Tribute to Venus Carmichael


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Saturday 1st October: the guitars

OK, so some of you won’t be so interested in the means of producing the music as what it sounds like, right? However, since Kelly and I are both branching out slightly with the usual Tribute to Venus night instrumentation, and since I know (boy, am I aware of this when I’m playing!) that there are a significant proportion of guitar players in the audience, I thought I’d give you a brief update on the stringed things producing the noises this Saturday. Here they are:

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Aren’t they lovely? From left to right:

The black one with the brown details will be familiar to most Venus-watchers, as it’s become my go-to gig instrument these days. It’s a copy of a famous Ovation model by an outfit called De Ville, and you can read more about my quest to find out this guitar’s origins on my other blog.

At the back is a 12-string Danelectro, on loan from my band leader in Isaac Brutal, Mark Allan. It produces a lovely, chiming sound which immediately wants you to play a Byrds version of ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ on it. Instead, we’re using it for one of the new songs to be unveiled at the gig, ‘Coming Around Again.’

Next along is my blues box guitar. We’re using this for a different version of a Venus song I also play with the Brutals, ‘Death in Venice (Rose Tattoo)’. It originated as a ‘make your own blues box guitar’ kit in the Works, of all places, at Xmas, although I’ve since customised it with wine labels and beer mats – partly just because I can, but mainly to block the f-holes, thereby counteracting the feedback problems which are its only vice. If all goes well, you’ll hear a shimmering evocation of the Deep South on Saturday. If things don’t go so well, it’ll howl like a loon.

Last is my LAG 100 ACE.  Although it has a lovely, honeyed, mellow acoustic tone, its inbuilt pickups aren’t great (something I didn’t think of testing before I left the shop). Consequently, it’s only there as a back up. Because you can never have too many guitars, right?

Next time: Kelly’s harmonicas and percussion. Yep, you heard that right!