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My Overwater Journey
I’d like to tell you my Overwater story, if I may.
Back in the crazy days of the late 90s, I was given a DVD of the great US bass player Bill ‘the buddha’ Dickens. Because of this DVD, I (and many other bassists) decided I HAD to have a Conklin Sidewinder 7-string bass.
I was reluctant to order one without having played one and I discovered that OW actually had a 6-string they were selling.
The big National Music Show in London was fast approaching and knowing OW were attending, I asked Laurence if he could bring the Conklin for me to try.
Try it I did and I hated it, it was all wrong for me. The neck shape, the body size, all of it. I was gutted!
Then Laurence mentioned that he had an OW Progress 7 with him and would I like to try that one? So I humoured him (despite my disappointment) but the bass was incredible and I bought it on the spot!! My 20-year love of Overwater had begun!
Fast forward a handful of years and whilst drooling over the OW website, I stumbled across a beautiful J5 in blue with a maple board and a gorgeous flame in the body wood.
I (almost) immediately rang Laurence and enquired about it but it was a custom build for another bassist. “I want one exactly the same” I started.
“ok, do you want the......”
”EXACTLY the same”
”What about the.....”
”Exactly the same....”
This blue J5 is still my number 1 bass.
Fast forward another couple of years and an email arrived from Laurence with pictures of a bass OW had recently build for Trevor Barry, bassist on BBC tv show Strictly Cone Dancing.
It was a beautiful, red 5-string P bass with a rosewood board and a tortoiseshell pickguard.
Laurence was just asking what I thought, did I have any comments?
i loved it but, for me, I would prefer a PJ pickup configuration for a little more versatility.
“Good plan” he said, “shall we build you one?”
it arrived 2 days before Xmas and has been my number 2 ever since. It has an East P-Retro preamp and it a little more vintage sounding than the J5.
So that’s my story so far, I’m currently gassing for a Hybrid 6 in white so watch this space!
My Overwater journey started in the early 2000s. I can't remember the exact year. My wife and I was paying a Yorkshire-friend a visit, and we went to The Music Room in Cleckheaton (now unfortunately closed). My wife went straight to browse the flutes and whistles, whereas I got transifixed by a 5-string Jazz Bass-like instrument right ahead. I walked up to it. It was a great looking second hand Overwater 4-string, kinda sunburst with a rosewood board. The price tag intimidated me, but I asked the guy behind the counter if I could give it a spin. He helped me plug it into a combo amp, and I fell in love... All I could afford at the time was a little notepad in which I wrote down Overwater, really great instrument.
In 2011 I finally could afford a custom built instrument, and after a web search I contacted Overwater. I was flying over to visit friends and relatives, and I set up a meeting with Lawrence. I was treated like a vip, got a tour round the workshop meeting Chris and Martin, and finally we sat down to go through the specs. A delivery time of 4-5 months was estimated. Only a few weeks after I got back to Norway, I got a call saying my new instrument would be available mid-May, only three months after I placed the order.
I wanted to fly over to pick up the instrument and bring it home, instead of having it sent. So I did, and my wonderful blue J5 has become my #1 instrument ever since.
The fretless is a four string with a purple tint to it... Yet another brilliant instrument. There's quite a story to that one as well.
The lockdown is being lifted slowly over here. I moved my studio to the basement of my own house a couple of years ago. I've got some work going, but all live gigs gone and no visiting musicians. And all tv-series from the UK makes me 'homesick'
All I could afford at the time was a little notepad in which I wrote down Overwater, really great instrument.
Love it! 😀
My Overwater journey really started back in the 1980s. I was living in the Middle East and when not doing my day job was playing covers at expat parties (At which no illicit home-made alcohol was consumed at all, oh no) using a '73 Fender Jazz - my first 'proper bass. I was home on leave and that coincided with a music show at Olympia so my guitarist and I went along. I found Chris's stand and was blown away by a gorgeous green original series bass. I should have bought one then - I could have afforded it - I can't remember why I didn't, probably scared of my then-wife's wrath.
Fast forward to 2000, I'd not played for almost nine years, having had to sell the Fender and all my gear during a period of unemployment, when a chance phone conversation with the same guitarist about the days in Riyadh rekindled something. That same afternoon I was in Machinehead Music in Hitchin, where, by chance, they just happened to have a rather beautiful green OW, on which I spent the afternoon trying to remember how to play all my old riffs. I bought it that day, and it's been my number one bass ever since. It looks and feels great and makes every sound I could ever ask for.
I should add that, last month, for the first time in my life I've ordered a custom build. And yes, it's an OW original series. Can't wait.