This picture has done the rounds once or twice before, but it’s always a good time to stand back and marvel at the geek-overload that is Kevin Shields’ guitar set-up. To the uninitiated, Kevin Shields is the guitarist in seminal shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine, and a man to whom all modern electric guitarists owe a considerable debt. It’s not often we get bogged down in nerdisms (honest…), but Shields is a technical and aural whiz – thick layers of distortion are treated to endless groaning tremolos, whammy pedals, pre-amps and samples to create his signature sound, and it’s a true guilty pleasure to see exactly how he manages it:


As you can see, it’s a mite more complex than just sticking a distortion pedal into your Squier practice amp. I was lucky enough to catch My Bloody Valentine on their reunion tour last year – it’s the only gig I’ve attended where earplugs were handed out on the door. Like the purist (or fool) that I am, I didn’t bother using them and couldn’t hear for three days. It’s great to suffer for your art, eh? And, following in the footsteps of EddyWoot (last seen trailing through the skies over Brick Lane), I’ll be heading to the ATP Festival in December to do it all over again. Some people never learn.

Anyone who wants to hear what such clutter would sound like, have a listen to this Spotify link.

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