Jim Cooper – Bass
“I first started to play bass guitar in my early teens after being encouraged to take up the instrument by my brother, Big Dan, who had a bass guitar lying about his old flat.
After performing in various school bands I eventually progressed to playing open mic nights on the local pub circuit – most notably at The Chindit in Wolverhampton. I would often take my bass along and join in with various local musicians, it was here where I first met Andy Baker and Chris Clowsley.
The guys invited me to join them for a special birthday gig in 2005; the set featured heavily the songs of Pink Floyd, The Doors and Fleetwood Mac and was a great success. Building upon that success, both Andy and Chris thought it would be a good idea to form Darkside and I jumped at the chance when offered the spot on bass!
I use two custom built basses from J.Davey Custom Guitars. Jamie Davey is an old mate of mine and builds custom guitars based upon the great Fender classics.
Firstly there is my Roger Waters replica Precision Bass which was built to look just like the famous Black Fender. I have incorporated a few of my own touches though, a slimmer profile Jazz neck was fitted along with active EMG Precision / Jazz pickups. Second is my fretless 5 string Jazz bass which uses two active EMG pickups. Both basses are fine examples of Jamies’ quality craftsmanship. On stage I send my guitars through a 300watt Trace Elliott 7215 bass combo with Boss Digital Delay, Tremelo and Flanger stomp boxes running in my effects loop.
Since working with the band we have enjoyed some fantastic times at some of the best venues up and down the UK. My favourite so far has got to be from April 2009 at Theatr Harlech. The show was excellent. Carl provided superb sound as ever and Big Dan and Maggie made best use of the enormous theatre, mastering our lights, lasers and projections to great effect. It made for a very comfortable on stage atmosphere – we played our socks off!!
We usually arrange to stay at local B&Bs or hotels when playing gigs that are a little farther a field, affording us the luxury of relaxing back at the bar after the show with a few beers. On this occasion, however, Andy B mentioned that he once stayed in a great holiday cottage not too far from the venue; it would easily accommodate the band so we went for it and turned the gig into a mini Darkside holiday.
Needless to say, Stevie, Big Dan and I embarked upon a marathon session! that weekend!!
I looking forward to many more gigs like that one, it is always good to return to our favourite venues and see familiar faces that enjoy what we do and come back year after year.”
As well as playing bass with Darkside, I also perform with covers band Divine Brothers, electro-acoustic folk/blues group Remnants and jazz ensemble The Torre Bert Quartet. For more information visit my MySpace page here.