Describe Orange Amps in 10 Words or Less! You don’t even have to own an Orange. We just want to know what you think about our brand – good or bad!

The First Place Winner will be awarded the Ultimate Orange Pedal Board based on the creativity of their description. Runners Up will have their name and description featured in our upcoming pedal marketing video (scheduled for release in September).

First place winner will record a scripted audio message for inclusion in the video.


 

Orange Amplification is delighted to be sponsoring the 2017 Progressive Music Awards once again. These prestigious awards will be held at The Underglobe on the September 14th. This year, Orange Ambassadors Mastodon, Sólstafir and Rush are nominated for awards.

Mastodon, winners of this year’s Golden God Award for Best Live Band, have earned themselves a reputation as one of the most creative metal bands of a generation. The stunning artwork of their best-selling seventh studio album, Emperor of Sands, has been nominated for Prog Awards 2017 Album Cover Of The Year. In addition, ‘Show Yourself’ the second single from the album and the band’s most commercially successful has been nominated for Video of The Year. Mastodon has just announced their Emperor of Sands tour will be extended with seven UK Shows from December 2nd in Cardiff to the 10th in London.

The music of Icelandic heavy metal band Sólstafir has been described as a unique blend of metal, beautiful melodies with psychedelic moments. They have been nominated for International Band / Artist of the Year at the Prog Awards. Their sixth album Berdreyminn, released in May 2017 is being supported by a UK and European tour throughout June.

 

Rush’s fortieth anniversary edition of their seminal ‘2112’ album has been nominated for Reissue Of The Year, sponsored by Orange Amplification. The re-mastering of this landmark 1976 album adds polish to an already superb example of musical agility. It has Orange Ambassador Geddy Lee’s vocals popping and his iconic bass lines sounding refreshed and rejuvenated. The album may be forty years old, yet 2112 remains as relevant as ever.

To find out more about the Prog Awards, the categories and vote for your favourite Orange Ambassador please go to www.progmagazine.com/awards. To find out more about Orange Amplification, its products and its artists please go to https://orangeamps.com/.

Orange Amplification is excited to announce their Ambassadors Mastodon are headlining the 2017 Metal Hammer Golden Gods. They will be joined by fellow Ambassadors, Clutch and Orange Goblin.

The 15th annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards will take place at The Indigo at The O2, London on Monday 12th June 2017. Fozzy frontman and WWE megastar Chris Jericho will travel straight from Download Festival to host the show, which promises to be the biggest rock party of the year.

American rock golden gods Mastodon released their latest Album Emperor of Sand in March and will be touring the UK and Europe throughout the summer, including Download. They have won two previous Golden Gods awards, For Best Shredder and Best Album and this year are nominated for Best Live Band.

Joining them for an evening of metal merriment is Clutch who are currently touring Europe in support of their eleventh studio album Psychic Warfare. Orange Goblin will be returning to rock the stage as part of their extensive European tour to promote their latest album Back From The Abyss.

Other Orange ambassadors included in this year’s Golden God nominees are: –

Best UK Band: While She Sleeps

Best Underground Band: Neurosis, Royal Thunder, Pallbearer

Best International Band: Korn

Breakthrough: Code Orange, Creeper

Orange Amplification are also sponsoring the prestigious Defender of the Faith Award. Voting is now open at http://2017.goldengods.teamrock.com where there is a full list of nominees and you can vote for your favourite.

To find out more about Orange Amplification, its products and its artists please go to https://orangeamps.com/.

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

After April’s sold out Wytches Weekender, we teamed up with Fluffer Records once again, this time for their Black Lips All Dayer Pit Party, with ten bands and DJ’s playing from 1pm until 2am. With a 1000 people capacity this Pit Party was five times bigger(!!) than any previous pits, but still staying true to the concept of the band playing in the middle, although, this time on a stage surrounded by barriers, because let’s face it, it’d be a death trap to just chuck ’em on the floor. As you enter the venue you’re greeted with a warning sign, and you realize shit’s about to get real;

«Fluffer takes no responsibility for bodily harm or injuries you may get in the pit

Set times & Bands:
2pm: Ohmns
3pm: Prison Whites
4pm: The Black Tambourines
5pm: Wonk Unit
6pm: The Parrots
7pm: Virgin Kids
8pm: HECK
9pm: Bo Ningen
10.15pm: The Black Lips
0.00: Claw Marks
01.00am: Sewer Rats

The Parrots by Freddie Payne

The Parrots by Freddie Payne

The Parrots by Freddie Payne

The Parrots by Freddie Payne

The Parrots by Freddie Payne

The Parrots by Freddie Payne

 

I imagine being placed in a ring facing away from your bandmates must be a new experience, and quite challenging, and I was amazed by how well the bands dealt with it. Liverpool band Ohmns kickstarted the day with a great set, which would have lasted way longer, if it was up to me. The show goes on, and things really start to happen as Wonk Unit takes the stage – with punk poems about horses and grandmothers Daddy Wonk charms the crowd with his cockney attitude and enthusiasm. Following Wonk Unit, was Heavenly Recordings newest addition, Madrid’s The Parrots who’s been on everyone lips the last couple of months. They got people dancing with their happy garage rock n roll, before we had a complete change of genre, as HECK took the stage.

Heck - Daniel Quesada

Now, I had never seen HECK before, but I had heard tales of terror, in a good way. «HECK’s great, they have no regards for their own safety or anyone elses!» my mate told me as they took the stage, and bloody hell was he right! They were leaping off the stage and into the crowd, encouraging mosh pits, circle pits and walls of death, and kept an insane energy level from the first song – it’s like the Pit Party was invented for bands like HECK, and they left me battered and bruised, with a footprint on my shoulder – all part of the pit party fun!

Yours truly during HECK's set.

Yours truly during HECK’s set.

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

HECK by Freddie Payne

«HECK’s great, they have no regards for their own safety or anyone elses!»

Bo Ningen by Freddie Payne

Bo Ningen by Freddie Payne

Bo Ningen by Freddie Payne

Bo Ningen by Freddie Payne

Bo Ningen by Freddie Payne

Bo Ningen by Freddie Payne

I wasn’t sure who would be able to top that, or follow in their big-ass footsteps, but then Bo Ningen happened, and they were sensational, and probably one of the most fascinating bands I’ve ever seen live – it was an experience, not just a performance. Then, it was the moment we had all been waiting for, although I was already overwhelmed with excitement after the astonishing performances I had already seen, but it was time for The Black Lips to take the stage. Notoriously known for getting naked and starting riots at their own gigs, they seemed like a natural choice for a Pit Party,  and jeez, they were! The crowd went absolutely mental, and bodies were flying everywhere, they ended their set with a bang, with ‘Bad Kids’ from 2007’s ‘Good Bad Not Evil’, where basically everyone in the entire venue invaded the stage to sing along. There was still two bands on after Black Lips, London band Claw Marks and kings of Grimsby, Sewer Rats. Both veterans in the pit who’d be up for such a challenge – needless to say, they killed it.

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

Black Lips by Freddie Payne

As I stumbled my way home with a belly full of bourbon and beer, I was pleased to have survived the madness of yet another pit party, before I’m back at it at the 18th of June when Traams are playing – still two and a half weeks away, that should give me just about enough time to recover. I think.

Photos by Freddie Payne and Daniel Quesada.

The Wytches, by Keira Cullinane

The Wytches, by Keira Cullinane

Last weekend Orange teamed up with Fluffer Records for their two sold out Fluffer Pit Parties headlined by Brighton’s dark psychedelic surf rockers, The Wytches. The whole Fluffer pit party concept ‘no stage, band in the middle, crowd 360’ has been taking over the East London music scene over the last six months, with the anticipation for this specific weekend having been high.

Virgin Kids by Nicole Fara Silver

Virgin Kids by Nicole Fara Silver

Friday night saw performances from three incredible support bands as well as The Wytches – First out was The Hungry Ghosts who delivered an astonishing performance of their slaughterhouse blues – they set the bar high! Luckily Phobophobes rose to the challenge, and kept the show going until Virgin Kids took over and delivered an absolutely killer set, which was their first one back from their recent 30 date UK tour.

The Wytches, by Simon Shoulders

The Wytches, by Simon Shoulders

IMG_1828

The Wytches, by Freddie Payne

Not too long after, it was time for The Wytches to enter the pit. The ones we’d all been waiting for, the main course. They enter the pit with confidence, and it doesn’t take long before the entire crowd is moshin to the sound of their fuzzy guitars and Kristian screaming out vocals. There’s Fluffer monster heads floating around in the pit, and you get to that point where you’re not quite sure who’s sweat you’re covered in, but it doesn’t really matter anyway, cause that’s what the pit’s all about – the band and the crowd basically being melted together in a big pot of noise, sweat and alcohol. After finishing their set, Kristian smashes his guitar before climbing out through the crowd. If I were to describe what I just witnessed, my only words would be ‘holy shiiiiiit!!’, so I decide to ask the guy next to me what he thought about the whole shebang, hoping his vocabulary is a bit better than mine;

Photo by Keira Cullinane

Photo by Keira Cullinane

«The gig in itself was ecstatic. The atmosphere built up throughout the whole event, and everyone seemed to have gathered energy until the very last act. The place was a beauty! The concept of these pit parties is what most rock fanatics have been waiting for a while, a night out with live rock and old tunes until the very late hours of the night. The freedom of being able to gather as an audience around the band is the best and feels much more intimate. Great stuff!»
Max, 20

Despite having a pretty sore head from my 10+ Jack & Coke’s the night before, I wake up the following day well excited for yet another pit party. As I arrive at the venue I find the bands outside on deck chairs in the sun, drinking beer and talking amongst themselves. Before entering the pit room I hear a couple by the merch table saying they had flown in from Norway to attend the event, and that they loved the idea of the whole ‘band and audience becoming one.’

IMG_1763-2

Love Buzzard, by Freddie Payne

At 8pm, it’s time for Vulgarians to open the show, before punk band The Bodies takes over. The whole room is buzzing with excitement, everyone downing their beers so they can get enough drunken courage to start moshin’ around a bit. Dynamic duo and noise connoisseurs Love Buzzard is main support and delivers an energetic and aggressive performance, making me wonder how on , making sure the crowd is left on a high before The Wytches comes back for round two.

Photo by Keira Cullinane

Photo by Keira Cullinane

Photo by Keira Cullinane

Photo by Keira Cullinane

I somehow thought the pit couldn’t be any messier than it had been the night before, but boy was I wrong – the entire room explodes, there’s people crowdsurfing everywhere as well as paper mache monster heads being thrown about. A few heroes in the front work as a human shield between the crowd and the band, as the masses are raging behind them. The Wytches somehow managed to be even better than the night before, and as they finish their set on a high, drummer Gianni leaps out into the crowd, and crowd surfs through the room and to the exit. We’re all left covered in sweat, not really sure what we just witnessed, except for the fact that it was utter madness, in the best possible way.

IMG_2559

The music, the mayhem and the madness, by Ella Stormark

IMG_1855

The Wytches’ drummer Gianni crowd surfing, by Freddie Payne

Post gig, I grab a hold of Wytches bassist and Orange Ambassador Dan Rumsey to get his thoughts on playing a show like this, and how that last two nights have been;

The Wytches' Dan Rumsey, by Keira Cullinane

The Wytches’ Dan Rumsey, by Keira Cullinane

«It’s great because it’s something new. There are a lot of promotors out there putting on a lot of small gigs that are poorly attended so you need to have something else to offer these days. That’s why the pit party is good because it’s something interesting and Fluffer went all out in promoting the event with amazing graphics and dedicated online presence. I enjoyed it a lot, and it’s going to be tough to top the carnage of that. Especially tonights show!»

test

Ok, picture the scene. Your band is main support to a reasonably well-known, if fairly niche, touring band. It’s your first ‘big’ show and you’re all fired up for an amazing night. You’ve met the rest of your gang at your practice room and you begin the process of packing everything up, ready to travel to the show. Then, in an unbelievable twist of bad fortune, your cack-handed drummer drops your amp and large chunks of it scatter across the floor. There’s no time to fix it. “No problem,” you think, “the venue will have backline or I’ll borrow off one of the other bands.” Problem solved. Until…

pile-of-wood-small

Your amp, pretty much.

You arrive at the venue and hunt down the sound guy. “Sorry buddy, the only thing we’ve got is a 15w solid state harmonica amp. You’re welcome to use it though.” Hmm. Nightmare. You locate members of the other bands but unfortunately their gear is covered in Hello Kitty stickers and glitter fountains. Hardly the kind of image you want to give people on your big night. So, the harmonica amp it is then.

You stoically arrange the rather sad looking unit onto the stage, fighting back the tears. The show must go on, right? You semi-seriously give the amp a pet name, to try and foster some kind of emotional attachment. “We’re gonna get through this, Doom Toaster. You and me. We’ll show them.”

But try as you might, there’s not a single decent tone to be found. At the back of your mind you know Doom Toaster sounds like the aural equivalent of a limp handshake from an insecure teenager. Seriously, you’ve heard vacuum cleaners with more sonic gusto than this thing. Applying any kind of volume to it serves only to highlight the disappointment but, at this late stage, there’s no other option.

booing-crowd-boo-signCome stage time, you feel it. Everyone gets it, only this time it’s more intense. The Fear. You pick up your guitar, ring out the intro chord to your opening tune and the entire venue creases up laughing. Your big night, the one with which your band was going to put itself on the map, down the toilet because of bad amplification. Your band mates now hate you. The other bands hate you. The audience throw bottles of suspicious-looking liquid at you. Your partner leaves you. Your parents disown you. Civil war breaks out in Canada. Even your dog won’t look you in the eye. All because of little old Doom Toaster.

You might think this is an extreme example but, unfortunately, it’s not*. History is littered with tales of guitarists who have suffered similar fates due to mediocre, disappointing or sub-standard gear. Don’t be that guy. Here’s a few things you can do to ensure you don’t fall into that trap.

*it is

Buy once, buy for life
Never a truer phrase has been uttered; buy something good at the start and you’ll save yourself years of mediocrity. Buying something just to tide you over is a false economy. Yes, you might have to save longer to buy the ‘right’ one but, trust us, you’ll be glad you did. You know when you buy Orange that you’re getting something built with care, attention and quality which will last you a lifetime.

Get to know each other
Now you’ve got your new amplification life-partner, take the time to learn how it works. Read up on valves, gain stages, tonal variations etc. Do your homework so if, and when, something does go wrong you’ll know how to remedy it. The Orange forum is a great place to learn the inner-workings of your new amp. You can find out which pedals or tubes work best, as well as service tips for ensuring “Doom Toaster’s Return” (that’s what you named it, right?) a long and happy life.

Orange5Prepare for failure
Once you know what could go wrong with an amp (accidents not withstanding) take the steps to counter those things. Doom Toaster’s Return will require some love and care (and possibly flowers on it’s birthday). It’s similar to changing oil in your car. Stock up on spare valves and fuses, and know how to change them at a moment’s notice. For the touring musician, the Orange VT1000 valve tester will ensure any replacement valves you use are properly biased and good to go.

Learn your tone
Sounds pretty obvious, right? But by learning what specific characteristics make up ‘your’ tone, you’ll not be left floundering if you are ever forced to cheat on Doom Toaster’s Return by playing (having an affair with) another amp (you bastard!).

orange-cr120h-crush-pro-headThe B-Team
If things are going well and you’re playing regularly, it would probably be worth considering buying a second amp to keep in reserve. Clearly if you’re running something high-spec, like a Rockerverb 100 MKIII, then it’s perhaps unrealistic to consider buying a second one just in case. However, a more reasonable option might lie in the Crush Pro range; the CR120 does a more than passable Rockerverb impersonation at a fraction of the cost, and if called upon would quite comfortably provide the tones and stage volume you’re used to. Doom Toaster’s Return will simply have to accept that you’re not a one-amp guitarist, stop throwing your guitars on the front lawn, and come back to bed.

Beware well-meaning drummers
A final point to consider; there’s a reason why drum kits are so big. It’s so there are a lot of cases to carry, which removes the risk of drummers having to touch your gear.

humor-for-drummers-61223

Grab your drummer a copy to read just in case they get done setting up too fast!

In the past 12 months my fellow guitarist in the band I’m in has changed his gigging amp three times.  Every time the justification for doing so has been different to the last; the reason behind the first change was that the new amp had more bells and whistles than his current one; the second change came about because the new amp was just too damn heavy (in fairness it was quite possibly the heaviest combo I have ever had the misfortune of having to carry on occasion); and the third and final change was due to the fact that the new amp only had two channels.

too many buttons

“In an ideal world my amp would require a control room and at least two scientists to operate it.”

Recently he’s admitted that he’s not totally happy with the latest one either (it was to be expected) so change number four is on the horizon.  The reason this time…surprisingly, the same as last time; still not enough channels (despite this one having three).  All of this got me thinking about how we actually use our amps when it comes to its fundamental voices i.e. the number of channels, and whether or not some of us are missing opportunities with the amp we have because we’ve overlooked other options.

So before you condemn your amp to e-bay or your local music store as part of a part-ex deal, here’s some alternative ways of adding that extra channel you so badly need…

USING THE EFFECTS LOOP
If your amp has one…do you use it?  Have you even played around with it?  If it doesn’t or you haven’t then you could be missing a big opportunity.  If you’re not in the loop (sorry…couldn’t resist) about effects loops you might want to have a quick look here, but in a nutshell effects loops allow you to place effects after your amp’s preamp but before the power amp. So what good does that do when it comes to more channels you say?  Well…placing an EQ pedal in the effects loop can allow you to create another voice or it could be used as a boost for solos.  Alternatively placing a clean booster here will allow you to hike your volume for solos without affecting your overall sound.  So that’s possibly three new channels already.  

WARNING: this suggestion only works if your amp has a serial effects loop.  If your amp has a parallel effects loop, using either an EQ pedal or boost pedal won’t have the desired effect.

EFFECTS PEDALS
If you’re happy to use your amp’s clean sound as a foundation i.e. as a pedal platform, then there’s a whole load of overdrive, distortion or fuzz pedals available that pretty much cater for all tastes and can provide you with an endless number of channels.  You could also try using the aforementioned EQ or Boost pedal and don’t forget that a volume pedal such as Ernie Ball’s VP Jr, or something like EHX’s Signal Pad could be the solution.  Remember depending on your starting point i.e. your amp sound, the guitar you’re using and where you place the effects in your chain they’ll have differing results…experimentation is the key.

YOUR GUITAR
And last but definitely not least…don’t forget about your guitar.  Your guitar is vital to your sound and how you use it is really important.  The choice of pickup used (i.e. neck, middle (if it has one) or bridge) and how you set (fully open they need not be) and use your tone and volume controls may give you access to several different channels / sounds.  It can be quite fiddly but with a bit of perseverance using your guitar’s controls can pay dividends (if you need a bit of inspiration watch Joe Bonamassa, he can’t help ride those controls).

BI-AMPING
This isn’t necessarily in the same league as the previous suggestions and doesn’t really match the brief, but running a second amp alongside the first may be the solution for some of you.  A lot of the pros do it but then again they’ve got an army of roadies and techs to lug the bloody things about and set them up, and a tour bus is slightly bigger and easier to load gear into than your car.  Plus their pockets tend to be a bit deeper.  But all that said if one amp doesn’t give you everything you need perhaps two (or even three) amps might.

So…still think your amp doesn’t offer you enough channels?  It may not (and only you know the answer to that) but don’t write the poor little bugger off straight away if you haven’t considered the above options.  They may not get you anywhere near where you want to be and trying them out may drive you to the edge of insanity but until you try ‘em don’t knock ‘em…besides who doesn’t like messing around with gear?

– Darren Carless