Sound Spotlight: Gem Archer, Oasis and Beady Eye
When you think about Oasis, most of the attention goes (quite rightly) to Liam and Noel. However, over the years they’ve had some serious guitar players in the line-up, the most recent of which being Gem Archer. Fans of Beady Eye will also know Gem Archer as he features in Liam’s’ latest act too.
As a guitarist still pining for the nineties when it felt like true guitar bands still thrived, in my mind there isn’t much better than the loud and crisp brit rock guitar sound. Guitar meets valve amp, and that’s about all you need.
If you want to see Gem in action, then the video below of Oasis playing Wonderwall live in 2005 is a great place to start. Here you’ll see Gem playing a stunning Highway One Telecaster:
Clearly he’s had a huge impact on the live sound of both bands, so we decided to take a look into what guitars and hear he uses to achieve that classic brit rock tone. As you can imagine, it’s quite a collection so we’ve picked out some of our favourites.
What we love the most about this collection of guitars, amps and pedals is the simplicity. It really is all about getting a great guitar, plugging it into a great valve amp, and not messing about too much after that.
Rickenbacker 330 Rose Morris 1997
An absolutely classic and lovely looking guitar. When a more jangly and bright sound is needed the Rickenbacker suits the job perfectly. If you want to add one of these to your collection then you’ll need a bit of money though, as most fetch upwards of $3,000 USD on Ebay.
Gibson Firebird Non-Reversed
This was one of his main guitars in the early Oasis years and also features in the video for ‘Go Let it Out’. Gem used a few variations of the guitar including one with two P-90 pickups, and one with three P-90 pickups.
You can still pick up a new version of the guitar, but again it’s not the cheapest of guitars being priced at £999 in the UK.
Not only is this a brit rock classic, it’s also got a decent price tag on it making it one of the obvious choices for fans looking to replicate the sound. Depending on what model you go for, if you want to pick one up you’re looking at between £350 – £500. Not a bad cost for such a beautiful guitar, and certainly a cheaper alternative to getting a Gibson 355 or similar.
Gibson Custom Shop SG Custom Reissue VOS
For Gibson fans, this is a true beauty featuring three closely packed in humbuckers. It only made a few rare appearances with Oasis, but being such a stunner we had to include it.
Fender Telecasters – Assorted
As you can imagine, Gem has been seen to use a pretty significant amount of Telecasters over the years. The main two are a pink paisley, and a lake placid blue colour. Both guitars have also featured in Beady Eye’s line up, but that’s probably to be expected with the Tele being such an incredible all rounder.
If you want to do things properly, we found an original 1968 pink paisley telecaster for sale, but the price might make your eyes water at a whopping £3,784.
Amps wise, Gem keeps things really simple from what we can see. From most of the material on the web, it’s pretty clear that the mainstays of the rig are a Fender Deluxe and a Voc AC30. Super simple which makes total sense given the tone he needs to get in both Oasis and Beady Eye.
On the pedal front, things also appear simple with a few choices over the years. Looking at the pedals he’s used, again the main concept seems to be simplicity with not a huge amount in the way of effects.
As you’d expect though, there’s certainly no digital racks on the list!
Volume & Compression units
To give things a bit of a boost and add compression as needed, the following units appear to be the main tools used for the job:
- Tokai TCO-1 Compressor Pedal
- Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal
- Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
- Electro Harmonix Freeze Compressor
Distortions and Overdrives
Obviously getting the right overdrive and distortion sounds is a big deal here, with particular care needed when placed in front of the AC30. From what we can see, the following pedals have been used at certain times for both Oasis and Beady Eye:
- Line 6 DM4 Distortion Modeler
- Tech 21 Comptortion
- Boss OD-3 Overdrive
- Fulltone OF-2 Octafuzz Fuzz
Modulation and effects:
There’s not a huge amount of fancy stuff going on here, with a few simple effects spotted around the sound as needed, with a main focus on delays and reverbs:
- Line 6 MM4 Modulation Unit
- Line 6 DL4 Delay Unit
- Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb
- Electro Harmonix POG
So there you have it, if you’re looking to get a solid brit-rock sound and play like it’s the nineties again, taking a few choices from the above list certainly wouldn’t do you any harm at all.