Reader Spotlight: Alun Vaughan

Alun VaughanMeet bassist Alun Vaughan, our player in the spotlight for August 18, 2009.


I play in UK rock band Panic Room and am also a busy freelance player, playing with various local bands as well as backing some of the UK’s top jazz musicians such as Alan Barnes, Steve Waterman, Mornington Lockett and Dave O’Higgins, among others.

I also perform solo and have supported players such as Steve Lawson, Seth Horan and Stick player Jim Lampi. I have recently played several online streaming solo bass shows, including a successful fundraiser for a UK cancer charity.

I have recently completed recording Panic Room’s second album and am working on several solo projects, including an unaccompanied solo bass album, as well as finishing off work on an ebook of melodic bass etudes.


Swansea, Wales, UK

Day job:

I manage a small team in the UK Civil Service while daydreaming about the next gig :-)

Years experience:

20 years (I’m 34)

Why I play the bass:

I was 14 and just starting to get into music when I saw Kiss on TV and thought “I want to do that” (sadly it wasn’t even the make up era – it was the Crazy Nights didgy wig era!). Not sure why I chose bass over guitar, it just seemed to be the instrument for me, and I’ve never looked back. My mum tells me my first crush was Suzi Quattro, so I guess it might have been that too :-)

My band(s):

I play in a few bands around South Wales, mainly function and jazz bands, as well as occasional solo bass gigs when I can and being house bassist at Swansea’s Jazzland jazz club.

I’m a member of rock band Panic Room, who won the Classic Rock Society’s Best New Band award in Jan 2009, and we’ll shortly be releasing our second album and touring in support of it.


I play 8-9 gigs a month around South Wales and will be touring the UK with Panic Room in September. All dates can be found on my website

Bass superpower/claim to fame?

I like to think I get calls because I’m reliable, punctual and play what is required for the music whether that means one note every few bars or every note under the sun in one bar :-) Being able to sightread has also proved to be crucial to a lot of the gigs I do.


I always struggle to name influences as I steal pretty liberally from everyone :-) I would say the key bass playing ones though are probably Trip Wamsley, Todd Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, Ray Brown, Cliff Burton, Stu Hamm, James Jamerson, Tony Levin, Scott Thunes and Laurence Cottle.


  • Cort Curbow 6 string
  • Squier VM Jazz
  • Defretted Washburn MB6 6 string
  • NS Wav electric upright
  • DeArmond Ashbory
  • Markbass Little Mark II
  • Markbass Traveller 210
  • Hartke VXL Bass Attack preamp/DI
  • Far too many pedals and gadgets
  • Elixir Nanoweb bass strings

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