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Ambler Guitarist Spotlight – Richie Barlow – Witch Tripper

Last time on the Ambler Custom Guitars blog we talked to Chris ‘Stoff’ Daughton from Witch Tripper about his Icarus bass and how he got to know John. This week we talk to Richie Barlow, guitarist and vocalist for the band. He talks to us about the birth of the Soloman, gigging and the memories attached to some of his guitars.

“I met John about 6 years ago when I was playing in Vampires Rock and he was just beginning to trade. He came to a few shows and we chatted and decided to go for it. The Solomon was a drafted design only at that point. He made me the first Solomon from scratch as a sponsor as Vamps was doing a lot of high profile gigs at the time.

I now own 3 guitars off John, I wasn’t looking for a sponsorship, I already had good guitars. I’ve had sponsorships before, and since, from the likes of Dean and BC Rich but the quality of the guitars and relationship that I was receiving was never good enough for me so I binned them off. I don’t think John was looking to sponsor anyone either, but things just fell right. I was doing loads of high profile gigs, we got on really well and it just seemed like a good thing we could do together.

I like John and his work ethic. He worked hard and he carved his own way, like me. I respect that and understand how hard it is. I wanted to help him as much as I could and his guitars are absolutely beautiful and unique. We still have a great relationship. I always use him to service all three of my Ambler guitars and I can’t rule out purchasing more from him in the future!

All three guitars are Solomons’, yet all three play, feel and sound totally different. I always get approached by people asking me about the guitars at gigs! The workmanship is incredible. I love my guitars dearly, but they are tools that I use every week and I work hard. My 1st Solomon was only ever used for Vampires Rock: about 250 gigs over 21months. The other 2 have only ever been used for Witch Tripper…. We do around a hundred gigs a year since 2015. That’s all High energy rock n metal gigage… So in a nutshell, they get fucked up from working and tend to get soaked with sweat and beer as well. The guitars have remained solid and trustworthy throughout. And they’ve done and seen some shit now. Obviously John services and replace electronics regularly for me, because of the amount of abuse they get, but the guitars and main hardware components have been solid.”

Each of Richies guitars are unique and giving a detailed description of each of them would turn this blog post in to more of a novel. However if you’ve seen Witch Tripper or Vampire Rocks then you will have seen one of these at some point. The Soloman page has a few very nice shots of some of Richies guitars as well as a few others that might give you a few ideas when wanting to order your own Ambler Custom Guitar.

The Soloman from the Vampire rocks days features a Flyod Rose FRX Trem and Seymour Duncan JP Pickups, a simple 3 way toggle, volume and tone.

The second of Richies guitars was purchased in memory of his father who passed away. This one features a brass nut, Seymour JB Pickups, Stetsbar Pro bridge. Has a kill switch and coil taps. The embossed leather scratch plate and cavity cover was done in New York, courtesy of Heavy Leather who make straps for the likes of Geezer Butler, Prince and Lemmy.

Picture courtesy of Pulse Media.

His last Soloman again features a killswitch and coil tap but has custom, bespoke pickups from Canada which Tim McNelly of McNelly pickups rewound to Johns high output specifications.

Picture Courtesy of SD Photography

As with all our custom guitars, everything is tailor made to you. If you like what Richie has done with his Soloman guitars then get in touch and lets build yours.

Be sure to check out Witch Tripper as they perform up and down the country week in, week out.




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