Hugo White - The Maccabees
The Maccabees released their first album ‘Colour it In’ back in 2007 and have since grown into one of the UK’s most revered guitar bands. Last years release ‘Marks To Prove It’ garnered rave reviews and reached number one in the UK album chart. The albums predecessor ‘Given to the Wild’ received a Mercury nomination and the single ‘Pelican’ received an Ivor Novello award for Best Contemporary Song. This year sees the band headline their first major festival when they take to the stage at Latitude. Hugo White, guitarist and producer, has recently joined the Blackstar family and had this to say about the Artist 30 “the Artist Series combo has been a great addition to the studio, very pure sounding amp that is versatile enough to make it a go to choice”. We are extremely excited and proud to welcome Hugo on board.
Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden
Back in 2008 when Blackstar was still in its infancy Blackstar sent Adrian Smith a HT-5 mini stack. Adrian then went on to use this and a Series One 100 head to record some of the guitars tracks on the album The Final Frontier. When it came to recording Iron Maiden follow up album The Book of Souls in 2014, upon request, Blackstar sent Adrian a Series One 1046L6 and a 104EL34 to the Guillaume Tell Studio in Paris, France. As well as using both of these amps to record some of the guitar tracks on the new album, Adrian wanted to get the sound he got in his home studios. When asked by Kevin Shirley the producer what he used Adrian replied, ‘The Blackstar HT-5’. So on a weekend trip home to UK Adrian brought back his trusty HT-5.
Adrian used the powerfully fitting tone of the HT-5 to help record the rest of the album.
Alvarez Kings - Instagram Takeover
The Alvarez Kings are currently on a US tour supporting Melanie Martinez. On March 9th they will be playing the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville and for 24 hours they will be taking over Blackstar’s Instagram account. Keep an eye on our account from the morning of the 9th for an intriguing look into life on the road with the Alvarez Kings.
The Guitar Show update
We went to The Guitar Show in Birmingham last weekend and our Blackstar stand was extremely busy all weekend! We had endorsees Ron Sayer and Joanovarc visit the booth and it was great to meet so many customers that really love our products.
If you missed out this year but want to get involved in the action next year, you can find out more details on the event here - http://www.theguitarshow.co.uk/
Hertfordshire bred rockers, Fort Hope have announced a massive UK headline tour, as well as a high profile support slot with Saosin at London’s O2 Academy Islington. 2016 already looks bright for Fort Hope, who were included in Kerrang!’s ‘Class of 2016’ in January. Live they already have a fearsome reputation, having supported Frank Iero, Mallory Knox, Jimmy Eat World and Moose Blood. With their growing following, their dynamic stage presence and sing-along ready rock anthems, they have earned themselves a spot on this year’s Download festival. Guitarist Jon Gaskin uses a Series One 100 rig. For more information on the tour http://forthope.seetickets.com/tour/fort-hope
Ellie Goulding is about to embark on a UK arena tour with support from John Newman. Chris Kettley, Ellie’s guitarist uses Artisan 30 combos and John Newman’s guitarist Carlos Garcia uses an Artisan 30 alongside an Artist 15.
Tour dates can be found here - http://www.elliegoulding.com/live/
This Is The Kit
This Is The Kit is the much beloved musical project of Kate Stables. Kate sings, plays guitar, banjo, trumpet and percussion, while a cast of carefully hand-plucked friends deliver guitar strums, banjo plucks, hushed horns and electronic textures that sit beneath. They released their third album ‘Bashed Out’ last year to critical acclaim and will be touring throughout the year playing some of the biggest UK festivals including Festival No. 6 and Kate will be using her newly acquired Artist 15. For more information on This Is The Kit visit http://thisisthekit.co.uk
Great British Guitar Show
Come and see us at stand E10 at the Great British Guitar Show this weekend!
More info here: http://www.theguitarshow.co.uk/
C Duncan came to our London base to try out a range of amps before his sold out show at The Union Chappell. C Duncan is a Glaswegian composer and multi-instrumentalist who’s debut album ‘Architect’ was nominated for a Mercury Prize Award last year and has catapulted him to success. The album was self-recorded at his home studio in Glasgow and has received rave reviews. He will be touring across Europe in the coming months and will now be using an Artist 15. For more information on C Duncan visit http://c-duncan.co.uk/
Our deepest condolences go to the families of Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry. We had the brief pleasure of working with them and could only predict huge things for the band. The tragic event that occurred last weekend is beyond sad. Such promise, such talent, all lost whilst doing what they loved. Our thoughts are with them and their families.
The bands ultimate ambition was hit the number one spot. Please download the awesome ‘Swings and Waterslides’ to help this happen.
Jack and Wayne from Trampolene came to our London base this week to try out a range of amps and pedals. The three piece rock band hail from Swansea, Wales but have recently relocated to London. The band has toured the UK as headliners, played a four week Friday night residency at Koko in London and performed sets at Glastonbury and the Isle Of Wight Festival in 2015. They have supported the likes of the Buzzcocks, The Enemy and Catfish and The Bottlemen. Lead singer/guitarist Jack Jones is famed for his spoken word poetry and was recently performing his poetry before introducing The Libertines on their arena tour. Jack loved the Artist 15 amp and will be using it when they visit the studio later in the month. For more information on the band visit http://www.trampolene.co.uk
The Stranglers are about to embark on a special tour celebrating the anniversary of their Black And White album so we made Baz some extra special amps for this extra special tour.
The tour is less than a month away. They have been entrenched in their west country rehearsal rooms honing what promises to be a blistering set. Ticket wise, the Glasgow and Perth dates have already sold out and other gigs are very close to doing so. Don’t hang around to secure your tickets! A full range of Black And White themed merch is being worked on and we will shortly be bringing you news of two exciting Black And White related releases.
For more information visit - http://www.thestranglers.net
BBC 6 Music Festival
This weekend the 6 Music Festival is set to take over Bristol with venues such as the O2 Academy and Colton Hall hosting a varied selection of gigs from Friday with supporting fringe events also scheduled. Radio station BBC 6 Music has curated the line-up which features around 50 artists including Blackstar endorsees Bob Mould and Everything Everything. This is only the third time the festival has taken place with the previous festivals being held in Manchester and Newcastle. To find out more visit www.bbc.co.uk/6music
The Defiled UK Tour
The Defiled have just announced their rescheduled UK tour dates for 2016. They were due to support In This Moment on dates originally scheduled for January and February, with those shows to be followed by a run of nine headline gigs but had to postpone until May. Keyboard player The AvD says: “After our Running In Circles tour getting postponed earlier this year, we are proud to announce that we are hitting the road with our brothers Forever Never. These are dates that coincide with our In This Moment UK tour so get ready for some intimate drunken shenanigans.” Guitarist and singer Stitch D uses a Series One 1046L6 stack and bassist Vincent Hyde uses an Artisan 100. For more details on the tour visit http://thedefiled.net
Learn To Play Day
At Blackstar we are passionate about guitar playing and we will always try and encourage people to pick up a guitar for the first time and give it a go!
This is why we are sending some of our staff to various stores across England on March 12th for Learn To Play Day so make sure you pop into one of the below stores and visit one of our team for tricks and tips on playing techniques and how to achieve a great tone!
Drew – PMT Bristol
Sam – PMT Leeds
Steve – Music Room Nottingham
James – PMT Birmingham
Alex – PMT Northampton