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Too many guitars is never enough, so for many day one attendees,  it was back to the Melbourne Guitar Show for some Day 2 action. Outside the weather was unkind but that was irrelevant this year as the show was totally indoor, thanks to the addition of our new AON Whammy Bar. It was a milestone day too as we welcomed legendary UK guitarist Steve Hackett, our first international booking. Of course Nick Johnston (Canada) and Alex Hutchings (UK) were added to the bill soon after.
Steve’s trio was sublime as they performed a wide selection of material from the extensive Hackett catalogue, squeezing snippets of many into a spellbinding medley. We followed with a Q&A in which Steve revealed tales of his influences, writing music with Genesis and his thoughts on his first ever Australian trip. Nick Charles was up next with his second round robin guitar extravaganza for the weekend. This time he was joined by Sergio Ercole, Joseph Balfe, Doug Devries and Alex Burns.

On the trade show floor, crowds swooned and smiled as they played instruments from the amazing range on offer. Hanging out on stand you could find absolute local music legends such as Brett Garsed, Paul Dempsey, Diesel, Powderfinger’s Darren Middleton and Ian Moss. Meanwhile up stairs in the Whammy Bar Shannon Bourne, Carl Pannuzzo and Luke Hodgson were laying down some soul flavoured licks with a difference.

Powderfinger's Darren Middleton with Fender's Heath Blows
Powderfinger’s Darren Middleton with Fender’s Heath Blows
Nathan Biggin (Yamaha) John McCubbery (Vox), Ian Moss, Warwicke Newman (Tone Revival Engineering)

The Winners Circle Workshop room was packed on the Sunday with respected artists such as Lloyd Spiegel (Cole Clark), Josh Munday (Roland/Boss), Nick Johnston (Schecter), Brett Kingman (Fractal Audio) and Diesel (Vox) all presenting intriguing sessions. Half of The Mercy Kills rose from their sick beds to deliver a stunning set, leaving nothing behind on stage … apart from a pool of sweat. The Omnific were mesmerisng with their dual bass assault, winning many new fans.

Nathalie Gelle (The Mercy Kills)

If rock wasn’t your thing, then you’d be found at the AON Mezzanine stage being totally entertained by the Queen of the Bellarine Sarah Carroll ukin’ it up with The Thin White Ukes. As always the show finished with the Triple M jam. This years contenders included Alex Hutchings, James Ryan, Bob Spencer and Shannon Bourne, who christened the new Whammy Bar with an incredible set of guitarorama. Finale jam stalwart Chris Stark added his immense vocal capacity to the rockin’ mix.

Before you could change a set of strings, the show was over. Crowds were huge, smiles were even bigger. Thanks for coming and see you all again next year.

Chris Stark, Shannon Bourne at Finale jam
Chris Stark, Shannon Bourne at Finale jam
Michael and Betty (The Thin White Ukes)
Alex Hutchings
Shannon Bourne and Bob Spencer await their finale jam stage call
Sarah Carroll
Barry Roy
Sam See and Rob O’Connell
Jesse crofts and I Built The Sky’s Ro Han
Paul Dempsey
Skyhooks’ Greg Maciansh hanging out with George Evans Amplification guys
TMK’s Mark E and Jen X
TMK’s Jen x
Marcel Yammouni playin some slippery licks on the CMC Music Ernie Ball Music Man stand
Steve Hackett and Melbourne Guitar Show organiser Rob Walker
Johnny Zambelis and Michael Dolce
diesel vox
Diesel for Vox amps


Nick Johnston




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