Meet the Guys
Doug's affable manner belies a daunting musicality.
He has an amazing ability to remember the arrangements, keys, music, lyrics and solos from hundreds of songs.
(Check out our song list!)
If you've not heard Doug before you are in for a real treat ... and if you have heard him before you are still in for a treat.
It's not just guitarists who are in awe of his jaw-dropping ability to play so many styles from riff-based Ska through pop and rock to blistering solos with tapping and shredding. You never quite know what Doug is going to do next.
"I like to keep them guessing." is his motto.
Kev is a respected and talented musician. When not drumming in various bands he writes and produces music in his home studio: pop and rock songs as well as music for TV, film and games.
Kazoo & bad jokes
But drumming is his "first love" and it shows. Kev is a terrific drummer with a wide range of styles, delivered with attack and drive, often whilst singing across the beat (difficult).
He is also a seemingly bottomless repository of bon-mots, witticisms, groan-worthy puns and dreadful jokes.
Says Kev: "I really don't like being bottomless - it's a real pain in the backside. Or it would be..." You have been warned....
With formidable technique and thunderous tone, when Paul locks-in to Kev's kick drum, together, they drive the rhythm section like a jack-hammer. It's what makes SKP sound so big.
Even worse jokes
Paul's percussive style and creative jazz-groove mindset adds a distinctive edge and depth to the SKP sound. He is, courtesy of playing with SKP, a convert to the pulse-driven single-note style that defined popular music of the 90's and later with bands like Blur, Stereophonics and the Killers: "After all, playing the right notes is a given but more important than that: bass is all about the groove."
As Kev recently commented: "Is there no beginning to this man's talent?"
Sound Equipment and Gear
The guitar is a Fender Stratocaster (Mexican) bought second-hand, and is pretty standard except the lower tone knob now affects the bridge pickup.
"Nothing much more to say .. it's a strat. It's lovely."
Around 1992 and in a state of penury Doug found himself looking for a new amplifier. "My neighbour happened to have one for sale, an old Marshall head amp, one clean channel with only volume and tone controls."
"I tried it at the next practice - yep, loud enough. I use effects pedals for distortion so the simple nature of it was perfect. Money changed hands."
Compared to Marshalls of the time with their multi effects and two or more channels it is very simple: kind of old-and-basic but functional.
It transpires the amp is an early Marshall JMP "plexi" with twin EL34 valves, built sometime between 1965 and 1970. This one of the many amps that more modern modelling amplifiers are emulating.
Add to the Marshall one half of a pair of PA speakers (bought around 1988 - also Marshall) and we have a strange looking Marshall setup
similar to later
combos of the
"It wasn't a skilful
purchase on my
part, just luck, but
the 'warm' sound
of the valves plus
for a tone quite
lovely to behold,
if only I can get
my fingers un-knotted."
All credit to Jim Marshall, bless his lovely valves.
"I use a BOSS BE5 guitar effects unit which is just compressor, distortion, delay and chorus.
But as usual, Boss nailed it and they're great effects."
Drums and Percussion
Kev's trusty old Tama drum kit of nearly thirty years' service was recently retired.
It was a wrench to say goodbye to such a familiar old friend and one that had done such sterling service but it had become worn-out beyond repair.
The replacement has noticeably more dynamic range and attack. The kick-drum, in particular, is much better defined. This added depth and clarity adds considerably to the bottom-end "oomph".
Drums: Gretch Renown Maple
in Satin Black (yeah baby)
Sticks: Tree wood
Kazoo: Stradivarius (late 1731 model)
Dingwall basses are made in
Canada. They are justifiably
popular because of their
playability and tonal range.
Dave Swift from the Jools
Holland Band with his
beautiful signature Dingwall.
Says Paul: "I drooled over this
amazing and exotic bass when
it was for sale but I could not
justify the £8.5k cost! Mine is the standard version but is nonetheless a superb instrument with monster tone and definition."
Another feature is the Novax Fanfret fingerboard - the frets are not parallel. It makes low strings longer than high ones giving more even tone across the strings and providing "voice of God" bottom-end.
Paul de-tunes the instrument by a semitone so the strings are less taught allowing a little more dynamic range.
Paul often gets comments about his bass - it is unusual. It has six strings: an extra string below and one above the usual four.
TC Electronics has, over recent years, gained in reputation as a supplier of superb, amazingly lightweight yet powerful bass amplifiers. The RH750 has oodles of power (750w RMS) and many useful features such as three presets (to save fiddling with controls for different basses) a built-in chromatic tuner, 4-way parametric tone controls, built-in multi-zone compressor, tweeter-tone to control very high frequencies and a tube emulator to provide the warmth and overdriven distortion of "good old valve amps" of yore.
Several features of the amplifier can be controlled from the footswitch, including preset-selection, muting and a useful readout from the amp's tuner.
The Big Twin is perfectly matched with the high-powered RH750 amp. It produces a huge sound with subterranean depth, crystal clarity and, if needed, ridiculously high volume.
It also, exceptionally light, thanks to clever design and rare-earth (neodymium) speaker driver magnets rather than cheaper but much heavier steel ones.
BareFaced, a UK company based in Brighton, have a rapidly-growing reputation among top bass players in the UK, Europe and increasingly in America.
We love having SKP play here. It's always such good fun!
How on earth do they play and sing like that? The bass player Rocks!
What amazed me was the sheer variety of music that SKP play. A real breath of fresh air!
Thank YOU ALL for a great night - the best yet! Lots of fun and great music! Still can't believe the Donna Summer segue!
Well done lads - you've made a lot of friends here!
You guys really rocked the joint! We had a great time.