My long-term friendship and working relationship with show organiser Jason Hunt, means I am kept in touch with event-related news from the Midlands. His trade exhibition, The Guitar Show, is now a well-established weekend in the region’s calendar and I travelled up on Friday to oversee installation of the MU stand in the New Bingley Hall by ProMedia.
The show floor was sold out and a hive of activity with guitars galore on display. It was good to catch up with a number of contacts in the six-string world, including ace sound engineer Lez Patterson, and all was in place by Friday evening for a successful two days. I returned to the Radisson Blu hotel in the centre of Birmingham, where I had a relaxed dinner and an early night.
I was the sole MU representative on the stand on Saturday and although our corner of the show was busy throughout the day, I was delighted to meet so many MU members and other guitarists interested in the benefits of joining the Union.
On the Saturday evening, Jason had booked several tables at Adil’s Balti restaurant in Stoney Lane, and around thirty guests had a very tasty curry at his invitation. I was seated opposite Dan Hawkins of The Darkness and the evening passed in a blur of band and touring stories!
MU Regional Officer Ben Benson joined me on the Sunday and proved a superb representative for the Union, signing up new members and handling a wide range of enquiries. (Ben is pictured with Bristol bassist Becky Baldwin).
I also met the charming and talented Gordon Giltrap and Carrie Martin in the lunch marquee, where we exchanged notes about recent albums and reviews in The Musician magazine.
A most-worthwhile weekend and my thanks to Jason, Lez, Dan, Ben and everyone I met during the three days.