Tom

[ what he uses ]
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I’m not much of a “gear head” really, so my set-up is relatively straightforward. When we formed the band years ago, it quickly became apparent that my amp at the time (which has been the butt of many jokes since) wasn’t going to cut it, volume-wise!

I promptly bought the Hughes & Kettner Switchblade, which was much more up to the job. I also use a Morley wah, DigiTech Whammy/drop pedal (for any drop-tuned needs) and a Korg Pitchblack tuner that has served me well for years. I recently added an Eventide Mod Factorn pedal, then talked about linking things up via MIDI…..but instead of trusting in this (to me, at least) technological wizardry and making life easier for myself, I opted instead to perform Riverdance on the pedalboard at rehearsal/gigs, manually switching things in and out ever since. Gradually, others in the band have gone down the Line 6 Helix/Kemper route. They sound great so I’m looking at going this way myself very soon.

Guitar-wise, I tend to get attached to things, so I still use the same main guitar I bought when I was 16/17 – a Gibson Les Paul Studio. It’s been through the mill somewhat (sanded back to the wood after an unsuccessful drunken refinish experiment involving a pyrography set, been set on fire, left with the strings off in a damp shed which twisted the neck badly (luckily straightened out with some careful persuasion) and it’s still going strong! A couple of years ago I thought it was ready for a facelift so, whilst discussing my latest “customisation plans” for the guitar with rest of the band (and after seeing and being inspired by a Duesenberg Outlaw) I opened the conversation with “a leather top and some bronze studs round the edge”. Unsurprisingly I was met with blank/concerned faces all round! Undeterred, I did it anyway and the result wasn’t actually as horrendous as the description would suggest! I do own other Les Pauls and a Fender Telecaster, but I still use the Studio as my main guitar.

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