedy took to the stage of the beautiful Philharmonie de Paris for our first big full band show in a fair old while. We did play a few festivals last year as a five-piece but we expanded to a much larger ensemble for this very special show.

Philharmonie de Paris #8

The Philharmonie was in fact so new that they’d barely finished building it from the outside but luckily the auditorium was fully functional and their brand-spanking new sound system was really quite special indeed.

Philharmonie de Paris Ext

As I mentioned in my previous post the entire gig was streamed live by the Arte channel. No pressure! I know a lot of you watched the live stream which was also available for the next week on Arte, and by all accounts it looked and sounded wonderful. We were all very pleased with the live show. The whole show is still available to watch on the Philharmonie website until 11th July. You should all check it out!

Philharmonie de Paris #9

In the meantime a few tasty crowd-shot videos have popped up on YouTube; here’s a few favourites…

Something For The Weekend

A Lady Of A Certain Age

Bang Goes The Knighthood

I posted a stack of photos on my Facebook page on the day, but here’s a little gallery for those of you that missed it…

I’m not sure what’s next with The Divine Comedy at this stage but I’m sure there’ll be some more shows later on this year. There will also be a new album at some point so watch this space! There has been plotting galore but we’re not quite there yet!

Until next time…