Steve Craddock is about to go on tour with ska band ‘The Specials’. They will be playing 11 shows throughout the UK and Ireland before heading into Europe. To celebrate this tour and thank Steve for being a long time Blackstar user, we’ve made him some extra special Ska styled, two tone black fret with white covering Artisan 30’s and Artisan 212 speaker cabinets. They will sound and look awesome!
Wayne Murray has been playing guitar for the Manic Street Preachers for eight years now. He began playing in James Dean Bradfield's solo touring band and when asked to play with the Manics at their 'XFM Winter Wonderland' show in 2006 he duly obliged and has never looked back. James Dean Bradfield uses, and is a huge admirer of the Artisan 30 so Wayne came to our London showroom to try one for himself. Within minutes he had the combo singing with classic Manics riffs and he soon became a big fan of the Artisan 30 himself. With it being the 20th anniversary of The Holy Bible album this year the band will be as busy as ever and we are proud to now have Wayne using the Blackstar Artisan range.
The amazing Sam Smith appeared on the BBC One show and put in a stunning performance backed by guitarist Ben Thomas. Ben uses a HT Club 50 half stack and HT Stage 60 combo. Catch the performance here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p025k9nj/the-one-show-music-festival-4-sam-smith
Vales have just come off from tour with dates that included playing Reading & Leeds. Guitarist Ben Sullivan uses a Series One 200 and this is what he said about it “The Series One 200 is truly one of the most versatile amps I've ever played - not only in tone but in volume too. From rehearsal studios to festivals, the amp provided me with more than enough power to feel unstoppable playing my guitar, I was brimming with confidence at every show.”
The Struts were in town to play London's prestigious Koko venue in aid of the Variety charity. We took the chance to invite their guitarist Addo Slack to try out some Blackstar amps. With Addo and his entourage squashed into to my small red car we looked like four clowns going to the circus as we piled out at our London office. Its fair to say Addo loved our amps and he will now be using a HT Club 50 and 212 cab for their upcoming tour starting in October. Visit their website www.thestruts.com for more information on their tour and their debut album 'Everybody Wants'.
Young Guns are kicking off a massive US tour starting on the 11th September where they will be entering 24 different states and playing 51 shows! No doubt they will be taking their trusty Blackstar rig with them. Make sure you get your hands on tickets as they are a band that cannot be missed! http://weareyoungguns.com/
In the Spring of 1977 The Damned toured America for the first time. At one of their shows was Stan Lee and Billy Club. Inspired by what they had seen they formed The Dickies. In September of that year The Dickies made their live debut at Whiskey a Go Go. They were one of the first punk rock bands to emerge from the Los Angeles scene, the first to appear on TV and the first to sign to a major label. The rest, as they say, is history. Part of that history is Little Dave Teague who joined the band in 1995. We met Dave at The Garage in London. Dave has been using a Blackstar Series One 100 head and 412 for their recent UK tour and in his own words he "has never sounded better"."I found the sound I was looking that I just cant get with other amps".
The Stranglers started life in September 1974 and will celebrate their 40th anniversary next month. Known back then as the Guildford Stranglers they have survived many a line up change and 17 studio albums later they are still going strong. They recently played V Festival and with hits such as Peaches and Golden Brown in their repertoire they went down a storm. As Baz Warne on vocals and guitar, using a Blackstar Series 50 rig, said to me after show they "soon had the young crowd eating out of the palm of their hand". They will be playing at the Electric Picnic festival in Ireland on the 30th August along with fellow Blackstar artists The Horrors and The 1975.
From what started as a small indoor festival in 2001 Bloodstock has expanded into the UK's largest independent metal festival. With some 15000 revellers congregating in the picturesque surroundings of Walton on Trent in Derbyshire, this was not to be missed by any self respected metal head. Blackstar were there in full force and had a presence on every stage from the Ronnie James Dio to the Jagermeister stage. Two of our acts, Dimmu Borgir and Saturdays headliners Emperor were the highlights of the weekend. Bloodstock will be back next year even bigger and better than before and Blackstar will, as always, be there too.
V fest takes place this weekend simultaneously between Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in South Staffordshire. This years line up has a 90's throwback feel to it with bands including M People, Allsaints, Embrace and Starsailor. Remember them? Blackstar have many artists featuring this year including The Stranglers, Kodaline, Manic Street Preachers, James Arthur and Sam Smith to name but a few. We will be there in support and getting our 90's on. Watch this space for a full report on the weekend.
Converge are currently on their European tour so we headed down to the Scala in London to meet up with their guitarist and Blackstar endorsee Kurt Ballou. Kurt uses the Artisan 30 combo as part of his usual live set up and also in his studio Godcity back in his home state of Massachusetts. We chatted about all things equipment related and believe me this man knows a thing or two about guitar amps! The show, it goes without saying, was awesome. Check out the forthcoming artist spotlight with Kurt coming soon.
New York City punk band Cerebral Ballzy are the latest recruits to the Blackstar family. We caught up with them on tour when they played at the Crauford Arms in Milton Keynes. Guitarist Jason Bannon has been running a Series One 100 full stack and it sounded awesome!
This weekend see’s the Blackstar team going on our annual trip to the Bloodstock festival in Derbyshire. The artist team have been working hard to ensure Emperor and Dimmu Borgir have had their brutal metal tone throughout the festival season and we can’t wait to see them crush the crowd with their Series One stacks this weekend! Right… now to load the van!
Japanese guitarist Yuji Hayashi is currently on tour with the famous singer song writer Shinji Tanimura. Yuji is currently touring around Japan with his Artisan 30 head and Artisan 2x12 speaker cabinet.
Nita Strauss is the latest guitarist to join the Blackstar family. Nita takes over from Orianthi in the Alice Cooper band and is using a Series One EL34 full stack. She also uses an ID:Core 10 for warming up in the dressing room and tour bus.