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Black Grape - Gear Breakdown | This Sound

Black Grape – Gear Breakdown

I caught up with Black Grape at their Cardiff leg of their current UK tour to discuss what equipment they are using.

Black Grape – Gear Breakdown

I caught up with Black Grape at their Cardiff leg of their current UK tour to discuss what equipment they are using.

by | Apr 2, 2019

First I spoke with Dan, the keys and rhythm guitarist in the band

So guitar wise i’ve got a 1992 Fender Strat Plus and a 60’s red Telecaster and a Fender Jaguar and that goes through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp, it’s a 90’s one so not one of the new ones, which is the only amp I’ve ever really had.

Pedalboard, i’ve got a Cry Baby Wah, and Electro Harmonix Soul Food pre amp distortion. I’ve got a Boss Digital Delay, a DD5 and that’s it! Oh I use a pedal train and a power bank.

Keyboard wise I use a laptop with Arturia Synth Plug ins, a couple of samplers. I use the Logic hammond organ plug in.

So you use only soft synths?

Yeah all soft synths. I have 2 Roland controllers, possibly A-800’s?? Not quite sure what they are called.

So are you guys session players in the band?

Yeah, it’s a session band, so me and Mikey both play in the Happy Mondays too, we dragged in Neil off the street! And Che is a session drummer that I know from Manchester. So me and Mikey have been playing with Sean Ryder for 13 or 14 years, and then this band as it is has been together since 2015, so 4 years in this configuration.

On to Mikey the bass player.

As far as basses go i’ve got one with a monkey on it, it’s a Fender Jazz variety, and i’ve got a Rickenbacker.

My bass rig was given to me for free, and that’s why i’ve got it and use it. When I first joined the Monday’s we got some free gear, and they just happened to be the ones who gave me this gear because nobody else would…

So what amp is it?

It’s all ‘Mark Bass’, what i’m saying is that it doesn’t really matter to me if you want me to to be honest with you, coz I just make it howl! And that’s my job! I don’t use any effects, I used to have some because I thought I needed something to stomp on, but I didn’t need it in the end.

Now to Seth the lead guitarist (Spoiler alert – excellent last song rock out section by Seth in the live show)

It’s interesting actually, i’m endorsed by Blackstar but the amp has blown up so i’ve had to bring my Marshall Bluesbreaker today.

Guitar wise i’ve got a 1969 Rickenbacker in sunburst. Gold Top Les Paul 1959 with P90’s, a Gibson Supreme and I have a Fender Jag (editors note, my mouth was drooling at this point!)

My pedalboard, I use a pedal train, leads I use Planet Waves Customisable cables. I’ve got a TU1 tuner pedal, a compressor made by Keeley. A DD2 delay pedal, I also have a DD20, so I use one at the front of the pedalboard and one at the end.

I’ve got a Jeckyl and Hyde overdrive pedal which has got crunch and overdrive on which is good when you’re jumping between channels.

An Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, a POG, Cry Baby GCB95. And I have a reverb pedal made by erm….someone, which I only use at the beginning of the show because it has a reverse segment which is quite unique, oh and I have a normal reverb by Electro Harmonix, an Empress Tremelo which gives it a shimmer and lastly a Boss chorus pedal.

Lastly on to Che, the drummer.

So the kit its a DW, Drum Workshop Kit, collectors series. It has Remo Ambassador coated heads on the toms and Remo reverse dot coated heads on the snares, 2 snares. 13 and 14 inch snare. 13 inch rack tom, 16 inch floor tom. Zildjian hats. I’ve got traditional 17 inch Zildjian and custom 18 inch crashes. Oh and I use Vic Firth sticks! That’s it!

And with that Kermit could finally return to the green room safe in the knowledge that nobody was boring him with gear talk!

I have seen Black Grape many times over the years since the mid 90’s and tonight they were on top form once again. It was great to get an insight into the band’s gear and I thank them for their time.

You can check out any upcoming shows here.

Please make sure you check out our other gear interviews here.

John has been in and out of bands all his life, toured and recorded in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues and studio’s. Also worked on stage with some of the world’s biggest acts setting up amps and breaking down stages.