Support slots don’t get much bigger than opening up for one-man looping heartthrob Ed Sheeran, but that’s the awe-inspiring position UK singer-songwriter - and signing to Ed’s Gingerbread Man Records - Jamie Lawson finds himself in.
There are no nerves from Jamie, however, who enthuses, “It's with continued respect and amazement that I see Ed Sheeran play to bigger and bigger audiences; it's pretty remarkable what he's achieving.
“I'm very excited that I get to be a part of that journey again by opening for him on his stadium tour in Ireland, UK and Europe.”
Of course, a gig with that kind of pressure requires tried-and-tested gear, and while he was packing his suitcase, Jamie was kind enough to let us know the guitars and accessories he’s packing for his two-month trip..
1. Gibson Hummingbird
“I use a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, which I bought in New York. I needed something with a little more body too it and had a bit more of a ‘classic’ sound.
“This is the main acoustic I use when touring, it looks good in photographs too, always a bonus.”
2. Dunlop .73 picks
“I use Dunlop .73 grey guitar picks ONLY. Any other pick just feels wrong in my fingers - even if it’s a Dunlop .80 it feels wrong. I have no idea why; there’s something about the grip that I like.”
3. Boss TU-3
“The classic Boss Chromatic Tuner! These are all basics I know, but without the tuner I’d have to find a lot more stories to tell whilst trying to tune the guitar between songs, because I use the capo so much the tune can shift a little from fret to fret; the tuner pedal helps eliminate any embarrassment (hopefully).
“It’s useful too to be able to mute the guitar mid-song while the band are playing and just tweak a string or two. I’ve recently added a self-tuning gadget to the headstock of the Gibson. Some of you will be outraged, I know, but I’m playing big venues at the moment opening for Ed Sheeran on his stadium tour, so the less time I spend tuning the better.”
4. Martin 80/20 Bronze strings
“I use Martin strings, M140 12-gauge, and have been using them for about 15 years now.
“I know a lot of people like the Elixir strings, which stay brighter for longer, but I really dislike bright acoustic guitars - much to my sound engineers annoyance, I prefer a more lived-in sound and so I try not to change them too often, either.”
5. Gibson ES-335
“On the occasion I switch to the electric guitar, I have a 335 Gibson, bought on Denmark Street.
“I go through a Fender Deluxe Reverb, a little bit of drive and a fair bit of reverb - I’m a gentle player, so I like to create a bit of space in the music and this seems to achieve that pretty well.
“I use 11s on the electric; because I use 12s on the acoustic, it feels a bit strange playing 10s on an electric, so 11s is a good compromise and they’re still quite firm in their feel.”
Jamie Lawson tours the UK and Ireland with Ed Sheeran, beginning on 4 May in Cork. Lawson’s new single, Fall Into Me, is out now, from the album, Happy Accidents.