Mick O’Connor – Bass
Mick joined Fox Force 5 in April 2013. Having also depped for us from June – Sept 2012.
In is words!… Possibly not the best Bass Player in Kent, but surely one of the tallest! Mick has never played with anybody famous (his loss not theirs)………………..until now!
Mick started playing bass in 1971 when he was 14 and only 6’1” tall. Since playing his first gig a mere six weeks after laying his hands on a bass, he has played many hundreds of gigs (it might actually be well over a thousand, but his recollections of the late 70s and early 80s are a bit hazy to say the least).
In his time, Mick has worked with many bands in all kinds of musical environments including:
- Traditional jazz (Mick is very proud to have been a member of the legendary Thameside Stompers in the 70s and still regrets not plucking up the courage to ask the pianist’s guitar playing daughter out)
- Theatre pit work (He sadly knows Bugsy Malone back to front)
- Strict Tempo Dance Bands (One, two, three…….DIP!)
- Classic and Progressive Rock
- 70s Disco
- Numerous Working Men’s Club Bands (You can’t tell Mick much about the subtleties of Bingo)
- A Steely Dan tribute
- Jimi Hendrix tribute
- A Pink Floyd tribute
Mick’s reckons his strengths lay not in virtuoso performance, but in versatility. He asserts that good bass playing is often about what you don’t play, underpinning the whole thing and leaving space for what needs to be heard. So, if you want to be the centre of attention and pull the birds, Mick’s advice is don’t become a bass player! If the opportunity arises however, don’t be surprised to see Mick crank it up and thump 10 barrels out of his rig.
Despite an appetite for Funk and Jazz, Mick is a rocker at heart and a huge Rush fan. His biggest influences include Geddy Lee (of course!), the late great John Entwistle and Chris Squire. Mick reckons the best bass player that ever lived was Jaco Pastorius and his favourite other musician is Jeff Beck.
When not supplying the low frequencies for the Foxes, you can catch Mick playing with some fellow old gits in the classic rock outfit Crosslogic (www.crosslogic.co.uk)
Mick gave up playing once and reckons it was the worst six hours of his life, matched only by several unsuccessful attempts to quit drinking. If you want to know a bit more about Mick (surely not), check out http://www.bandmix.co.uk/mick-the-bass/
Mick uses the following equipment with Fox Force 5
Fender ‘Roscoe Beck’ signature five string basses – A 2005 Candy Apple Red with standard passive electronics and a 1998 Sunburst with an active EMG circuit
Overwater Classic J5 (35” scale) with John East J retro pre amp
Mick uses D’Addario EXL 170-5 Nickel Wound strings – (.130(tw) .100 .080 .065 .045)
Amps and effects
David Eden WT 1205 amp used in bridge mode (1200w) to power 2 x 1000w Eden 410XST cabinets. (Yes it makes a real racket, but Mick reckons a good bass sound is not just about power alone, it’s all about getting a good tone first and foremost…………)
Boss GT6B Bass Effects Unit.
Shure Beta 58 microphone and a K&M microphone stand mounted drink holder (for that cherished pint of Guinness)