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Back in January, the NAMM Show rolled into California, exhibiting the industry’s newest products. But between April 6 -9 in Frankfurt, Germany, Europe get’s its very own grand tradeshow in Musikmesse. Held annually in the German city, the expo is the largest trade show in Europe, and picks up where NAMM left off, featuring product launches from the biggest names in the music industry.

From musical instruments, production gear and electronic music goods to sheet music and marketing, Musikmesse has been leading the way for over a quarter of a century. The organisers hope to build on 2010’s successful expo, where over 77,000 visitors walked through the doors to feast their eyes on the newest bit of gear, from the 1,510 exhibitors from all manner of genres.

In addition to new instrument releases, there’ll be a whole host of artists and bands performing at the show, plus countless musicians providing their scribbles at various signing sessions over the weekend. Finally, there will be an awards show to reward artists and companies alike for their work.

Here at Instrumania, we’ll be following all the news pouring out of the show, bringing the big product launches and eye catching products, plus the more weird and wonderful instruments released over the four days.

Seattle will soon be graced with memorabilia from its favourite grunge sons betwen April 16th-22nd, at the Experience Music Project.

A vast array of items from the legendary group Nirvana will be on display, with rare and unseen photos and artefacts, instruments, both broken and whole, and other significant items are provided by the band, former road crews and family members for the exhibition.

Pieces of iconic frontman Kurt Cobain's first guitar he destroyed on stage, a Univox Hi-Flyer, will be put together for one display. The Tama Rockstar-Pro drumkit used by the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl in his days as Nirvana drummer will also be on show.

Bassist Krist Novoselic's Guild acoustic bass and Buck Owens acoustic guitar from the MTV Unplugged recording, one of Cobain's, and subsequently Nirvana's, last ever shows are also set to be unveiled.

The display will see handwritten lyrics by Cobain for two early Nirvana songs - "Spank Thru" and "Floyd the Barber", plus candid photos from their early days in Aberdeen, Washington shown for the first time to the general public.

If Nirvana still inspire you, or even if you've been a big fan since Bleach or Nevermind were released, the exhibition should not be missed. If you're unable to make it to the US state, keep an eye out for forthcoming reports from the event.

Rebel Trading Company is a UK based manufacturing campaign which specialises in the design and production of some pretty damn glitzy microphone stands. And the worrying thing is, they can manufacture their stands to any specifications, well within vague parameters of normality anyway, so even the most bizarre of vocalist fetishes can be pandered to; a dangerous game indeed. Just take Aled Phillips' (Kids In Glass Houses) flouncy yet chic, rose-adorned stand above as an example.


Each stand is designed exclusively to meet the customer’s preferences. So whether it’s the height, weight, function, colour or finished paint effect, you can really go to town and satisfy your deepest darkest desires. Some wackos even go the whole hog and fill them full of LEDs. And why not?


To get your imaginations warmed up, let’s go through just a few of the fanciful customisation options which can be applied to your mic stand:


•    Rebel custom glitter effect – a bit tame
•    LED lighting – getting warmer
•    Glow effect – ideal for techno
•    Leather effect – now you’re talking
•    Diamante – my word


It will come as no surprise having read the above list that the Rebel Trading Company supply the musical extravaganza that is the X Factor with their custom microphones. So if you choose to splash out on one of these unique little masterpieces you can rest assured that such complete talent mongers like Aiden Grimshaw and Cher Lloyd have warbled into them before you.

You know what I always say, “If it’s good enough for Mary Byrne it’s good enough for me.” An excellent mantra for life - try it yourself. It backfires in the pastry isle of Morrisons though.

On the more wholesome side of music, the company have also supplied microphone stands to the likes of Kids In Glass Houses, Status Quo, My Passion and Dimmu Borgir.


Sadly not everyone can afford their own custom made mic stand, so if you are more interested in finding an affordable microphone stand, then Instrumania provides the perfect resource with which to do so.