The annual meet-up for enthusiasts of Brian May’s music and equipment was once again held at Theale Village Hall near Reading in Berkshire, U.K. on Saturday, 8th October 2021. The organiser, Jon Underhill, assisted by several other co-ordinators this year helped grow the event by increasing the numbers attending and stage-managing a series of talks and demonstrations. These included Martin Pitcher covering Brian’s Starlicks set-up, talks by Arielle and Queen’s Sound Engineer Justin Shirley-Smith and a 25th birthday present by Andy Guyton to Luke Timmins of his Guyton Time Warp Red Special. A raffle for some superb donated items including a KAT BM Mini Rig and a KAT Groundbreaker raised £530 for the Save Me trust.
Several people have noted in recent years that the U.K. Red Special meet-up has acquired a family atmosphere as is hopefully obvious from the photographs above. However, I would like to emphasise that it is certainly not a clique; all enthusiasts are welcome and you can meet and chat to a remarkable array of tribute band musicians, luthiers and electronic effects/amp builders in addition to the professionals who work with Brian May such as Nigel Knight, Andrew Guyton, Andrew Morgan, Arielle and Justin Shirley Smith.
Personally, I enjoyed meeting and speaking with people who I had only previously interacted with via forums and social media (including Craig Farley, Lee Speight and Peter Cole) and seeing the stunning quality of people’s home made Red Special guitars (Julian Hemingway) and stomp box effects. This is what it’s all about for me. The evening meal was at The Southcote Beefeater restaurant in Reading; many thanks to Susan Ermish-Gunther (SaratogaSpringer on Instagram) for making a significant and very generous contribution towards the cost. Red Special Podcast host and “meet-up man” Jon Underhill is editing and preparing videos of each session and these will be available in due course. To see an array of other photographs of the day, please visit The Red Special Facebook group and The Red Special web forum.
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