Straight outta the ’60s: Beau Lightning shares the gear behind his debut single

It was only last week that Beau Lightning released his debut single Last Night, a stick of hot dynamite we’ve been spinning ever since it landed. This was a belter worthy of Queens of the Stone Age or Royal Blood, the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that begs for an arena.

While we wait for the next whispers from the Beau Lightning camp, we wanted to know a little more about how his debut came together. He was kind enough to share a few tidbits about the gear he recorded Last Night with.. read on to find out for yourself.

Beau Lightning
All photos courtesy of Beau Lightning

A single look at Beau Lightning will hint at his taste for the treasures of yesteryear. After peeking at his gear of choice… our suspicions have been confirmed.

Fender Princeton 1965 Reissue

There’s my Fender Princeton Amp made of Knotty Pine which is a 1965 reissue. 1 of only 100 made. Used on the recording of Last Night.

Preamp Rack

There’s a few photos of the rack containing eight preamps. These are all hand wired by the owner and friend of the studio, John Broadbent. My favourite are the CAPI ones on the right at the end, they give the most colour to the signal going through them. I used them on a heap stuff recorded for Last Night.

The third pair along though, the Bronze Hairball Audio preamps are what made the bass sound. I just cranked the gain and that gave a really cool wooly distorted bass tone.

Jekyll and Hyde Distortion

On top of the rack which you can see me fiddling with is what’s called the Jekyll and Hyde. A distortion box individually hand made by a company called Retro Mechanical Labs. It distorts and filters. It was used on the drums and vocals of Last Night.

UAD 1176 Compressor Clone

At the bottom of the rack is a compressor modelled off the classic UAD 1176. Again John Broadbent, the owner of the studio hand wired this himself. He said that he spent a whole long weekend on his own figuring out how to do it while his wife was away and got it finished in the last few hours before she got home, not knowing if it would actually work when he plugged it in, or having any idea how to fix it if it didn’t.

But luckily it did and sounds great. This was used on everything subtly to just keep things a bit more even on the way into the DAW.

1969 Japanese Mahogany Fender Tele Thinline

Lastly is my 1969 Japanese Mahogany Fender Telecaster Thinline. When I bought it, I was 15, obsessed with Teles at the time and always loving wood grain. On eBay it said it was Mexican but a guy in a music store says it’s Japanese, so I don’t really know.

It didn’t come with a neck, only the body. I planned to fix it up and buy a good neck but kind of forgot about it and left it hidden in my cupboard for years until my Dad bought a neck and set it up for my 22nd birthday this year.

Beau Lightning gear


Listen to Beau Lightning’s debut single Last Night below.