Callum Houghton

  • Bassist

'I have used Vintage and Fret-King exclusively since taking up the bass; I currently have 17 in my armoury. 'The basses have been gigged all over the UK and I have found them reliable and very durable withstanding a hectic gig diary with ease.'
Photo Credit: R McK Photography

About Callum Houghton

'Many of my vintage and Fret-King basses have clocked up thousands of miles in the last few years especially my Fret-King Green Label Perception 60 PJ and Vintage 4 and 5 string Bubinga’s. The V4’s and VJ74’s including a fretless version also make regular appearances on stage all over the UK. I have also got a few collectable models in the collection including the iconic Fret-King Ventura Super 80 in candy apple red and a early Vintage Bubinga 4 string fretless.'

Combining private tuition and providing cover for bass and guitar lessons at a local performing arts academy, Callum takes up the bass slot with various function bands like “Final Warning” and “The Distractions” and other depping gigs, including 'Curtis Senior’s Guitar Godz'. Callum will also be relocating to Bristol to take up my place at the BIMM Institute to study a BA Honours Degree in Professional Musicianship, specialising in Bass Guitar. 

“Already a competent guitarist at age 14, Callum decided his musical journey was destined to be played out on the bass. Since that day Callum has become an obsessive bass player, demonstrating natural flair, creativity and a strong work ethic on the instrument, experimenting with all types of techniques and musical genres like, rock, metal, jazz, funk, ska, reggae and blues.

Almost immediately after picking up the bass seriously for the first time, Callum found himself in his first local covers band at the age of just 14. The band had a steady gig diary playing pop punk around the local pub and festival circuits of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. During this same period Callum was also getting his face known around the local “open mic” and “jam” night circuits. All of which helped him gain a reputation as a promising young bassist because no two weeks were the same and he never knew what he would be asked to play on next. This was a good test, pushing him out of his comfort zone and challenging his playing ability on a regular basis. He found that playing with talented, experienced musicians on a variety of musical genres helped him progress and develop as a musician, testing his ability to improvise on the spot around the bass. Then at 15 Callum was approached to join a local originals band, “Parka”, playing venues like The Gunners pub in North London until the band went there separate ways due to university commitments.

Then just turned 16 Callum decided to take a leap in to the unknown and try to push himself further, so he put out an advertisement, “bass player looking for regular work”. As a result of this bold move, Callum joined his first professional function band, “Final Warning”. The first gig with the band was in Weymouth, having never met them in person before that night, the gig went well and Callum’s real musical apprenticeship began. Alongside studying music performance at Derby College, he has gigged solidly with “Final Warning” for over two and a half years now, all over England, Scotland and Wales.

Since completing his studies at Derby achieving Distinction grades, Callum has secured a place at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) in Bristol. However Callum has deferred this place for a year to pursue a full-time career as a freelance bassist. This has turned out to be another positive step for him, currently working a full diary, combining several permanent projects alongside regular “stand in” gigs of all types. The kind of work Callum has been involved in includes playing with, signed, original, professional cover/function bands, hosting open mic/jam nights, session studio work and teaching. Even at such a young age he continues to take each new musical situation in his stride. Callum has travelled up and down the UK, playing to crowds large and small, in a great many different types of venue. Callum is a full time member of originals band “Stand Amongst Giants” and “Schaeffer” he has also played “Rock Ardudwy” with “Thor Gods of Rock” to name a few of the projects he is and has been involved with. He listens to anything and everything, which is giving him a great wealth of musical knowledge and influences for his age. Callum shows exceptional talent on the bass, with virtuoso performances that are beyond his years. The almost encyclopedic musical knowledge he demonstrates has seen him take all the best bits of bass players down the decades from all musical backgrounds and blend them in to his own unique and mesmerising style. Callum has developed an armoury of distinctive and defining bass techniques that are all his own, the demand for such a diverse bass playing repertoire seems to be out there as Callum’s bass odyssey continues to gain momentum. “

A dedicated user of Vintage and Fret King basses, Callum’s impressive collection features the Vintage Reissued V4, Vintage Icon V74 Fretless, Vintage Reissued VJ74 Maple, Fret-King Green Label Perception 60 PJ and the Fret-King Black Label Perception 4 and 5 strings, amongst others.