Sean Parkin from the Alvarez Kings came to our London office this week to try a range of amps. Hailing from South Yorkshire Alvarez Kings rouse to popularity quickly with the bands single No Resolve being named Single of The Year by BBC Radio. They have also played festival slots at Isle of Wight and O2 Wireless and sold out shows in many of London’s famous venues including KOKO and The 100 Club to name a few. They also played a mammoth 40 date tour in the US on the infamous Vans Warped Tour, garnering them rave nationwide press reviews and a firm, dedicated fanbase. In fact Kevin Lyman - the festival owner - was so impressed with the band he invited them to perform Warped UK at the world famous Alexandra Palace in London and again playing the whole US tour again in 2015. Sean was hugely impressed by the tone and versatility of the Artisan 30 and the new Artist range and will be using them in the studio and for their upcoming tour. For more information on Alvarez Kings visit http://www.alvarezkings.com
Supergrass founding member Danny Goffey brought his solo venture, Vangoffey, to Camden’s Barfly this week in support of their debut album ’Take Your Jacket Off and Get Into It’ which was released earlier in the year to critical acclaim. The band was supported by a full range of Blackstar amps and Danny was using the new Artist 15 combo. Vangoffey will be embarking on a headline UK tour in February and are already working on new material. For more information visit http://www.vangoffey.com
Kodaline - Shepherds Bush Empire
Kodaline are currently in the middle of their UK tour and will be capping off a very successful year by playing four nights at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire next week. The band released their second album ‘Coming Up For Air’ in February and have been touring the world since. Guitarist Mark Pendergast is a long term Blackstar endorsee and Artisan user, he says, “When it comes to finding an amp that sounds and more importantly feels right, it can be difficult, but Blackstar amps give you exactly what you need. Amazing tone, tons of headroom, and they’re pretty ballsy too". For more information on the band and for your chance to see them on tour visit http://www.kodaline.com/home
Barns Courtney has rocketed to fame with his singles ‘Glitter & Gold’ and ‘Fire’, the latter having been chosen by Bradley Cooper and Harvey Weinstein for the soundtrack of their new movie Burnt. Just over a year ago Barns was sleeping in his girlfriends car and working at PC World. He has since been selected as a BBC Music Introducing act to be played on BBC Radio 1, supported Ed Sheeran in the USA and the Libertines across the UK and more recently Blur in Dubai. Barns came to our London office to try a range of amps and loved the new Artist 15 which he will be using for his upcoming headline UK dates. 2016 promises big things for Barns Courtney and Blackstar.
Steve Cradock - Paul Weller
Paul Weller is bringing a very successful 2015 to a close this week by playing two sold out shows at London’s Eventim Apollo. This year saw the release of album ’Saturns Pattern’ which reached number two in the UK album charts. Paul and his band, which features Steve Cradock on guitar with his Artisan 30 combos, have been on tour throughout the year and played Glastonbury and Hyde Park in support of The Who. Check out the link to see the band perform Saturns Pattern live from rehearsals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02cHPlA2ICA
RnR Studios originally opened in May 2004 as a purpose built music complex. It has recently been taken over by Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) and his son Dylan. RnR Studios is built around five acoustically treated studios, each with an individual characteristic and Blackstar is proud to be working in conjunction with Adrain and Dylan to power the studios with a range of Series One and ID:Series amps.
Warren Haynes - European Tour
Grammy Award winning artist Warren Haynes has been recognised as a cornerstone of the American music landscape and revered as one of the finest guitar players in the world. Throughout his prolific career as part of three of the greatest live groups in rock history – Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule and the Dead – his virtuosic artistry has led to thousands of unforgettable performances and millions of album and track sales. He is currently on a European tour promoting his latest solo album ‘Ashes and Dust’ and is using a pair of Blackstar Artist 30 combos.
Ihsahn - The Underworld
Longterm Blackstar endorsee and lord of black metal, Ihsahn, is playing a one off headline show at The Underworld in London this weekend. Ihsahn, who is best known for his work with Norwegian black metal band Emperor, will be using a Series One 200 rig. Support will come from Krokodil and Voices. Ihsahn has recently announced that he has finished recording his latest album which will be due for release next year. For more information visit http://www.ihsahn.com
ID:Core Stereo 40 Head Launched!
We are proud to introduce a 40W head version based on the ID:Core 40 combo.
This supercompact, lightweight head is perfect for a gigging guitarist travelling light, or for those who want a back up amp in case their main rig goes down.
Deep editing and storing of patches is simple using the Blackstar INSIDER software. Patches can be shared, uploaded and downloaded via the online community. The USB connector also allows you to record from your amp directly to your computer. An emulated output and MP3/line input complete the package.
It retains all the innovation, tone and features of its combo counterpart, including delivering an immersive sound experience via our unique Super Wide Stereo.
“Super Wide Stereo 20W+20W gigging guitar head that’s compact and lightweight.”
Artist Series - The New Classic
“Boutique valve amps perfect for pedals”
Blackstar are proud to introduce the new Artist Series of valve amps. The Artist 15 and Artist 30 set a new standard in classic tone, simplicity and flexibility. At the heart of the Artist Series lies a unique power amplifier design that harnesses the tonal qualities of the revered 6L6 valve. By carefully optimising the key power amplifier parameters of the Artist Series, the Blackstar design team has created an amplifier which has the outstanding dynamics normally associated with a USA 6L6 design, whilst adding the chime and shimmer of a classic British Class A amplifier. The Artist Series two channels offer the widest possible palette of classic tones and each channel can be set as either a clean channel or a classic overdrive channel. With the emphasis on simplicity and sonic purity, every feature has been refined to allow a musician total freedom in shaping their own sound. Pro features such as footswitching, reverb, master volume and effects loop augment the sonic experience, making the product completely equipped for today’s exacting performance requirements. This flexibility, tone and quality is delivered with a visual elegance worthy of the world’s greatest stages and performers. From the metallic thread in the classic paper fret to the embossed Blackstar detail on the luxury leather carrying strap, nothing has been left to chance in delivering the Artist Series
- The New Classic
Wednesday 13 EU Tour
This Halloween weekend Wednesday 13 are playing two sold out shows at The Garage in London this weekend to kick off the Astro Psycho european tour. They will be using Series One 100 rigs. They will also be supported on The Garage shows by Blackstar endorsees Evil Scarecrow who will be using Series One 1046L6 rigs. For more information on Wednesday 13’s tour visit http://officialwednesday13.com
The Defiled have just slid their way into the 2016 Guinness book of world records by being the first band ever to perform on an ice berg! Frontman Stitch uses a Series One 1046L6 and 4 string slinger Vincent uses an Artisan 100 for his bass tones. You can read the full story here - http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2015/10/first-gig-on-a-floating-iceberg-the-defiled-rock-an-ice-cold-record-triumph-400529
Gaz Coombes Nomination
Congratulations to longterm Blackstar endorsee Gaz Coombes for his recent Mercury Prize Album of the Year nomination for his latest solo album ‘Matador’. The album is his second solo release and is being described by many as his masterpiece. Gaz, who uses a pair of Artisan 30 combos, will be on his UK tour in November and December. For more information visit http://www.gazcoombes.com/home/#zX6wzzO6A6sAxJKv.97
We are delighted to welcome UK indie rock band, The Enemy, onto our list of high profile endorsees. The trio have just dropped their new album ‘It’s Automatic’ which is available now and are embarking on a UK tour in November!