A Trip To Marshall HQ

Last week found out about an interesting opportunity that had come my way – getting to go to Marshall Amps HQ in Milton Keynes to take part in an event where 50 guitarists of all ages and skill levels were going to be playing the same song together. The song of choice was Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock And Roll’, a suitable song for an event hosted by the kings of loud themselves. The event, held on Wednesday 27th September, was in support of Milton Keynes’ 50th Birthday, so what better way to celebrate than get loads of musicians together and play some very loud rock music!

Upon arrival, I, along with every other guitarist, received a Limited Edition Gold Marshall MS-2, a small battery powered amplifier that looks like a 4×12” Marshall stack that’s been through the wash a few too many times. We all get set up, hook the tiny amps over our belts and plug in. Given the instruction to turn all the dials up to full, we have our first run through of ‘Rock And Roll’. We were being supported (though that is a bit of an understatement) by the fantastic King Creature (more on them later) who were on stage with their usual touring setup. This first play of the song is where we realised the inevitable – 50 battery powered 1 watt amps have absolutely no chance of cutting through the sound of the main band. As unfortunate as this was, the whole point of this event was to have 50 guitarists playing at the same time, so we persevered and gave it our all throughout the rest of the rehearsals.

Before our performance at 5pm, we took a break and were given some product demo’s of Marshall’s newest line of Amps, the Code series. The Marshall Code 100 was demonstrator Steve Smith’s chosen weapon, as he slickly strolled through some tunes using various preset tones built into the amp before going into more detail about the incredible features found in this new Marshall range.

So when 5 o’clock rolled around I got set up and took my place just in front of the stage, ready for me and 49 other guitarists to wow our even greater in numbers audience. The drums kicked us in and we all gave it 110%, from the young new guitarists at the front to the seasoned vets at the back. It was an incredible experience, one that I’m sure will be a once in a lifetime event for me, so I’m glad that everyone who was there seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as I was.

After the performance, the lead singer of the band invited us all up on stage for a group photo and after a bit of trouble squeezing us all onto the stage, we managed to get a great shot of the lot of us. It was after another short break that the band, King Culture, took to the stage to provide just over an hour of awesome music. Though their style isn’t my first choice, I can’t deny that they knew how to make a good noise, so I stayed for the entirety of the gig and would recommend anyone who comes across them do the same. They are a Marshall signed band with a new album set to release on Friday 29th September.

So long story short and words of advice, if you’re ever given the opportunity to go to Marshall HQ, go!

Written by Joshua Burke, 27.09.2017

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