Chewie II could be out of the loop as Ed Sheeran looks to reimagine live show

(Image credit: Didier Messens/Redferns via Getty Images)

Ed Sheeran and the loop pedal has been one of the most profitable collaborations in the history of music since Lennon and McCartney. 

Sheeran’s live performance was founded upon his acoustic guitar and the inventive use of the loop pedal to create backing tracks. If he is the Buck Rogers of acoustic pop, the custom-built Chewie II loop unit is his Twiki. 

But the BBC has reported that onstage at Chantry Park, Ipswich, on what was the final date in his record-breaking 260-gig Divide Tour, Sheeran told the capacity crowd, “This might be the last loop pedal gig.”

We don’t know the details behind this potential breakup, whether Chewie II’s behaviour on the gruelling tour had become a cause for concern, or that perhaps an addiction to 9V batteries was affecting its performance each night. But decommissioning what has been such an integral part of Sheeran's sound and career won't be easy.

The Chewie II replaced the Chewie Monsta that was developed with Sheeran’s guitar tech Trevor Dawkins using the Mobius loop plugin. The Chewie II looks to have taking this model and integrated with looping tech such as the Boss RC-20 Loop Station. The upsized unit also has a keyboard input and a smart LED system.

Sheeran also announced at the Chantry Park hometown gig that might be taking a couple of years off. 

There is not much else for the 28-year-old singer-songwriter to conquer. The Divide Tour saw him break three Guinness World Records for highest attendance for a music tour, highest-grossing music tour by a solo artist and highest-grossing music tour.

But he does have an guitar brand to maintain, with Sheeran by Lowden offering a more affordable range of Irish-built acoustics.

With its launch being the story of NAMM 2019, might we see some new gear at next year’s event?

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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