Closer You Get Picture

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Great picture by Phil Nichols from Closer You Get sessions in Square Centre Studios Nottingham in 1999. In the foreground is Sam Hempton’s pedal board. Note the packet of Marlboro and 9v battery in the bottom right corner. This is a small amplifier built into a cigarette box. We bought two of them when we were in LA. They were about $20 each.

Unfortunately, later on, I forgot that mine was in my pocket when we went through the metal detector at LA airport and it obviously set the machine off (this was still the time before you had to empty your pockets before you walked through the machine!) and when I took it out it caused panic amongst the security staff as they saw me standing there with a fag box with a battery and wires in it. I was allowed to put it on the flight after I had convinced them it was just a little guitar amp but they said it had to go into the hold. They put it in a box and the only box they could find was one big enough to fit one of Jamiroquais hats in. So, my little amp was put into that and came out at the other end in Heathrow on the conveyor belt all alone in this huge box. How we laughed.

Incidentally, I wanted to get a broken radio sound on my voice for England And A Broken Radio and we achieved that by playing back my recorded vocal through this fag packet amp and miking it up and re-recording it.

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