Saturday, 12 May 2018


For weeks building up to the event, there had been a buzz of excitement among all crew. At 6AM Marty had sent messages across all crew "Valv-a-tron, Valv-a-tron- Valtv-a-tron!!" The day hadn't even started yet but everyone was on edge and waiting already.
At around 4PM Mr Paul Axis himself arrived. Marty (with his broken hand) and the Icemon began to unload and string up the Valv-a-tron alongside Mr Axis. The night was due to start at 7pm but was pushed back slightly to 7:30PM due to the football.
We decided we would sit in the sun while we waited and enjoy the wonderful garden of Saltburn House. Soon we hear a roaring engine. All crew instantly knew it was a sign that Rossy had arrived. We all eagerly scurried down to the road side, including Mr Axis, to admire the infamous 'TinWorm'. He stood proudly by his creation and gave us a good few revs of the engine as we all gaped at it in awe. 
As we all waited patiently for Paul to start, we admired the equipment. This was like no other system that I had seen. It was a vintage style sound system, entirely built by Mr Axis himself (including the amp and pre-amp). 
The system uses valve amplifiers instead of the usual transistor amplifiers that are commonly used now. I ask Paul, "why did you choose valve instead of transistor?"
Paul simply explained that during the time when he first became involved with sound system culture (70s), all system were valve operated instead of transistor but during the 80s, this began to change. When I asked about the difference in transistor and valve operated equipment, Paul explained "The valve amps have a 'warmer' more inviting and natural sound than transistor." He clarified this further by explaining "The valve amps start to distort differently when pushed hard. This is a distortion that is pleasing to the ear more than transistor distortion, which sounds horrible and is dangerous for blowing speakers." 

It was honestly an honour to be able to experience classic, vintage reggae in the way that it was originally played. Paul played classics, stemming as far back as the 60's and from genres including ska, reggae, roots, rocksteady including Bob Marley, Lee Scratch Perry, Culture, Burning Spear and much more. 
The crowd was totally blown away with the night and responded particularly ecstatically to the selection, bringing out the true Reggae sentimentalists. The rig itself was one of the most powerful I have come across yet, one of my colleagues even exclaiming "I've never felt this way in front of a rig before!"   
From the lass on the inside....Keith (original version)

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