Guitarist Photo Diaries: The Butterfly Effect @ Bristol Academy 2, 11/5/2009

There's some fantastic rock bands coming out of Australia right now – Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, Cog and The Butterfly Effect are all forward thinking, often progressive, bands with incredibly dynamic guitar playing. But at the moment they hardly ever visit the UK.

The Butterfly Effect are an exception – they came over for a handful of dates this month aimed at gaining a fanbase in the UK. They could be really big; they've got the songs. My interview with Kurt on the phone a few weeks before (for a Fretbuzz feature in Guitarist's next issue) and a chat with singer Clint Boge and bassist Glenn Esmond before the gig also revealed them to be thoroughly friendly, modest and ambitious musicians.

But it's early days in their campaign to gain a large fanbase outside Australia and it was privilege to see them upstairs at the Bristol Academy for an intimate show. It's their first visit to these shores in five years and after three excellent albums and an E.P, it's long overdue. I brought along my little digital camera to capture the event with a few shots…

Above: Guitarist Kurt Goedhart has a truly epic guitar sound, filled with ethereal overdrive and huge delay, but he's not loyal to just one solidbody model – changing guitars several times through the set. This is a custom Belman (and it has The Butterfly Effect logo inlaid in the fretboard). Unfortunately the Australian manufacturer has since gone out of business.

Kurt's playing a Les Paul Standard here – he also owns a Wine Red model and a couple of 1980s Customs (you can see one of the latter in the pic at the top of the page). Note that the scratch-plate is removed, personal preference we presume, but he's also got the strings wrapped over the bridge – ala Zakk Wylde and Billy Gibbons. This decreases the break angle of the bridge making for a slinkier feel – but a lot of players also believe it aids resonance.

Despite a muddy sound mix at times frontman Clint Boge proved that he could deliver his outstanding vocals live. He turned in an impassioned performance and I got the feeling he gave the same amount of effort in this small Bristol venue as he would have at a much bigger show back home.

Nope, it's not a PRS, Kurt's playing another Belman here. I had high expectations of him after hearing his playing on record and he really delivered live – recreating his expansive sound with style. Two things also became apparent – I noticed how many unusual chord voicings were being used in the songs and through most of the gig Kurt seemed completely engrossed in the music and his playing, with his eyes shut.

Kurt's pedalboard included the following: Klon Centaur (yes, that pedal); Electro Harmonix Holy Grail reverb and vintage POG; Crowther Hotcake overdrive; BOSS DD-20 Giga Delay; a Z.Vex distortion (Kurt's got a few different models at home too); Fulltone switching unit; Empress Superdelay; Empress tremolo; BOSS TU-2 and GE-7.

Kurt's a big fan of early eighties JCM800s – although not the Marshall logo it seems. I jumped onstage after the gig had finished to get a pic of these – named Mary-Kate (because it has a twin, apparently) and Britney (Kurt said this amp had recently made a comeback into his rig).

The set kicked off with the seven-minute prog fest of Worlds On Fire from the band's new Final Conversation Of Kings album but they drew from all three of their studio albums for a highly impressive set of songs.

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