The members of Live Issue are regularly asked about the instruments they play on stage and during recording sessions. On this page we hope to give you a little background to the group's instrumentation and answer some of the frequently asked questions.
This Takamine EG523SC jumbo electro-acoustic guitar is used by Roy Dreaning in all live concerts. Its large body gives a full resonating sound and is an excellent instrument for rhythm guitar. Roy bought this guitar in Nashville during Live Issue's first US tour in 2007.
Carl Sands' black Fender Stratocaster dates from the early 1970's although he bought it in 1976. A reflective scratch plate was added prior to Carl purchasing it and this looks effective under stage lights. The guitar gives a bright punchy sound but can also give more mellow tone by using the 5 way pick-up setting switch. Carl currently uses his Fender Strat in all live concerts and recording sessions.
Colin Elliott regularly plays his Hofner 500/1 violin bass in Live Issue concerts. Colin has two similar basses, one which was manufactured in 1979 and the second which was built around 1967. The Hofner 500/1 bass guitar was hand built in Germany and many are still made today. The instrument has a very rich and warm tone and can even be made to sound similar to an upright bass.
Colin also plays an Ibanez GSR200 bass guitar on stage and in the studio. He purchased this guitar in 2006 shortly after Live Issue reformed and one of his Hofners had sustained a few bumps during a flight to England. Although priced as a mid-range bass, the GSR200 is very versatile and can give both a deep bottom end and a bright treble sound depending on the settings used. The bass contains a pre-amp and has a lovely playing action similar to those Ibanez guitars in the upper price bracket.
Sam Armstrong plays a "Saturn Green" Mapax 6 piece drum kit with Zildjian and Sabian cymbals. This is usually amplified through the PA system using bass, snare and overhead microphones. In addition to the main kit, Sam also uses a Yamaha snare drum during the acoustic spot in the programme. When Sam is on tour outside Northern Ireland with Live Issue he has to use a drum kit supplied by the venue however, he always brings his own snare drum along on such trips to ensure some continuity. Sam has only recently purchased this Mapax drum kit and it now features a black bass drum head advertising the band's website.