Posted: April 17, 2017 in Lighting, Music
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s been a busy few weeks, thankfully. It started with a rather odd job interview on the last day of February when the boss of the company set me the rather practical task of driving an insanely large Transit – ok, a ELWB Volswagen – about Sheffield….I must have done OK, as I seem to be getting more work from them.

So, here’s a few diary extracts:

Friday 17 March

St.Patrick’s day and one of the days I will do anything to avoid a club night on. Actually, I’m not doing “anything”, I’m driving a mercifully small van from Sheffield to Birmingham. I probably can’t say where I am, but the view from the 21st floor looks like this:


I meet the most helpful receptionist I’ve ever met, who shows me the kitchen, gives me free run of the fridges and offers another trolley to bring the kit up from the basement car park……free tea and mineral water cannot be beaten on a gig!

Saturday 18 March

I find myself on a very early train to Hull:


It’s the British Open Squash Championship in Hull – the Hull Arena to be precise.  I have a view that continuing professional development is a good thing; learning new things is good. For a variety of odd reasons I imagined that this:


would somehow be that path to riches and wealth. Little did I know that it was, in fact, the path to getting large static shocks – but more of that later. Hull Arena lies on the outskirts of the city on the same plot as the football ground. It’s small as arenas go and seems to be used as an indoor football pitch most of the time. The keen eyed will notice those splendid edges of plastic grass with the pitch overlaid by even more plastic protection. You’ll also notice the boss – conveniently not IPAF licensed.



Not a huge number of fixtures,

with the trusses being mainly used to black-out the space. However, as hinted earlier, the plastic floor and rubber wheels of the picker led to numerous static shocks as as moved around the space; most of the time I remembered to touch the truss with the picker before I moved a fixture but then one forgets the steel wire hanging from the basketball board – a real Eraserhead  moment.

The squash court under construction can be seen on the right of this picture and if you want an idea of the finished

article, then here’s a link to some squash action. Not a bad weekend’s work.

Monday 20/Tuesday 21 March

So, to Telford – the mighty international exhibition centre…..

Actually, that’s the rather unfair view from my hotel window – a rather charming service station on the M54 made all the more charming by the eight mile detour need to get to it. Such is the glamour of life on the road.


No, I have no idea what ESN is either but it IS fast approaching. I’m at the BAPCO conference and I must admit I’m pretty sketchy about what is is despite doing the same gig last year.  I think it’s about secure and emergency communications systems as there seems to be a lot of police orientated and product; if you ever need a stab-proof cover for your mobile phone I know just the company. As well as the usual hanging big tellies off of very thin exhibition walls, there were the seminar rooms:

both of which got a blue LED wash to brighten up the white walls.  There was a ballroom for the evening dinner

The rather good house starcloth augmented by some battery up-lighters around the room, the moving BAPCO logo – courtesy of the usual Robe 600e spots and some LED PARs doing the set wash. Next year, hopefully, Coventry.


Wednesday 22 March

My diary gives me the postcode S9 1XH, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


This was actually quite interesting for a bit; no lights though. Oh and some mechanical engineers who kept wandering from their lectern mics and refusing to wear a radio…..oh well…

Thursday 23 March

At last, back at the ancestral home:

Well, Sound Control at least….no idea what the gig was, but we’ve done a few decent bands of late.


Saturday 25 /Thursday 30 March

Child protection legislation probably prevents me saying or posting to much, however, here’s the view from my control position, yes my faithful Avo again:

Managing to put aside my newly found fear of basketball nets, (see above), I manage to find myself the board op and sort-of lighting designer on a school production of “High School Musical”. I could just about see under the board to my two parallel trusses with six LED washes per side. This is the ORIGINAL High School Musical, but I am assured there are at least HSM 2 through HSM 4 in existence. It was perfectly fine, with one of the leads managing to injure himself playing basketball….no, really playing basketball. It being a school production, there was a lot of shouting; hence the “Shouty Mic” lighting macro:







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