Friday, 22 March 2013

Notable Wal Users


In absolutely no particular order, here are a few of the better known folk who have been known to wield a Wal from time to time. Some you'll know. Some might come as a bit of a surprise...

Feel free to suggest your own favourites in the blog comments...

Paul McCartney

Geddy Lee (Rush)

Nick Beggs

Greg Lake (Emerson Lake and Palmer)

Bruce Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Attractions)

Colin Moulding (XTC)

Paul Simenon (The Clash)

Mick Karn (Japan)

Justin Chancellor (Tool)

Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) 

Mike Oldfield

Jonas Hellborg
Sam Rivers (Limp Bizkit)

Jason Newstead (Metallica)

Steve Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees)

David Paton (Pilot, Alan Parsons Project, sessions)

Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree)

Justin Meldal-Johnsen

Percy Jones (Brand X)

Leigh Gorman (Bow Wow Wow)

Chris Squire (Yes)
Colin Bass (Camel)
JJ Burnel - The Stranglers

Gary Tibbs - Roxy Music & Adam and the Ants

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Wal of Sound...The essential Wal basses listening list

Wal of Sound...

The essential Wal basses listening list

Because of its immense tonal flexibility, during the late 1980s and early 1990s the Wal became the preferred for the discerning London session hound – so it’s likely that you’ve heard a darned sight more Wal bass that you may think. However, here’s a quick run through a dozen or so classic Wal sounds reaching back to the earliest days of the brand.

For some deeper study and even more Wal basses in action you can watch a YouTube play list of some of the best of Wal performances here...

There is also a Spotify playlist here...

Feel free to suggest your own favourites in the blog comments...

Siren – Roxy Music: John Gustafson
Possibly the earliest known recording featuring the sound of a Wal built instrument. Gustafson uses his custom built Precision/Wal hybrid. It’s this instrument which is responsible for one of the most iconic basslines of 1970s pop – ‘Love is the Drug’. However, with the revolving-door of Roxy bassists featuring Gustafson, Gary Tibbs and Alan Spenner (all Wal users) a dip into any of the band’s later albums will pay Wal bass dividends!

Power Windows – Rush: Geddy Lee
Having moved from Ricky to Jazz to Steinberger on previous albums, Geddy Lee was so enamoured the Wal he used on this album (belonging to producer Pete Collins) that he bought three for himself! The punchy, mid-heavy growl of the Wals became a Rush signature sound for the best part of a decade until, the beloved Jazz was dusted off again for the Counterparts album. The focused, naturally compressed sound of the basses perfectly suited the band’s complex production values during this period, allowing Lee’s busy lines to shine through the mix. The live album, A Show Of Hands and the studio cuts, Hold Your Fire and Presto are also well worth checking out for Wal-era Rush tones