West London based technical solutions company Entec Sound & Light continued its long working relationship with The Bootleg Beatles, the most successful and widely recognised tribute band to the legendary British musical group.
Entec has provided technical production for the band since 1994 – testament in itself to the artist’s satisfaction with their production - in which time the band has regularly toured worldwide, playing to old and new generations of Beatles enthusiasts.
Entec’s lighting crew chief Pete “Pepper” Schofield was Crew Chief on this one, and ensured that all Lighting Designer Brendan Albrey’s requirements were met.
It was Albrey’s first tour with The Bootleg Beatles. He was chosen from several applicants who initially answered an ad to submit concepts that was circulated in the Association of Lighting Designers’ (ALD) E-Newsletter. It was also his first time working with Entec.
The lighting was based around three trusses – one more than their standard two of previous years – and on these were 20 x Martin Professional MAC 700 Spots and 12 MAC 700 Wash moving lights, plus a projector on the front truss feeding a large upstage projection screen.
On the floor were five bars of PAR 64 CP62 s, two providing low-level cross light and three behind the drums shooting forwards.
Two boom stands were positioned on the downstage edges of the stage, each loaded with four ETC Source Four profiles, also doing front-line cross lighting very neatly.
Albrey’s console of choice was a grandMA2 light, supplied by Entec complete with an NPU which was positioned at the dimmers.
Pepper was joined on the Entec crew by rigger Damian Courage.
The rig was designed to be adaptable and to be re-sized easily and sensibly to fit quickly into the wide variety of venues on the itinerary, the largest of which was Birmingham NIA for which Entec also supplied additional equipment.
Style wise, the show started off largely in ‘monochrome’ to mimic the minimal stage / effects lighting that would have been available when the band’s career kicked off back in the 1960s.
Albrey’s background is in lighting theatre and musical shows, and he really enjoyed the opportunity of combining these distinct genres of lighting for the tour. He particularly relished lighting the show’s Sergeant Pepper section, full of bold and chaotic psychedelia, which also allowed him to introduce elements of dance lighting to the concert equation.
Albrey comments, “Entec put together a really good rig, and were extremely helpful at all stages of the process”.
Entec’s Systems Technician was mixed by Chunk Charters, now on his fifth tour of duty with The Bootleg Beatles, a project which is also one of his favourites!
Once again he utilised a d&b Q1 audio system, which has proved a winning formula in recent years.
In the largest configuration, eight boxes of Q1s a side were utilised with two Q7s and two Q12s for infill, outfill and downfill, variable daily according to the venue.
The subs comprised eight d&b Q-SUBS a side and four B2s. They arranged these in cardioid mode where possible to produce the most even low end coverage in the given environment. Four E8s were used for front-fills to help raise the vocal and get it out across the auditoriums.
FOH engineer Marc Langley’s console of choice was a Yamaha PM5D on which he used all the outboard facilities and effects.
Monitors were run through a Midas Pro2c, newly purchased by Entec, mixed by monitor engineer Simon Lutkin.
The monitors consisted of eight d&b M4 wedges plus eight E3s on small stands for the orchestra - brass and strings - sections.
All the d&b elements were driven from their proprietary D12 amplifiers, apart from the E3s which, powered by D6s, were running analogue on the monitors via a small Midas stage rack.
The main challenge was dealing with the different spaces and their acoustic nuances, although Charters was well familiar with all the rooms on the two week tour. In some venues he also tied elements of the house system into the touring rig to add a little boost to the overall sonic experience.
He says of the Q1s, “It’s an excellent system for this style of tour and these venues, where a powerful but compact and flexible box is needed.”
As with the lighting, the sound of the set changed as it progressed – starting with a basic four piece band organically mixed, moving into more sophisticated and lateral space with brass and strings added … as time unfolded and the music and lyrics became more complex and experimental.
Entec also supplied a full mics-and-stands package, primarily of Shure 57s and 58s and a collection of Radial DIs, like the consoles, specified mainly because they can be sourced in most corners of the globe.