July - Sept 2019
It’s been quieter than I would have preferred…
Coldside Fun Day
The downtime is useful - for instance, I had the opportunity to visit The Rock Bar in Menzieshill between setup & derig shifts of a community fun day in Coldside, in the Hilltown area. I have this oddity where I like to visit pubs I’ve never been to - especially if they’re due to be knocked down or changing hands. The Rock Bar is due to be demolished in late 2019 to make way for flats - exactly what happened to the 208 in Perth. So I wasn’t going to miss this. Seems like a nice place.
The weather started out well, but ended up quite grey - so apologies for the dodgy GIMP-shop of the clouds…
I was helping Audiowave with a few raves and gigs back-to-back, the first of which was a DJ event in Coast Nightclub in Arbroath. In addition to the D&B stacked array and Logic monitor system, we supplied truss with LED battens, mini-movers, a strobe and some PARcans for mood-lighting and UV effects.
Gig Gremlins of note: my new strobe being delivered without the correct mains plug, not having the proper tools to rewire it and waiting for hours for the Pioneer decks to arrive - when they had in fact been sitting in the corner the whole time.
Besty Fest 2019
Coast was quickly followed by BestyFest 2019 (we held it in the Nine Maidens pub last year, and I still haven’t edited the footage from it). I brought a couple of lasers for good measure. We had bands including Definitely Oasis playing outside, and DJs including Billy Morris inside.
Bell Tree Beer Fest
Audiowave were asked to provide PA for several charity beer fests; one being at The Bell Tree in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and another at The Fishermans Tavern in aid of the RNLI - both in Broughty Ferry. While both requiring marquees and vocal PAs, The Bell Tree required Audiowave’s much larger marquee and staging setup. I popped in to keep an eye on things and donate to the cause by having a few pints of ale.
Having had 4 hours sleep a night for a week planning, prepping and packing equipment for Cancer Research UKs Relay for Life in Kirriemuir, I wasn’t best pleased when I was told the event had been rained off. I was informed that a backup venue had been found in nearby Forfar - so I began de-prepping and unpacking, and then re-planning and re-packing… All lights were pre-addressed and labelled up, everything was pre-patched and pre-programmed, you get the idea.
Just as well, as I only had 15 minutes to spare until the start of the event once I was ready. I was working with DD8 Music to provide a vocal PA, as well as lighting for the band Sonnet 65, the speeches and silent disco after. I say this every time, but I love DJing at the silent disco, it’s one of the maddest things I’ve done. There were 3 DJs: Graham, Martin, and myself. From what I can remember, Martin was playing party classics (including the Gay Gordons), Graham was playing soul, Motown and disco, and I was genre-hopping from Fatboy Slim to AC/DC, Bamboo to Sum 41, The Prodigy to Oasis, Naughty By Nature to Feeder and Motörhead to The Smiths.
Once again, I tried to get out of my shell by meeting YouTuber Big Clive (www.bigclive.com) in Edinburgh. I’ve no idea how people travel halfway across the globe when I can’t even get on 2 buses without anxiety issues. It was still good; I went on a pub crawl of sorts, had problems with my Wetherspoon App when ordering food, and spoke to strangers longer than Clive himself. I’m pretty sure thats how one makes friends…
Alba Ale Fest
That time again for Audiowave and Steve Page to provide sound and lighting for the Alba Real Ale Festival held at The Royal Tay Yacht Club, in the beautiful surroundings of Broughty Ferry.
The gig went smoothly, other than the usual NIMBY who complains about everything - and a couple of hiccups involving Windows Update - which set the scene for a gig the following weekend…
I was back at Mains Castle with Audiowave for a Remembrance Rave, of sorts. We provided D&B PA systems and lighting rigs on 3 floors of Mains Castle in Dundee.
I mentioned Windows Update; because I needed to setup a smaller light show on a Windows laptop for upstairs. Except Microsoft decided that it needed drivers for the same DMX interface and the same mouse I’d been using on the same installation on the same ports. Only once I’d tethered my iPhone to Windows, Microsoft decided the drivers weren’t signed and wanted to download 150,000 updates (which were turned off) and blah blah blah … All the stuff that makes me a Macintosh fanboy.
In what I thought was a “biting off more than we can could chew” gig, we returned to The Ice Factory in Perth for another rave. We supplied another D&B system; comprising C1 line array tops/subs and B2 infra-subs, then let me loose with the lighting…
I was helping with lights, PA and being fabulous at Dundee Pride 2019, but what an arse-ache this was to plan.
I had the opportunity to try out a feature of the MyDMX box I’d read about online, whereby you write a chase sequence (in this case - a rainbow, naturally) to the box, then connect it to your lights, use an Apple iPhone charger to power it over USB and it runs the lighting rig as normal, but without a computer. Cool. What wasn’t cool was being asked to take charge of the drag-stage sound desk (when it was a dry hire) with no monitor graphic and a singer-songwriter talking down to me while my brain started to melt-down from the stress. They apologised after, so it’s all good.
I also fell back into old habits; hiring disco lights and custom fairy lights to pubs and selling hand-painted lightbulbs for the occasion. I didn’t get a chance to ride the pride bus.
Everyone had fun, except the one Cnut who got out his car to scream abuse at the pride parade. If you are that twat, please come forward - I’d love to high-five you. In the face. With a brick. Does anyone recognise this prick?
It wouldn’t be a Stevie C Blog without mentioning work at the Webster Memorial Theatre - this time for Steve Steinman’s Meat Loaf Story (having already worked on his Vampires Rock earlier in the year). Vampires Rock are set to return to Arbroath in early 2020.
I’ve been carrying out more PAT testing (a redundant acronym, I know) on visiting bands gear as well as in-house stuff for hire companies. I’ve been fixing the ’pooter I use to import PAT data, attempting to write my own PAT software (with mixed results) and trying to do memes, badly.
One More Thing…
Having saved my Dell Inspiron from landfill with a cheap keyboard replacement and memory upgrade, I fear my Macbook may be less fortunate… It developed a problem with the graphics card - arising from the use of lead-free solder. This idiotic idea of banning lead-based solder was to prevent electronics ending up in landfill and harming the environment - but the opposite has happened. We now have MORE stuff going to landfill prematurely because some dunce with no technical experience heard the word “lead” and pissed their knickers.