Last Sunday, October the 23rd Guitar Aid London team visited Kempton Park exhibition hall to check what's going on in the guitar industry. Please check our review below.
The South of England Guitar Show (by the same organizers as Birmingham's Guitar Show in February) was a first time here in South England. We were impressed by the amount of exhibitors and public on the show. It was actually a bit crowdy and packed in some places, which made it difficult to move to other stands. Also the fact the exhibitors had tables, not a proper booths didn't help for testing guitars or amps as the wholeplace became pretty nosiy. The good thing about it was that anything which was on a display was also for sale.
There were a quite few private vintage second hand guitar equipment exhibitors including Derek from Watford Valves. All their collections were really impressive.
It was great to see a few luthiers with their handmade great looking and sounding instruments. It's probably worth mentioning Stone Wolf Guitars, Druzkowski Guitars (both North England), James Collins Guitars from East Sussex, Crimson Guitars from Dorset (with their range of guitar, but also tools and guitar courses), Hathaway Guitars from Teddington with their selection of carbon fibre instruments as well as two Dutch luthiers - Panucci Custom Guitars and DeHaan Guitars. There was probably a few more.
Happy to see a few Scottish companies - Honeyboy Amps and Gryphin / Modulus Amplification - showing their hand made amps, but also specializing in custom speaker cabinets, amp face plates (including replicas of vintage amps) as well as offering guitar amp kits for DIY.
Of course on a guitar shows like this there had to be some more amp companies. It was great to see KSR with the modern high gain head, Cornell with their hand built amps, RD Amplification with a range of thier Dualist amps as well as a two local builders: Lazy J with his amps and Audio Kitchen with his range of great amps and pedals.
But obviously Audio Kitchen was not the only one with the pedals. There was a few new UK brand: Stone Deaf, Echoline, Twin Stomp and even one French pedal designer. And if you were looking for budget pedal you can test a range of Joyo pedals. Those makes aim in a different group of guitarists and I'm glad there was something each of them to choose from.
Also worth mentioning a couple of our suppliers which we had a great pleasure to deal with before. It includes Trans-Amp - a manufacturer of guitar amp transformers, Barnes and Mullins with the Peavey stand booth, great AllParts with a large selection of guitar parts, hardware and accessories.
Happy to see a relatively new make of guitar pickups - House of Tone Pickups from Chester. Sounds like these guys know their stuff! It was also great to meet face to face Matthew - one of their designers, not a typical sales person. We are hoping to co-operate with then in a future.
On a show like this there had to be music shops of South of England too. There was a very good stand of well known GAK shop from Brighton as well as Absolute Music from Bournemouth and Guitar Centre from Langley. And the good thing about this show was that you could buy any display item, so a great place to trade or buy guitar gear.
But it's not only guitar, amps and pedals. There were also ear protection companies, South Thames College with their guitar building courses as well as Musician's Union who help all, but especially young musicians not to get lost in music industry and legal stuff.
It was a great spent day and looking forward to be there next year too.
Check more pictures from the show below: