Bailey Guitars @ London Acoustic Guitar Show

10-11 September 2011

Bailey Guitars would like to thank everyone at the London Acoustic Guitar Show for making it such a great experience. Although the show was not as busy as we hoped we still had a fantastic time. We didn’t get the ‘big break’ we were hoping for but felt the warm fuzzy glow of a friendly atmosphere throughout and everyone seemed to love our guitars.

For those who missed it:

Preston Reed‘s masterclass, demoing some of his special techniques, had jaws dropping and eyes popping, of course using his own Bailey Preston Reed Signature Baritone– Preston was sponsored by D’addario whose strings he has been using for a long time. Both the signature guitars are made to Preston’s personal spec including the strings !

There were a lot of other fine guitars there, makers and players too.

We met some old friends and made some new ones.

I watched my old friend Patrick Eggle‘s talk about building his latest beautiful instruments, with Gareth Pearson (once borrowed my AER for his set at Ullapool Guitar Festival!) demoing his guitars. I was lucky enough to have started my guitar making career working for Patrick many moons ago when he was based in his Coventry workshop making electric guitars so it is always great to see him.

Simon from Brook Guitars appeared- He gave me some good advice when we met ten years ago at my first ever show. It helped a lot so I got a chance to thank him for that.

We met the guys from Rotosound which was a revelation as I (to my shame) did not realise that they were a British company and their strings are made in the UK.

On the Sat night the organisers of the show had arranged an ‘after show party’ with ‘open mike’ which is a very rare treat at these kind of events. Apart from the occasional spontaneous one which has broken out over the years, we usually just go for a curry and an early night so we can be fresh for the next day.

However on this occasion I was already two pints ahead of everyone else having been led astray earlier by Martin Taylor, who had ‘forced’ me to sneak of for a couple in a nearby tavern.

We took our turn early on the ‘open stage’- I accompanied Carol with my old trusty no.2 guitar while Carol serenaded the hard nut London crowd until they became marshmallows, then we retreated to the outside tables where we met Giles, inventor of  ‘The Swipe’ – the only guitar string cleaner that gets underneath the string. We hit it of straight away, exchanged life stories, and sealed the deal with a Hendricks gin (or two).

Patrick joined us and Frank and his wife Sue, Foz and a lot of other folk (Mick and er…sorry…it’s gone again…) we made merry until the bar closed. We ended up with Jason at Orlando the Columbian’s house, just round the corner, for a cup of tea. Jason’s father founded Rotosound Strings which are made here in the UK. He has boundless energy and kept us up far too late before we staggered off to our hotel room. It wasn’t until the next day we found out I had been sitting next to Fish most of the night. The Fish… And Frank turned out to be his guitar player! It was a great night, with great folk, and great music (as my friend Gordon would say)

On the Sunday me and Carol were both slightly worse for wear but still had a great last day.

The highlight of the whole show for me was making a video with Martin Taylor for Elixir Strings about how to change guitar strings properly which included a short interview.

BIG Thanks to Bruce, Steve, Phil at D’addario for their company & for inviting Preston to play.

Special thanks to Sandy Thomson for loaning us his spectacular Bailey Custom Ancient Kauri Guitar.

Thanks to The Stegg and Jamie everyone else who helped get us there!