Lee Cave-Berry, welcome to
BassGirls.Com - Where are you based? Cambridge, UK.
At what age did you first take
a bass in your hands?
About 15 I think I bought my bass in the
summer of 1973.
you to playing bass? I worked it out
quite carefully. It was a toss-up between bass and drums because I knew
that's what I danced to the most. I eventually decided because of a track
by Alice Cooper called "Halo of Flies" because there's a place in that
where the bass holds the rhythm and the drums solo over it. I also loved
that it was melodic... I'm going to see Alice for the first time in
November.. looking forward to it!
|Did you play any other
instrument before you started playing bass? I dabbled with a bit of acoustic guitar.
Actually I asked for one for passing my 11+, but unfortunately my
folks got me one with an unplayable action (of course I only found
that out later .. at the time I thought it was just me). I played
recorder at school and had a few piano lessons that I
Can you remember the
first piece you ever learned on bass? Oh yes .. Pink Floyd's Money .. couldn't have chosen
anything in boring old 4/4 could I ? :)
What was your very first band? It was with a couple of guys at a local school
.. Mick and Steve. I think we did a couple of rehearsals and a
wedding anniversary. A friend of theirs introduced me to a proper
gigging musician (Bob Nicholas)
What other bands were you a member
of? Oh gosh .. if I leave any out
.. sorry ...Bill Hooker and the Stevedores ; Dick, Dick and the
Cockettes; Blotto; The Mal Gray Band (toured supporting Fats
Domino); Lizard (Ipswich); The Outpatients (Colchester); The
Legionaires (Ipswich); Dr Skull and the Crossbones; Magnum Force;
The Rapiers; Adventure Playground; Lightening Strikes (Wales); The
Big Kick (York); 3's a Crowd (Gibraltar); White Trash
current band? Jack, Gig-L and
your main bass? Burns
(Baldwin) Baby Bison made in the 1960's which I bought second-hand
in 1973 for £60 and now has a gorgeous Gibson pickup donated and
fitted by Guitar Man Pete Towers. (It's a beauty -
Do you think that the wood
effects the tone/sound/sustain of your bass? Most definitely.. I've just bought a new Ibanez and
have to use a graphic EQ to make it sound how I think a bass should.
Trouble is.. weight!
Have you a
preference for active or passive electronics? I'll let you know when I've had my Ibanez a bit
What strings to
you like best? Well for my Burns
I use Rotosound usually .. only they've been messing about with the length
of the lower E string and its beginning to annoy
How often would you
change your strings? I change
them when they go dk!
is your backline bass amp setup?
No-one can accuse me of being fickle when it comes to gear.. I use a 60
watt H|H bass baby combo that Mark Noel-Johnson suggested to me in 1982..
with wheels on! I have bought a second one that I use with it for the
larger venues (with no massive PA).
||Fingers, plectrum or both? Totally crap with a plectrum (don't think I got
the wrist action in when I was a teenager .. probably why I use my
Have you played double (upright) or
acoustic bass? Once ...
totally different beastie ... LOVE the sound.. totally impractical
for a Lee!
of music do you play? Rock,
Rock and Roll, Pop, Brit pop, Blues.
Who do you listen to when you're
not playing? I don't listen
to much really anymore .. like most old people!! I like to listen to
stuff I liked when I was a teenager and I like to listen to music
written by people I know .. or vaguely know, rather than what the
media says I should hear. Kim plays me a lot of music that I didn't
know from the '50s and early '60s... and he gets given a lot of
music to listen to which I listen to with
recorded/released any CDs?
Recorded a CD called Spring Forward with 16 of my own tracks on..
released independently and you can buy it at cdbaby.com or
nightcafe.co.uk. Recorded a CD with 6 of my own songs on with Jaimie
Chiappe as 3's a Crowd. Another 5 songs I recorded on acoustic
guitar in Gibraltar.I sang backing vocals on all 3 of Kimberley
Rew's last solo albums and played bass on the last two. Have just
released a limited edition of '50s duets with Kim. About to release
a limited edition of a live Jack gig.
What was your best gig/venue ever? Covering for Matthew Seligman at a Soft Boys
gig in Paris in 2003.. playing THOSE songs with THOSE people....
Were you ever on a TV
show? I was in a local
(Cambridge Red) TV show with Johnno and Andy Wright.I was also
interviewed with Jaimie (3's a Crowd) for Gibraltar TV .. although
I've never seen this interview and suspect it maybe somewhat
|Are we allowed to say...SEXY?! Lee Cave-Berry at 17
strutting her stuff (and her high
What was your worst moment
onstage? Mal will laugh if he
sees this, but in Essen in Germany the tour manager sent me out in front
of 1000 people on my own - when I thought I was going to be part of a
band! I think I kind of scuttled on with a half-wave .. plugged my bass
guitar in .. turned round.. and there were the rest of the band in the
wings killing themselves with laughter and the audience had big ??? over
their heads.. apparently they'd arranged for a spotlight to follow me on
too!!! I think I died a thousand deaths for about 3 months after!
What's your favourite
album/CD? Too many! Dark Side of
the moon - Pink Floyd; Crime of the Century - Supertramp; Who's Next - The
Who; Led Zepellin II; Can of Bees - The Soft Boys; NextDoorLand - The Soft
Boys; The Dead Students - Martin Newell; Rarer Gifts - The Lonely
Tunnel Into Summer; Great Central and Essex Hideaway - Kimberley
Do you play/own any
other instruments? I have two
acoustic guitars (home/live), two basses, and one electric 6 string. I
also have a plethora of percussion, and a midi keyboard that I haven't
instrument would you most like to play? At the moment I'd like to be able to be good at lead guitar but
really I'm most happy as a bass player.
Do you/have you played
fretless bass? How does it compare with fretted for you? Yes I did play fretless in a band once. Line up was
guitar, bass, sax, drums and a vocalist. Unfortunately the saxophonist and
the guitarist found it really difficult to tune to one another (I knew
they were out of tune with each other because I had to pitch to them!)..
and even more annoying .. they blamed ME 'cos I was playing fretless.
Eventually I gave up on the fretless so that I could stay out of the
tuning battles.. "donk donk donk donk .. there.. I'M in tune .. sort
yourselves out! It's absolutely awesome in slow songs with a bit of chorus
.. otherwise it's much the same.
Is there a bassist whose
sound/technique you really like? Andy
Frasier (Free), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Matthew Seligman (Soft
What are your
interests/hobbies outside of music? Is there an outside??? Er computing, reading, movies, walking
What musician(s) or
singer(s) would you like to share the stage with? Status Quo, Robyn Hitchcock Kimberley Rew and
Morris Windsor, Jack
Do you have any ‘bassist
jokes’ to share? No .. I collect
drummer ones .. my favourite.. What's the difference between a
drummer and a kaleidoscope? ... It doesn't matter how hard you shake
him.. you'll never get a pattern out of a drummer... it still makes
the best concert you were ever at? Tooo difficult .. I LOVED watching the Soft Boys.. I was
knocked out by Status Quo and Chuck Berry (only last year). I loved
Dr Feelgood, The Pirates and Albert Lee. Pink Floyd in Bristol in
the 1970's .. I floated outa there..
Do you sing?
Yes .. some songs are more
difficult than others.
Have you ever performed
onstage without your bass? Yes ..
I've played rhythm guitar and keyboards (hated that.. can't move!),
tambourine and just sang!
Have you played outside your own country? Germany, Austria, Holland, Spain, Italy, Denmark,
France.What's your opinion on
basses with more than 4 strings? Sorry ..can't really see the need for them. Bit
What do you feel is
the bass-players function in a band? The Glue. The heart. The knitting between the drums (rhythm) and
everything else (music).
Did you ever have a famous person in your
audience? How about Alan
Rickman? That count? (Sure does - a fine actor ~
What are your
ambitions? I would love to have a
large audience who'd all come to see ME play.. and think I'm great.. one
can still dream ... I have others too.
Many thanks for your time Lee.
Lee's website can be accessed through our Links page - Ed.
text and images are copyright of Lee Cave-Berry