Anyone who has followed Ed Sheeran’s meteoric rise to fame will know that he generally appears on stage alone without a backing band. But look closer and you will see that he has had a regular performance partner all along in the form of Chewie II, his ground-breaking loop pedal. Yet despite this ingenious piece of kit sending the Suffolk boy stratospheric, it seems that their musical partnership may soon be over.
The end of the road
Sheeran announced the news on the final night of his tour-ending four-night-stand at Chantry Park in Ipswich, when he told the crowd that “this might be my last loop pedal gig”. The news was stunning for anyone who has seen Ed perform, as the multiple layering of guitar and vocals via the loop pedal has become his signature style. Whether this means that he will tour with a full band in the future remains to be seen. We certainly won’t know for a couple of years, as Sheeran also ended his show by telling fans “see you in two years”.
Putting his foot down
Sheeran’s original loop pedal, known as Chewie Monsta, was developed specifically for the star by guitar technician, Trevor Dawkins, based on the Mobius loop plug in. This was subsequently replaced by an upgraded version, called Chewie II, which added even more technology to his acoustic sound. Together they have conquered the world, at one point holding nine out of ten places in the singles chart.
A record breaking tour
Sheeran’s record breaking, 260-date Divide tour has seen him packing iconic arenas and arenas across the globe, including huge stadium gigs reminiscent of Elton John’s legendary dates at Dodger’s Stadium, home of the National League favorites the LA Dodgers. It broke three world records, including the highest attendance on a tour, at 7.5m people, and the highest revenue, at over £666m. The tour took in pretty much the entire world, from Asia and Africa, to Australia and America.
What next for Ed?
As an artist, Sheeran knows how to work hard and play hard, mixing mammoth tours with extended breaks to recharge his batteries. He took time off after the success of his second album, Multiply, enjoying cruises and time with friends, and it looks like he will be doing the same again for the next couple of years. But if he’s right about dropping the loop pedal, the Ed Sheeran that comes back after his hiatus could be a totally different animal to what we have come to know and love. Watch this space…
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