D is for Dangleberries
July - August 2017
Bon Scott’s Birthday Bash
I was also helping DD8 Music with lights for Bon’s Birthday Bash in Kirriemuir Town Hall, using pretty much the same rig as at Balmakewan Beer Fest. I also had another new toy: the ADJ My DMX 3.0 interface box & software package.
The day went ok, other than my iPhone not wanting to play my background music - I had an iPod as a backup, and me forgetting to bring XLR/jack converters. On the plus side, I managed to avoid our Tory MP.
I met Big Clive
YouTuber Big Clive was hosting a meet-up in Subway in George Square, Glasgow. His beard is bigger in person. I quite enjoyed travelling alone for a day out in Glasgow, and losing my Subway virginity. So many of us turned up that we got kicked out, and went to Wetherspoons instead. I missed the bus home as I arrived early to see it reversing - but assumed it was leaving - realising this only too late.
Forbes of Kingennie
DJ Ross and I were at Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort, where I got a feeling of Deja Vu (because of the fish tank) despite having never been there before. I couldn’t disappear to another pub once I’d set up for Ross as I normally would as the nearest one was a 45-minute walk away, so I went for dinner instead.
DJ Ross’ Birthday
It was now time for Ross to take a break from DJ duties, and for us to take over for his birthday. He had organised a public event in The Reading Rooms Dundee to celebrate, inviting DJ acquaintances such as Jon Pleased Wimmin. His custom LED light spelling something very rude made an appearance in my lighting rig.
I’d set up some LED batons in the DJ hut outside, with some RGB floods in the bushes nearby; a small PA system, more LED batons and lasers in the bar room, and some wash bricks on the main dancefloor. I wish I’d brought my strobe for the in-house tech to borrow.
CRUK RFL 2017
Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life returned to Kirriemuir, this being my 4th year of being part of it.
This year I was using the slightly more professional DMX-controlled system I’d been getting to grips with at other gigs; using the disco scans and twin scans, wash bricks, PAR cans, Sun Strip blinders and LED baton bars. We also had a festoon harness for general lighting and a mirror ball with PAR36 cans. I’d programmed a slow fade state for during the Candle Of Hope ceremony, and was demonstrating what I’d learned to a couple of youngsters from DD8.
I installed LED fairy lights around the perimeter of the Silent Disco Tent (purple, cold & warm white inside; home-modified multi-color outside) to let people see exactly where it was located - acting on feedback from 2015. We also had a Data Moon, LED batons, old-school sequencers, UV bars, LED PAR cans, LED Jelly Orbiters and halogen moonflower scans that I’d converted to LED prior to the gig. I was DJing at the kids evening disco and the Silent Disco at midnight. I arrived the next morning to derig, to discover someone had already pinched the table out from under my lights.
Once derigged, I headed back to help derig the main stage, despite feeling “tired and emotional” as Graham put it, but in the literal sense. Having had less than my full quota of sleep, I accidentally unplugged a singer’s monitor before Graham rushed onstage, stopping me defaulting into cable-coiling mode.
This year’s theme was attempting a record for the largest amount of Peter Pans on a CRUK track at once. We won.
DD8 Music were also doing a Dangleberries night in Kirrie Town Hall which I got involved in. I like using “Dangleberries” as a swear, for moments like when DJ Ross asked a fellow DJ, John (not of The Pleased Wimmin) and myself to cover a gig for him, only to turn up on the wrong night, the booking being for the next day. I did wonder about all the other DJ gear in there…
I didn’t get the Music At Barry Mill gig that I was looking forward to, had elected to give HebCelt a break, was told I charge too much by the new owners of The Burnside Inn (which has since closed its doors) and was told I was ruining the scene by a pub owner after refusing his unlimited use of a photo of mine “in exchange for exposure”.
In other news, I’ve been back spotting at The Webster Theatre for Les Mckeown’s Bay City Rollers and the Dreamboys, who had a kickass pixel-mapped light show. I met Big Clive again - this time in Edinburgh - on his break from work at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I inadvertently captured a photo of him dozing off in the pub, but am not publishing it out of professional courtesy. I spent most of that meet-up talking with his technical colleagues from the Tattoo.
I’ve been continuing to modify conventional lighting (fairy lights and CFLs) and started creating my own original LED prototypes, and using the end products for Light Art. Said products have found use as decorative backstage lighting, and can be powered from anything with a USB port: battery bank, PC, Mac, mixing desk, iPhone charger, etc.