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Nick's Knobs

Knobs Nick Collier of Sheffield’s psychotic sextet Pink Grease isn’t the first knob twiddler in rock history to wear a strap-on-synth, but dude – his is hand-made. And it’s got no keys.

Apparently Collier got a little build help from Pete Hartley, who also designed the drum kit Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen used after losing his arm. All part of the “fundamental strangeness of Sheffield.”

What really sets Collier’s synth apart is its use of a ribbon controller in place of a keyboard, putting its sonic output somewhere between that of a theremin and Rolf Harris’ Stylophone. Except that Collier’s strap-on has been known to blow amps in a few seconds or less.

Icing on the sawtooth: You can tweak Nick’s knobs yourself, if you’re so inclined.


Photo courtesy Dan Sumption, via Dan Shot Me (Gallery: Pink Grease roller disco)

From → Cut-Out Bin

  1. Cheers Scot. More Pink Grease photos (taken this weekend) plus a scary looking tank at

  2. I just read a review of a Pink Grease gig which mentioned that their home-made synthesizer looked like the title sequence from (UK music chart show) Top of the Pops in the 1980s.

    Here is the TOTP intro:

  3. shacker permalink

    Hrm, I’d have to say that’s a negatory on the lookalike. Unless I’m not looking deep enough.

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