Adrian’s Bristol studio is an Aladdin’s cave of cool gear. As well as some seriously nice vintage guitars, it’s also home to a variety of low-wattage amps, many of which are British-built rarities. Adrian explains that he experiments with amps a lot when he’s searching for the perfect tone for a track.
“Amps are so important: if you’re an electric guitarist, then they’re half your sound, really. My first decent amp was a Vox AC30, then I went to Fender amps for a long time, and then back to Vox for the last 10 years.
“I think it’s working with John Parish, the guitar player with Polly [PJ] Harvey, who also uses Voxes. I went on tour with them and I had a Fender, but to my mind, they don’t break up nicely, unless they’re Tweed ones like Neil Young’s. Whereas when a Vox is just on the edge of breaking up, it’s just fantastic.”
“I’ve got two AC30s – they’re both ’62s. One of them came out from under a staircase. It’d been there since the 70s. I bought it from this old guy: I swear to God you’d think it was new, I did. It’s amazing. I actually wanted to put an old speaker in it, because there’s no sag at all. Even though it’s 50 years old, it’s really tight. Almost too tight – it’s got no bagginess in it. Whereas the other one I’ve got has been thrashed to hell, you know? It sounds great. I use them live, and at the end of
the tour, I’ve always got massive earache!”