February 2016 Blog
Thanks to all for whom have read my first blog and have commented on various topics that I spoke about, its been great to hear your feedback!
Well, after a very overdue break I’m back to the bass extremely refreshed, and excited to start my new West End show, Mrs Henderson Presents running at the Noel Coward Theatre. I’ve written an article on it for anyone who may be interested http://harrisonwood.com/project/side-project-one/. I’m also able to get cheap house seats for £25 any show, so please, if you wish to see it drop me an email 🙂
The first week of February also saw me do my first dep on the UK tour of ‘Mary Poppins’. It was playing at the Manchester Palace Theatre and is on a long UK tour. After much preparation I really enjoyed the first play and am looking forward to going in again.
In the musicals word I also did my last sit in at Wicked (Apollo Theatre West End) before my first show. The show is a rather tough bass chair having to play double bass / electric 5 string and electric 5 string fretless bass, but is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable shows to play.
As I have just started my new show it would be rude to not delve into buying some new gear wouldn’t it? Surely its the best opportunity to do so :)! So I did….
As the Bass and Drums are remote on Mrs Henderson I felt like I needed to get the best audio monitoring possible, I’ve looked in the past at things such as the butt kicker that clamps onto the stool etc however nothing really stood out. Until, I saw a good friend of mine Dave Swift (Jools Holland bass player) post about his latest purchase which was the Porter & Davies monitoring system, I read about it, spoke to Dave and new that that was what I wanted! So I hooked up with Dil Davies down at Porter & Davies, took them a visit and ordered the BC2 Rackmount model the same day. Dil very kindly mounted their stool onto the lunar roc and soc chair that I had previously bought, and what a dream it is. It uses a separate aviom (audio mixer) to send whatever audio I want down the stool, through vibrations and the in ears it creates a feeling that I simply can’t explain, you just have to try it!! Ive noticed that if I have forgotten to turn the BC2 on it really makes a huge difference to my monitoring. Here it is on my equipment page… http://harrisonwood.com/equipment/porter-davies-endorsement/
I also got a new bow re-hair done which was extremely needed. Having not had a bow re-hair done in London before I got some great advice from various colleagues and took http://guivier.com a visit. I chose the LSO blend of hair, a mix between black and white which I’ve never had before. Consequently I absolutely love it and will certainly be re-visiting them in the future.
As a present to myself I also purchased a super spike (http://www.superspikes.co.uk) with a special engraving, its been extremely useful in sessions and I feel much more confident that the bass isn’t going to slip from under me, I am a huge fan!!!
This months practice has had much verity, both electric and double bass but that of various genres.
With learning both Wicked and Mary Poppins many hours have been spent focusing on preparing them inside out.
I’ve also had my first lesson for a very long time with the magnificent Leon Bosch. I’m a huge believer in we never stop learning and I’m always looking to try and make my playing better whether thats from the practice room or on gigs. However having an expert tutor always helps change any bad habits and look at what I could improve on. Due to my schedule being extremely busy until the end of February I only managed to meet with Leon in the last few days of February so please check out my March blog for much more on my time with Leon and what we have been working on.
Its been fantastic to get back stuck into playing and practice and I am forever grateful for what life gives me, if you have any questions about the gear, practice or gigs then please don’t hesitate to get in touch! I’m always up for a nice cup of coffee or a play 🙂
Until next month!