Sunday, 19 May 2013

Wal players discuss their basses - Laurence Cottle

Laurence Cottle

When I moved from Wales to London, I worked in Denmark Street. Ian Waller brought in his incredible basses into the store and I spent most of my working day jamming on the Wal basses. I’ve had my two Wals for over 25 years now. They’ve given me so much joy and they’ve never let me down I will always cherish them.
 It was the way the bass looked that first attracted me, they are beautifully constructed and unique instruments. 

Wal players discuss their basses - Geoffrey Richardson - Caravan

Geoffrey Richardson - Caravan

I was an habituĂ© of the Farmyard and in Quantum Jump and Caravan with John G Perry. I regularly saw Wal and Pete the Fish there. Although I couldn't afford a Wal bass at the time, I asked Wal if he could sell me a pickup and he kindly sold me a JG bass prototype which is still on my Precision fretless. I got the feeling that he didn't sell the pickups separately, so maybe I've got a rarity – I know that pickup’s powerful enough to power a light bulb!

I was talking to [Penguin Café Orchestra bassist/producer] Jennifer Maidman the other day about Wal basses and we realised that virtually every bass player of our generation had a Wal: Alan Spenner, Mickey Feat, Jenny, Jim Leverton, John Mc.Kenzie etc etc. Good old Wal!!

Wal players discuss their basses - Martin Sims (Sims LEDs)

Martin Sims – Sims LEDs

I started working for Pete back in 1995. Pete was one of the first manufacturers to use our LED fitting service as others were not happy sending us part made instruments and did not know our system well enough to trust that we could do a good job. However, Pete could see that our system worked and was happy with the our workmanship. Whenever customers asked him how we did it rather than give away any trade secrets he always said we had highly trained woodworm!

Since then we’ve installed countless numbers of Wals with our LED system and I’ve always held the Wal bass in the highest esteem. I have had two Wal basses to use in the past. One four string – the