News/Blog Breaking news, exclusive features & artist interviews

Interview by: Wednesday 28 August 2019
Share this story

STOP PRESS: THE GRETSCH GUITAR AUCTION

Gretsch, the legendary US guitar, drum and bass maker, will be auctioning off five guitars for music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins.

There’s an extra special event at this year’s London Tattoo Convention we think you ought to know about – and you’ll be helping out a lot of people too. Gretsch, the legendary US guitar, drum and bass makers, will be auctioning off five guitars for charity. Not only are these guitars made by the people beloved by everyone from the Beatles to the Velvet Underground, Neil Young and Johnny Marr, these particular axes are thrillingly unique in their own right – they’ve been individually hand-painted by tattoo artists attending this year’s Convention. 

That’s right: visitors can bid for some truly beautiful guitars decorated by the likes of award-winning body artist Julian Siebert, a previous ‘Best of Show’ winner at London Tattoo Conventions past; Maarten Emily, who works in the black and gray Chicano style; Cristian Kasas, known for his neo-traditional style; Xoil – think a graphic/modern style; and Oscar Hove, with his modern, stripped-back Japanese motifs. Convention attendees have until Sunday to bid on the guitars using the QR codes displayed, so get bidding. 

The charity you’ll be helping out is pretty incredible too. Since 1958, Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest creative music therapy charity, has been helping enrich the lives of thousands of people with psychological, physical, or developmental disabilities through the healing power of music. Its therapists practice all over the world, from the USA to South Africa, Australia and the Far East, and representatives from Nordoff Robbins will be present at the Convention all weekend so that you can learn more about what they do.

Gretsch are also sponsoring our live music stage this year, and the emphasis is on the blues. ‘Big Joe Louis’ will be playing acoustic blues on the Gretsch stage all weekend at various times each day, and other bands include The Grimms (who you can catch on Friday at 3pm), describe themselves as “a hard driving, high energy British R&B band with that [Dr] Feelgood Factor; ”; and The Dusk Brothers (Saturday, 3pm), a “dark swamp-blues/alt-country two-man-band from Bristol playing self-built instruments”. 

You can enjoy all these acts with a slug or two of Maker’s Mark, as this year the celebrated whisky company will be propping up our Roadhouse Bar for the very first time. They’ve an old saying at the Maker’s Mark distillery: “If we could make it any faster – we wouldn't.” Part of that process means dipping each and every one of their distinctive bottles in wax – by hand; a practice first undertaken way back in 1958. So why not check that signature look out for yourself, while listening to some great music, and bidding for a great cause.

Guitar painted by Julian Siebert

Guitar painted by Julian Siebert

Guitar painted by Julian Siebert

Guitar painted by Julian Siebert

Guitar painted by Maarten Emily

Guitar painted by Maarten Emily