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Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth

Month

November 2014

A revelation about turkey

I just had a conversation with the cashier in Tesco, which is so unbelievably hilarious that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry in despair, I had to blog about it just to get it off my chest!

 First a bit of background. I have a condition called hereditary angioedema, I’ve written extensively about that elsewhere on this site, so if you want to know more try here.

 One of the ways in which I manage the condition is simply by watching what I eat, I discovered a long time ago that there are certain things that are prone to causing an attack, so I avoid those foods altogether. The main thing I have to avoid is fatty meat, primarily beef, lamb and pork.

 Poultry and fish are fine though and I also eat a lot of vegetarian food. Just now and then I buy turkey rashers, as a kind of poor substitute for bacon if I fancy a cooked breakfast.

 tesco_elh_logoSo here I was in Tesco today, getting the shopping in and I fancy some turkey rashers. I head for the till and as she is ringing everything up the cashier comes across this apparently unusual item and we have a conversation that goes something like this:

 Cashier: So are these like bacon, only made out of turkey then?

 Me: yes, they are turkey rashers, I can’t eat bacon.

 Mrs L: He doesn’t eat anything with four legs.

 (A simple and slightly amusing way of explaining the problem that has become something of a default position in recent years)

 At this point the cashier looks puzzled, contemplates the item and then says…product_TurkeyRashers_Smoked

 …this was the one that got me…

 Cashier: but…turkeys have four legs

 …

a short silence ensued, I must have looked a little dumbstruck, she proceeded to make little flappy motions with her arms as if to suggest she was including wings in the equation, but this was never going to wash.

In a bizarre kind of way, this little gem has really made my day worthwhile, so thanks Tesco, you’ve made an old man very happy today.

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My New Bass – Fender Precision USA Standard five string.

Boys and their toys ‘ey?  Every so often I get a yearning for a new bass, but in recent years I have tried (at least tried) to be a bit more sensible about it.

Back in 1999 I bought a brand new Mexican built Fender Jazz five string and had that for a few years, it was a lovely bass for the money. £300 brand new in those days. I often wish I’d kept it, but as is the way of things to got traded in and that was quite a few basses ago.

This year I decided it might be time to venture back into Fender territory and initially had a fancy for a USA jazz model. You understand of course it had to be a five string, I rely far too much on that bottom ‘B’ to consider anything else, hence a vintage model was never in the running.

A lot of my bass playing friends out there have bass collections that are taking over their houses, so I have tried to hold to a ‘one-in-one-out’ policy and that is working out quite well. The only question was, which one is going to go.  Also I needed to make a bit of money if I was going to get a USA model, even at second hand prices.

Hence I decided that the Status Streamline was going to be the sacrificial goat. A truly fantastic bass, but I tend to play my S2 Classic for most gigs and the Streamline was a backup and a portable option when space was at a premium.

Mark Stickley and the boys up at Bass Direct in Warwick were brilliantly helpful to me and I want to thank them for everything they did.  I took the Status up to the shop and they agreed to sell it for me so that I could finance a new bass.  Whilst there I tried out a few fantastic jazz bass options from other manufacturers. I especially liked the Sandbergs and the Mayones. 

I left the bass with them and awaited the results…

Meanwhile my good friend Matt Cohen of The Reasoning, was also getting itchy fingers. He traded in his two Fender Precisions and opted for a gorgeous Vigier five string. This meant that his two Precisions were prostituting themselves before me every time I logged on to the Bass Direct website! (Phwoaar!)

After a few days a deal was sorted with the Bass Direct guys and I am now the owner of this little beauty. I was looking for something with a very traditional sound that would suit the blues band well and this passive, single pickup, classic design fits the bill perfectly. It’s thunderous tone is perfect for a blues trio.  Come and see us play soon and you can judge for yourselves.

The photos below are blatantly pinched from the Bass Direct listing, hope you don’t mind Mark?

A trip to Paris

Earlier this year I passed my fiftieth birthday and I wanted to mark the occasion with something special.  Ordinarily we are not travellers, I have a serious health problem that can make things difficult and my wife really does not like being too far away from home. So our holidays every year are taken here in the UK, most often at the Gower, our favourite place of all.

For my fiftieth I decided we should venture a bit further afield, but I wanted it to be a place that was within easy reach of home.  I work for the railway so we get some really great travel perks. So we applied for our passports for the first time ever and booked first class travel on the Eurostar to Paris for a four day trip.

I booked a hotel that was located opposite Gare-Du-Nord station to make the trip as easy as possible and we set off on October 27th. 

We wanted to get in as many of the sights as possible, so we booked a two day pass on the open top, hop-on hop-off bus tour, which I would certainly recommend, it was excellent value and very convenient.

Whilst there we visited the Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Coeuer, Notre Dame and many other legendary places. We had an absolutely fabulous time, although it was exhausting. Paris is a huge, bustling metropolis, a multi-cultural hotpot with extravagant wealth and appalling poverty living right next to each other.  We loved the short time we had there, here are a few photos to give a flavour of the trip.

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