Ella Stormark browsing Jimi’s favourite records at Handel & Hendrix, 23 Brook Street

I’m not gonna lie, I do tend to get, uhm, how do I word this, carried away, while on DJ duties. I’m pretty sure (convinced…) this is a quality that’s been passed down in the DNA from my Dad, as controlling the music tends to be a never ending battle between us. Of course, he wins, every time! He’s got 30 years on music history on yours truly – clearly a winner. Anyway, back to me. I’d say music is definitely my passion, and as I’m not player per se (meaning I only play for my cat), I’m an incredibly good listener – If listening to music is a skill, I consider myself highly skilled – I could listen for days, and whenever I get the privilege of DJ duties, whether it’s in public or in private, I take my job, very, very seriously.

Most times I’m good at it, great, even! But, there has been a few instances where I’ve misread a room completely, and when I say misread I mean really, really misread – which also is short for ignore, as I’ve just ignored what absolutely everyone else wanted to listen to so I could get my fix. My best example of this, is making my guests sit through an entire Motorpsycho album (it was a double….) when they were craving Pink Floyd. Probably not my finest moment, but oh well, what can I say – if you don’t like me at my “Motorpsycho at midnight”, you don’t deserve me at my “Prince at parties”, and on the subject of parties, I’m pretty good at them.

Jimi Jammin’ at 23 Brook Street

Next time I’ll be serving up a healthy dose of bangers and mash to the public is on the 14th of February at Jimi Hendrix’s old Brook Street flat, and let’s be honest, there’s not really any other guy I’d spend my Valentine’s day with, so it’s pretty perfect. With 22 days to go, I’ll be rummaging through my record collection like crazy, cradling and canoodling my precious gems, while trying to figure out who gets their five minutes of fame on holy ground. I’ve been a Hendrix fan for longer than I haven’t, and the fact that I get to spin my choice of records where he once lived, is kind of a pinch me sort of situation – would Jimi approve of my record collection, and agree with my selection?

For those of you who aren’t aware of the ‘Jimi’s old flat situation’ – during his time in London from 1968 to 1969, Jimi resided at 23 Brook Street, where funnily enough, composer Handel lived 200 years prior. In recent year, the property has been refurbished and opened to the public as a museum, paying homage to both Handel and Hendrix. Hendrix’s flat has been re-made by the help of Jimi’s then girlfriend Kathy Etchingham to pretty much exactly how it was during his stay there, allowing you to step back in time and get an actual insight of how Hendrix lived, trippy time travel!

14th of February marks the four year anniversary of the opening of the flat, and it’s celebrated with one of their ‘Friday Late’ events, which is a regular thing – meaning you can actually attend a house party at Hendrix’s house – what?! When discovering Hendrix at 14, I never thought in a million years that I’d ever be able to set foot in his house, let alone be invited to share some of my own favourite music with fellow Hendrix fans, and I truly feel honoured to have been asked to do so. 23 Brook Street is an important part of music history, and well worth a visit if ever in London, as part of one’s psychedelic pilgrimage.

Now, back to rummaging records.

The scale of the Australian bush fires is truly unprecedented.

Unless you’ve been on holiday on Mars for the last couple of months, the news that Australia is suffering from the largest scale bush fires on record will be something you’re only too aware of.

It’s very hard to grasp exactly how big a problem this actually is, particularly in countries like the UK where wildfires aren’t something that affects us, so a bit of research and the following details begin to emerge:

As of 7th January, 25.5 million acres or 10.5 million hectares of land has been affected by the fires. That’s 32,000 square miles. For those of us in the UK, that’s an area that runs from Portsmouth in the South, as far North as Coventry and from Bath in the West all the way across to London in the East. Another way of putting it, is the whole of Belgium – burned and still ablaze with little end in sight. To try to visualise the fire-front itself is to imagine a picture of Hell… Imagine an unbroken line of fire, stretching from The East Coast of the USA to the West Coast, then back again, then heading back yet again, to the West Coast and getting at least as far as Indiana. That’s the fire-front in a single state alone! More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed, 24 people have lost their lives and estimates are that somewhere between 500 million and 1 billion animals have been burned to death a figure that beggars belief.

We at Orange would like to ask a favour of you guys – Please share the following links with as many people as you can. You don’t have to share our posts, take any mention of us out if you prefer – this isn’t a PR exercise as this message is too important. If you’re able to donate a small amount to one of these charities that’s wonderful but that’s your business. This is just our way of helping ensure that any donations you do make actually go to where they will make a difference. There are many other organisations out there and all are just as worthy but here’s some selected by us:

The NSW Rural Fire Service
These guys are volunteers! Donations made to the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), or your local Rural Fire Brigade, directly benefit volunteer firefighters and are always gratefully received. These proceeds directly assist brigades in conducting their community activities.

The Salvation Army Australia
Feeding and supporting the firefighters and evacuees is a major military exercise but fortunately, there is an army ready and willing to help. The Salvos are right there at the front line.

The Australian Red Cross
Supporting thousands of people in evacuation centres and recovery hubs across Australia.

WIRES Australia
WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation. WIRES has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over 30 years and WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

Jaret, how did it all begin?
I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the States when I was five. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad and uncles playing me music, those dudes loved Metallica. My dad would also drive me around with Pearl Jam on repeat. All my uncles played guitar, and my grandfather the cuatro, so I had early exposure to those instruments.I didn’t pick up a guitar myself until I was 15 or 16, when my dad finally got an acoustic for Christmas and I got bitten by the bug. Eventually I bought an Epiphone Les Paul for money I’d earned selling candy in high school, and once that was done I stopped doing just about everything else to pursue playing.

I’d recently been turned onto At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta and was like ‘Damn, that dude’s got hair like mine and he shreds, let’s learn that shit!’ My dad also made sure I knew Led Zeppelin was the greatest band of all time, so I guess that shaped a lot of my playing too, Zeppelin>The Beatles

Puerto Rico’s a really musical island, and we like to make noise! 

You’re currently keeping busy with two bands, Grave Bathers and Heavy Temple, what can you tell us about them?
Grave Bathers formed about a year ago, bassist Davis and I had been in a surfy psychedelic porto-punk band together for a few years called The Bad Larrys, when our musical tastes started outgrowing what we were doing. So, we decided to get a heavier outlet to create music that resonated more with us. We met Drew, the singer, at a show, and the original drummer in Bathers, Barret, was an old band mate of Davis’. Our other guitarist, Steve, was the last piece of the puzzle, and we had our first show in NY within a month of forming. 2019 was a wild ride with lots of obstacles to overcome as a new band, but 2020 is looking promising with our new drummer Cliff having joined us

Grave Bathers set up

Heavy Temple’s been a band for about 7 years, and Elyse played with five different lineups before I joined on guitar and Will on drums. My buddy Zach from High Reeper gave me a heads up one morning that she was thinking of hitting me up to join, and I was sold before she even asked. Some of our bands had crossed paths in the past, so we were familiar. Before joining Heavy Temple, I’d never been on tour or played anything besides bar venues – all that changed this year.

As a guitarist, who would you say is your main influence?
That’s like trying to play FMK with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page.

When it comes to music in general, what bands are on repeat?
As for recent bands, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Monolord, and Thee Oh Sees. Oldies but goodies; Hendrix, Zeppelin, Dust, Sabbath, Captain Beyond and Sir Lord Baltimore.

What would you say has been your musical career highlight so far?
2019, from start to finish. Joining Heavy Temple and hitting the road to play in states I’ve never been in has been amazing. We got to play Union Transfer for Tired Hands Brewing’s (where I work as a brewer) anniversary party with Weedeater and Pallbearer, and I’d say that’s my favorite gig I’ve ever played, thanks Jean! Grave Bathers playing Johnny Brenda’s in Philly for our last show of the year, a year into being a band, let us know that we’re on the right track. THEN I got to join the Orange family! I definitely had to pinch myself a few times in 2019.

What’s your history and experiences with Orange?
My buddy had an Orange in high school, and one night we ate a bunch of shrooms and plugged his SG Custom into his AD30HTC half stack, and my mind was blown in the most perfect way. There was a lot of pedals to make noise with and everything sounded like.. Pink Floyd? Ha. I eventually bought an AD30R combo, before trading it for the twin channel head and cab on the day of my new psych band Tail’s first show. 

Vintage 1972 GRO100 & 1973 OR120 & PPC412’s

What do you look for in an amp?
It should sound perfect turned all the way up, and then allow me to destroy that with a fuzz pedal. Beefy bass and low mids, with wooly top end that doesn’t sparkle too much. Everything Orange sounds like to me.

What’s your current set up?
I run either a Tokai Flying V or a Black Beauty Les Paul Custom into my vintage 1972 GRO100, with one or two PPC412’s. I’d play someone else’s guitar before playing a different amp. It reminds me of everything I loved about my OR50, just with more headroom and that crusty mojo. I drove 15 hours on a Sunday to pick that head up and when I found it, or it found me, the new backplate that was made for it had my birthday written on the back. 

Who’s Awesome? You Are!

As you’re all aware, we said goodbye to the Orange Forum at the end of November after more than 15 years.

This post is perhaps a little different from others you may have seen from Orange over the years – this post is specifically addressed to you, the forum community.
The success of the forum was all down to you guys, our contributors who took the time out of their days to give us both their knowledge and their love of this wonderful thing we all share – Music.
We weren’t precious about the forum, we never really thought of it as ours – it was yours and we as employees of Orange rarely had anything to do with moderating – we didn’t need to, it was a place where respect was shown to users of all sorts of amps and discussions were largely carried out with courtesy for the opinions of others. Not that you lot were a bunch of angels but you get the point. It made our lives easy as we could let you guys get on with the business of enjoying talking with each other.

This would be a very long and excruciatingly boring post if we were to list every person who has given their time to the forum over the years and we wouldn’t like to single any people out as every contribution was equally valuable and appreciated but there was a hardcore of regular contributors who really made things come alive. You know who you are and so do we! You guys are awesome!

The forum will stay where it is as a resource for now and we do encourage all of you to join in on our social media channels. Your expertise is always valued.
All that remains to say is, to all you Tiny Terrors, Rockers, Experts, Masters and Dukes of Orange – Thank you. Genuinely – Thank you.

Six years ago, on Christmas Eve eve, I was sitting in traffic on the way home from work when an idea popped into my head. I wanted to make a contest. But not just any contest. I wanted to make the entry process simple and I wanted to make the reward huge. So I opened the Facebook mobile app and I wrote a post on the Orange page. It read:

“Wish Granted: Just tell us which Orange product you want and on Christmas day we’ll announce the winners.”

By the time I got home the post had 2,000 like and nearly as many comments. I knew I was onto something.

We had thousands of entries in year one. We had tens of thousands by year two. Each year we kept giving away more and more products. Those first few years I would personally sit at the computer on Christmas Day scrolling through the entries and hand-picking winners. It was tedious and it was time-consuming. But the joy it created made it worth the trouble. (Luckily our very tech-savvy marketing director has made the selection process much easier)

Around year three it was clear that Wish Granted had become part of our annual marketing repertoire. That’s when we began involving Cliff Cooper to help push the promotion via his heartwarming Christmas videos. That’s also when Cliff decided it was time to really expand Wish Granted to even more countries and even bigger prize packages. Now we find ourselves in the sixth year of Wish Granted and we just finished giving away more than $40,000 in Orange products to more than 15 countries after receiving upwards of 95,000 unique entries! See the full recap here.

What really warms my heart about Wish Granted is the feedback we receive from our fans. Here’s a smattering of extremely positive reviews from some of this year’s winners:

“I am 42 years old, last time I won a lottery was when I was about 10 y.o. – it was a small prize, less than a dollar. I am new to the Orange fans army but I do appreciate what this company does for the music-addicted society, I have never seen this before from other brands. It is so impressive that even if I would not win, my respect to Orange would have increased significantly just because of this unbelievable initiative.”

“I’ve always been a fan of Orange Amplifiers but being on disability have unfortunately never had the funds to purchase one. I’ve entered the giveaway every year you’ve run it on the off chance of being one of the luckiest individuals to walk the face of this Earth, never dreaming in a million years I’d win. That said, I cant thank you enough for the opportunity or the ear buds. You’ve definitely made my holiday season that much more enjoyable and with a bit of citrus.”

“Unbelievable! I have several Orange products and now they have my loyalty for life! I have had a really bad few weeks this is definitely the light at the end of the tunnel, cannot wait to play it! From my old trusty Crush Bass 25 now to a Terror Bass Amp!!! Thank you for making my Christmas!!!”

“3 years ago, my band was robbed and a lot of our equipment got lost, including my trustworthy Terror Bass. So winning one this time makes me feel double as happy as anyone else! Feels like the universe is returning something that always belonged to you. Thank you, Orange! You are and always will be the best amps in the world!”

“I am passionate about music and guitars in particular, I play it for more than 40 years. My son shares this passion and has been taking guitar lessons for 2 years. For Christmas I will offer him an electro-acoustic guitar. Your gift could not be better for this Christmas and will perfectly complement its equipment. I sincerely want to thank you and I wish you a very happy holiday season and a merry Christmas!”

It’s knowing that we helped make the holidays better for thankful guitarists that makes all of this effort worth it. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting Orange and may 2020 be your best year yet!

Alex Auxier, Artist Relations Manager and USA Marketing Manager

As the year is coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on my musical highlights of 2019, before venturing on into the next decade; the twenties – how did we get here so soon?! Musically speaking, 2019’s been good to me, great, even! I’ve attended more gigs than I can even remember, and despite having been doing this work for years now, I’ve at times had to pinch myself in excitement about all these opportunities I’ve been given, and I just wish I could go back in time and tell my 15 year old self.

In 2019, we unfortunately lost the good Dr. John, but were also blessed with the news of the return of Rage, and with where the western world is heading now politically, we need them now more than ever. Preferably in the UK – perhaps in Hyde Park, please? Rage Against the Machine is the final band on my bucket list and I would pretty much walk through fire to be able to attend one of their shows, although I’m hoping I wont have to go to such extreme lengths. Anyway, as I’m bracing myself for the next decade, it’s time to get nostalgic about all the good times I’ve had this year.

Favourite Gig of 2019
This is such a tough one as I’ve seen so many incredible acts this year, however, taking my friend Holly to have her Sleep cherry popped at the Kentish Town Forum in October was pretty awesome – you just can’t beat a shirtless Matt Pike.

Favourite Album of 2019
My mates in Sacri Monti released their second album ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ and it’s just fantastic, a beautiful mix of the current San Diego psych sound, mixed with elements of 70s prog and twin guitars along the likes of Wishbone Ash. I love it, and so does my dad, which, let’s be honest, is the ultimate seal of approval. Dads know their stuff.

Favourite Festival Experience of 2019
I’ve enjoyed every single festival I’ve been to this year, but as the majority of them were for work (Desertfest London, Download & Black Deer Festival), I have to say the one that allowed me to kick back and relax, and more importantly, turn off my phone: Portugal’s Sonic Blast Moledo – from being drenched to the bone watching Earthless in the torrential rain, to be poolside for Giöbia while drinking Super Bock in the sun while surrounded by some of my best friends, it’s a pretty hard one to beat.

Sampo from Kaleidobolt crowdsurfing during Sacri Monti’s set at Sonic Blast Moledo

Favourite non-musical Music Event of 2019
I’m a sucker for a music exhibition and cried my way through both the Bowie and Pink Floyd exhibits in London a couple of years back, so of course – when Home of Metal announced their ’50 years of Black Sabbath’ exhibition I was hell bound on a train. A day out spent in Birmingham educating myself on the purveyors of doom – I had a blast.

Favourite Song of 2019
Hardly a new song, but Neil Merryweather’s cover of Donovan’s ‘Sunshine Superman’ is my most played song of 2019, which came as no surprise at all. Who doesn’t love some funky rock ‘n’ roll you can dance to? You can view and listen to my full Top 100 here.

With that done and dusted, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who’s read and commented in 2019, and I look forward to sharing more musical musings with you all in the new year. Happy holidaze!

So, let’s take this back to the beginning – how did you first get into playing?
I picked up the guitar when I was 14, and I think my dad’s very much to thank for that. He wasn’t a musician himself, but he was very interested in music, and it was something that was a part of my life from a very young age; him playing various country and classic rock records around the house. I first started playing acoustic, but it only lasted for about a year as I realised electric was more my thing. I was just playing around at home, and signed up to Youtube where I started sharing videos of covers songs I was playing. I didn’t really think much of it besides wanting to share my passion with the world, so the response was pretty overwhelming as I ended up getting millions of views! Back then, it wasn’t many females my age doing that sort of thing, posting classic rock covers, so there seemed to be a market for it and it definitely helped me get where I am today!

Have you always been into writing lyrics or was that something that came naturally once you started making your own music?
That was something that came at a later stage, as I was only interested in the musical aspect of it all to begin with. I was actually playing on my own for about seven or eight years, and it wasn’t until 2011 I finally made it out of my bedroom and into the real world, something I have my other guitarist Mathieu to thank for as he was the one that told me to get in front of some real people instead of just playing in front of my webcam, as music is meant to be shared. We ended up starting the band together and have been writing together ever since. Doing it this way worked for me, but I’d advise other beginners to start a band and play with other people earlier on, as it was definitely a weak point for me for quite some time, as it took me a while to get used to it after doing it on my own for nearly a decade. 

You released your second album ‘Burning Bright’ early November, what can you tell us about it?
First of all, it’s definitely a lot darker than my first record ‘Hard Blues Shot’. We recorded it in January after a two year long writing process. We’ve actually been playing some of the songs live for almost a year and a half despite the record being just recently released. As far as the writing and recording process goes, it’s normally myself and Mathieu coming up with a riff, followed by writing the lyrics to go along with it. Once that’s done, we get the other guys, our bassist François and drummer Antonin in and we arrange the rest of it together. Bass, drums and rhythm guitar was all recorded live, before adding lead guitar and vocals.

So, let’s get down to business – what’s your history and experiences with Orange?
My first ever Orange amp was the Dual Terror, simply because of it’s size and it being small enough for me to carry myself. I’ve changed it up a bit throughout the years, but I’ve stuck with Orange as that sorta became my sound.

Can you run us through your rig updates and upgrades?
After a while I ended up wanting a bigger head, and went for a Rockerverb 50. I stuck with this for years, before I recently upgraded to the Rockerverb 100 instead, which I love. My set up depends slightly on the size venue I play, my go-to is four 4×12 cabs and two Rockerverb 100 heads – however, if I’m playing a smaller venue I tend to just cut this in half and go for the two cabs and one head. Regardless of the size of the set up, I love the look of the Oranges on stage, and I can’t get enough of that grain! My other guitarist plays Marshall, and I dig that we have such different tones, as I find the two really compliments each other.

1969 was a big year for Orange Amplifiers. It was when we found our mojo, what we call the Voice of the World.

50 years on we take a look at the world of Orange and how together we’ve shaped the Voice of the World.

Fleetwood Mac Sweden November 1968 with the very first Orange backline & PA.

Having started by making super clean lead amplifiers Orange soon began to look for ways to increase the ‘perceived’ volume at the request of our customers. Our equipment gave out a true 120 watts RMS but lower-powered models from other manufacturers sounded louder.

The solution came to Orange Amplifiers CEO Cliff Cooper after a meeting with a leading ear specialist in London’s Harley Street.

The brain can register distortion as pain in order to protect the mechanism of the ears. The jagged harmonics produced by the distortion work the ear’s conducting bones harder, and this is perceived by the audio nerves as an increase in sound level. The original Orange amps were especially clean sounding with very little distortion. In order to correct the situation, we gave the amp a lot more gain and modified our circuitry. These changes gave birth to the ‘Orange sound’ – best described as ‘fat’ and ‘warm’ – more musical and richer in harmonics, with a unique saturation in the mids.

Cliff Cooper

Success soon followed with a boom throughout the 1970s, but changes in circumstances meant that by the end of the decade production had almost stopped. Yet Orange Amplifiers remained at large and were gathering an unseen legion of fans.

The Voice of the World was resuscitated in 1997 when Britpop pioneer Noel Galligher visited Cliff Cooper and now Technical Director Adrian Emsley in Denmark Street where Cliff ran a shop. Noel wanted to add more crunch to his vintage OR120, eventually leading to the development of a new amplifier, the OTR. This heralded the second coming of Orange. This was closely followed by the AD series in 1998.

Noel Gallagher’s Orange Custom Shop 140

In a world far, far away from Britpop, stoner rockers were also adopting vintage Orange within their wall of sound. The embers of Orange Amplifiers, smouldering in the limelight of yesteryear, went from a flicker to a roaring flame when an Orange OR120 was featured on the album insert of Sleep’s 1998 release ‘Dopesmoker’.

“I’ve been using Orange for kinda a long time actually. I was watching Black Sabbath on MTV when I was a kid and I was like Orange, Orange, Orange. After that, we started buying Oranges up when we first, kind of, started the band. That’s kind of I was going for – you know, in the beginner like a classic, rock, overdrive. Now I’m just using massive mountains of Orange” – Matt Pike of Sleep

Since the 90s, Orange Amplifiers and the Voice of the World has become synonymous with music from every genre: Country to Metal, World to Jazz. Even from our humble beginnings, Orange has always been a David and Goliath-like story, we’re not just a business full of execs in suits, with Orange it’s personal. We’ve done all the jobs possible: roadie, performer, rigger, producer, repair engineer; in other words, we understand your voice, it sounds a lot like ours.

Shaping the Voice of the World

1.     Built to last, our speaker cabinet design went beyond the designs at the time. 18mm birch-faced marine ply, a central baffle post and tough Orange vinyl was the standard we set. It still remains to this day.

2.     Wooden skids replaced plastic casters. No more broken wheels and the skids act as a coupler, enhancing the bass response.

3.     Orange Amplifiers own our factories, unlike other OEMs who use contractors we’re able to manage every step of the production process in house, irrespective of the country of manufacture.

4.     By over-specifying on the transformers, we reduce the amount of heat building up inside your amplifier, meaning longer operational life. 

5.     Those very transformers prevent the amplifier from throttling the output signal, which means passing the whole frequency spectrum without losses to the top and bottom of the range. 

6.     Almost all our amplifiers (bar the Terror Bass) feature a tube buffered FX loop ensuring the signal chain isn’t compromised at any stage. 

7.     Analogue is the standard, that means no digital modelling. Only the highest quality components and that all-analogue design is what brings Orange Amplifiers tone to life

8.     We created the first-ever digital amplifier with the OMEC Digital back in 1974.

9.     While we launched don’t mess with what’s inside the amp we’ve brought the same commonsense Orange thinking to the digital era with the OMEC Teleport, a latency-free AD/DA converter, marrying up old and new technology and super simple to use.

10.  We justify our all analogue circuitry through what makes Orange ‘Orange’. Just switch the amp on and you’ll get what we mean, no tone hunting required. Simply plug and play.

11.  Built for international touring artists as well as home use, wattage switching options are designed into many of our amplifiers. Also this feature is ideal for pushing your amp to the edge.

12.  Experimentation is our bag, take for instance the Rocker 32 which features a two 10” Voice of the World speakers which can run in mono, stereo or even patched one side wet and the other side dry.

13.  Speaking of those Voice of the World speakers. What makes them unique is a very fast and tight bottom end that speeds up with more overdrive, alongside a vintage sounding top end.

14.  Our flagship Rockerverb MkIII is built on three generations of development based on user feedback, featuring a four-stage ‘dirty’ channel that gives mid-range crunch the more you crank it.

15.  We’ve also led the revolution of lunchbox proportions with our now discontinued Tiny Terror heralded as “the most important guitar product in the last 30 years” – Guitarist Magazine. Although you can’t buy the original anymore, we now do a 30-watt version, doubling the power!

16.  Innovation is something we’re proud of, and we’re keen to support innovators too such as Kelby Ray of The Cadillac Three. His lap steel rig brings out both the highs and the lows taking the grit of the AD200-MK3, and the crunch and full-bodied mid-range of the AD30HTC and OR15H.

17.  It’s not just Kelby who’s at it with innovation. Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick’s monster rig features both Orange bass and guitar amps pushed to their limit, Petersson’s sound comes from when the amp is “about ready to blow up”, but they don’t blow up…

18.  See number 5.

19.  Orange Amplifiers, valve or solid-state, are made to bring out the expression in your playing, offering a dynamic low-end with a focused mid-range and harmonics that are present across the full frequency spectrum.

20.  Most amps are black. We can do black, we prefer Orange though.

21.  Our solid-state amplifiers are based on achieving that classic British Orange valve tone, only much lighter.

22.  We might over-engineer our equipment, but that’s why we’re on the rig list for most major equipment hire companies.

23.  One example of why is that we lay extra-thick PCB traces (Rock and Roll, I know!) to prevent impedance from building up unwanted heat.

24.  Alongside the lunchbox design, we also recognised that people are using pedals more and more. So we created the Pedal Baby 100 which gives you all that Orange clean tone in a portable unit, leaving you to add whatever you need on top. 

25.  It’s as much the genius that creates our technology as it is people we learn from that makes Orange Amplifiers the Voice of the World.

The year’s almost to an end and so is our 2019 ‘Voice of’ campaign. Throughout the year, we’ve taken a look at a variety of artist and genres we work with through ‘Voice of Clean’, ‘Voice of Rock’, ‘Voice of Blues’, ‘Voice of Acoustic’, ‘Voice of Bass’ – you get the idea.

As we’ve now entered December it’s time for the grand finale, ‘The Voice of the World’. Orange is, as many of you know, quintessentially British, and was back in the day hard to come across outside the UK. It wasn’t actually until the early 2000s that we broke into the US market and got picked up by a lot of metal and punk bands, something we can probably thank Slipknot for – so, thank you, Slipknot!. We’ve since seen Orange grow in Europe, as well as expanding globally to Asia. For ‘Voice of the World’, we’ve decided to shine a light on a few artists inspired by their home country or culture, starting with my very own Bergen hometown heroes, Enslaved.

Enslaved, Norway

Terror Bass
AD200 MK3
OBC410

Since the formation of the band in 1991, Enslaved have released 14 albums, and made a name for themselves internationally on the black metal scene. Taking inspiration from Norse mythology, vikings and their Norwegian heritage, Enslaved is the picture perfect ‘Voice of Norway’, which is in many ways the black metal capital of the world – so much so, that guitarist Ivar Bjørnson was commissioned by the Norwegian government alongside Einar Selvik of Wardruna, to create a musical piece celebration the 200 year anniversary of the Norwegian constitution back in 2014. Hell yeah Norway!

BAND-MAID, Japan

In recent years, ‘maid cafés’ have become somewhat of a thing in Japan, and the concept is simple; In these cafés, the staff, or waitresses, are dressed as maids, and asked to treat their customers as their personal master and mistresses. The idea behind BAND-MAID came from founding member Miku Kobato who’d previously worked at a maid café. BAND-MAID’s built their image around it the concept of the cafés, with each band member’s maid costume being fitted to their personality, as they refer to their fans as ‘masters’ and ‘princesses’, with a submissiveness that creates a huge contrast to their aggressive way of playing. Only in Japan..

El Amir, Spain

Crush Acoustic 30
Acoustic Pre

Some of you might have read the recent interview we did with El Amir – if not, let’s recap; El Amir is a German-Spanish flamenco guitarist and multi instrumentalist, currently on the road with Hans Zimmer’s show, ‘The World of Hans Zimmer’. Hans Zimmer might be known to most as a film score composer, as he has done the music for films such as The Lion King, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight – and the list goes on. While on the road with the Hans Zimmer show, El Amir is in charge of electric as well as acoustic guitars, ukulele and the Greek instrument bouzouki. El Amir started playing flamenco at the age of 8, and first performed publicly at the age of 12. As an adult, he played oud, bouzouki and guitar for Radio Tarifa for nearly a decade, and has played venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre and Royal Festival Hall, all in London alone.

Lankum, Ireland

Rockerverb 50 MKIII
PPC412

Kudos to the Irish for making Irish folk music not just acceptable to play at pubs and bars, but something people gets genuinely stoked about hearing in bars – who doesn’t love a shanty when you’re ten pints deep?! GUILTY! Now, Lankum might not be your typical drunken Irish shanty band, but they play Irish folk nevertheless, and beautifully so, if I might add. Having been described as  “a younger, darker Pogues with more astonishing power”, Lankum mixes elements of classic Irish folk music with the ambience and emotion of Bon Iver and textures of Sunn O))). They initially named the band ‘Lynched’ after band members and brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, but changed it to Lankum to avoid associations with the practice of lynching, announcing in a statement that “We will not continue to work under our current name while the systemic persecution and murder of Black people in the USA continues.”

Gorilla, England

Terror Bass
Crush Bass 100
PPC412

Now, this list wouldn’t really be complete without a British artist on it, would it? Representing good ol’ England and London on this list is one of our most recent endorsed artists, Gorilla bassist Sarah Jane. Inspired by great British bands such as Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Motörhead and The Who, Sarah Jane picked up the bass after dabbling with the guitar for a couple of years and got sucked in as “we all know bass is obviously the most important part of a bands sound…”. She’s been playing high paced and heavy rock ‘n’ roll with Gorilla for two decades now, and is currently promoting their latest album ‘Treecreeper’ out on Heavy Psych Sounds. Sarah Jane’s got quite the collection of Orange gear, just check out the interview we did with her earlier this year.

In the light of their recent endorsement and wanting to get to know them a little bit better, we had a chat to High Reeper to find out more about this holy union of heavy riffs, what they look for in an amp, and why they love Orange so much – not honking our own horns, but they really really do, *blush*.

How did you guys all meet and get together playing, had any of you played in bands together prior to High Reeper?
Shane:
Andrew (who used to be in the band) and Pat grew up together and they have been friends with Zach (our singer) since they were in their early teens. I have known Justin (our drummer) forever. I met Pat through a mutual friend, and Andrew and Zach through work, and we’ve been playing together in various projects for more than ten years.

You were originally only meant to recording band and not really play shows – what changed?
Shane:
Our original idea was to make a “sabbath” sounding record for fun, and maybe do a couple of local gigs just for kicks. When the record was done and we started passing it around, the response was really positive so we decided to take gigging seriously. Now, 1.5 years later we’ve played over 80 shows in Europe, including Desertfest London, Berlin and Belgium as well as a bunch of other cool stuff. we’re due to play around 100 shows in 2020 alone across the US and Europe.

Besides the Sabbath worship, did you all have mutual musical influences?
Shane:
We’re all inspired by all of the classic stuff, early Deep Purple, Zeppelin, James Gang, Blue Oyster Cult and all that kinda stuff. Andrew and Zach were in a really cool riff rock band about 10 years ago, and Pat sometimes played with them. Justin’s been a touring death metal drummer for the last 15-20 years, and I was a guitar player in a metal band in the 90s.

So, let’s get down to business – what’s your history and experience with Orange, and what do you look for in an amp?
Pat: The first time I saw an Orange amp was around 2002 when I saw a band from Massachusetts called ‘Orange Island’. The guitar player had a 70’s OR120 half stack and it sounded massive. Soon after that I found myself an Orange 4×12, and I bought my first vintage OR120 when I was 16. When I turned 18, I bought a 1974 “pics only” OR120 that I used with a Gibson Les Paul Custom. That pair used to shake paintings off the walls. Brutal! When buying an amp, I look for something that is loud and powerful, and with enough gain on tap to get dirty but without sounding thin and buzzy. The Rockerverb has everything I need in one amp. The clean channel has the loud, beautiful cleans of the old OR120’s and the dirty channel screams with gain and midrange. It sounds three dimensional and makes my guitar sound alive. 

Shane: I walked into Black Market music in San Francisco in 1993 and it was filled with vintage, impossible to find at the time, British amps and I snagged an Orange 4×12 on the spot. About three months later at a guitar show in DC I got an Orange/Matamp OR50 (serial number 199!) and cab. Following that, I snagged a graphic full stack in Ohio and an 80w overdrive in Virginia. The Ormat full stack was my rig for the 90s. I was using a complicated multi amp bass set up that was really annoying to gig with, and one night we played w a band who was using an OB1-500. I used their bass rig and loved it and ditched my complicated rig and ordered an OB1-500 the next day. My fascination with Orange of course began with the Beat Club videos! The OB1-500 covers everything I look for in an amp, high power and the ability to get dirty. The OB1-500 really is like two amps in one and it’s made my life a lot better.

You’ve had a busy year this year, and you mention tons of touring in 2020 – what else is next?
Shane:
2019 has been insane for us. We released our second record and toured Europe twice and securing an Orange endorsement was the perfect ending to our year. We are beyond stoked! Our 2020 is gonna be even busier than 2019. We’ll be touring the US in March and Europe in June and that’s just for starters. We are super grateful to have Orange with us the whole way!