Spamalot

Here’s another short video from the musical theatre pit, this time from a production of Spamalot at South Hill Park in Bracknell (UK)

The show is surprisingly “legit”, with much of the guitar pad being written for archtop and banjo, plus a couple of pastiche “power ballads” (including a couple of opportunities for melodic soloing) and a disco-tastic number for a solid-bodied guitar. Of course, I covered all of these using my Variax, with the guitar models hard-wired into patches on the Helix. There were also a few bits of nylon-string, which went on my Godin Multiac Dual Ambience. Plus literally 2 bars of ukulele, which I tried to cover with a capo on the nylon-string, but almost never made the transition in time!

It’s a fun show to play, particularly for anyone who enjoys the Monty Python style of humour. And because of the arrangement, there are quite a few times when the guitar is tacet while the rest of the band plays (if I hadn’t been stuck in the corner, I could have been first into the bar for the interval, for example!) Nothing that struck me as terribly difficult, but a few tight changes of style that mean you can’t really switch off. And there were no real issues with the parts – the novelty here is that they are provided to the group as PDFs, to be printed on demand. So we could write notes on the parts without having to worry about rubbing them out at the end.

I’m booked to play this show again in a few months’ time, with the added complication of covering as much of the Reed 2 part as I can when the guitar isn’t busy. Having seen how many instruments are required for Reed 2, that could be interesting from a space logistics point of view, quite apart from actually playing the stuff!

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