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Stevie C’s Blog.

What I’ve been up to…

Roadie: lighting tech, stage crew, spot-op, sound engineer, DJ.

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.

Coldside Fun Day in the Hilltown area of Dundee. PA system and stage supplied by Audiowave.co.uk
Toilet graffiti in the Rock Bar Institute in Menzieshill Dundee. This will survive the pubs demolition.
A naughty beermat in the Rock Bar Institute in Menzieshill Dundee. Young’s Dirty Dicks Ale

The weather started out well, but ended up quite grey - so apologies for the dodgy GIMP-shop of the clouds…

Coast Nightclub

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.

DJ House & Rave event held in Coast Nightclub Arbroath. D&B PA, monitors, strobe lights, LED mini-movers and LED battens supplied by Audiowave.co.uk
DJ House & Rave event held in Coast Nightclub Arbroath. D&B PA, monitors, strobe lights, LED mini-movers and LED battens supplied by Audiowave.co.uk
DJ House & Rave event held in Coast Nightclub Arbroath. D&B PA, monitors, strobe lights, LED mini-movers and LED battens supplied by Audiowave.co.uk

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.

Besty Fest 2019 held in Mains Castle Dundee. Sound, stage and lighting system supplied by SRC Events and Audiowave sound hire. D&B PA, Logic monitors, strobe lights, LED battens and mini moving heads
Besty Fest 2019 held in Mains Castle Dundee. Sound, stage and lighting system supplied by SRC Events and Audiowave sound hire. D&B PA, Logic monitors, strobe lights, LED battens and mini moving heads
Besty Fest 2019 held in Mains Castle Dundee. Sound, stage and lighting system supplied by SRC Events and Audiowave sound hire. D&B PA, Logic monitors, strobe lights, LED battens and mini moving heads
Besty Fest 2019 held in Mains Castle Dundee. Sound, stage and lighting system supplied by SRC Events and Audiowave sound hire. D&B PA, Logic monitors, strobe lights, LED battens and mini moving heads
Besty Fest 2019 held in Mains Castle Dundee. Sound, stage and lighting system supplied by SRC Events and Audiowave sound hire. D&B PA, Logic monitors, strobe lights, LED battens and mini moving heads
Besty Fest 2019 held in Mains Castle Dundee. Sound, stage and lighting system supplied by SRC Events and Audiowave sound hire. D&B PA, Logic monitors, strobe lights, LED battens and mini moving heads

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.

The Bell Tree Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Beer fest in aid of MacMillan cancer support. Vocal PA, marquee and stage supplied by audiowave.co.uk
The Fishermans Tavern Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Beer Fest in aid of RNLI (saving lives at sea). Vocal PA and marquee supplied by audiowave.co.uk

CRUK RFL

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.

Stevie C helping DD8 Music with sound, lighting and DJing for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Relay for Life 2019 in The Mart Forfar (Strathmore Hall). The band is Sonnet 65 from Kirriemuir.
Stevie C helping DD8 Music with sound, lighting and DJing for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Relay for Life 2019 in The Mart Forfar (Strathmore Hall). The band is Sonnet 65 from Kirriemuir.
Stevie C helping DD8 Music with sound, lighting and DJing for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Relay for Life 2019 in The Mart Forfar (Strathmore Hall). The band is Sonnet 65 from Kirriemuir.

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.

Stevie C helping DD8 Music with sound, lighting and DJing for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Relay for Life 2019 in The Mart Forfar (Strathmore Hall). The band is Sonnet 65 from Kirriemuir.
Stevie C helping DD8 Music with sound, lighting and DJing for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Relay for Life 2019 in The Mart Forfar (Strathmore Hall). I got to use my new ADJ Starbursts, controlled with MyDMX 3 and an Akai launchpad with Mac OS.

Big Clive

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 River Tay as seen from the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry Dundee.
The River Tay as seen from the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry Dundee.
The River Tay as seen from the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry Dundee.

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…

Audiowave and Steve Page providing D&B PA Hire and LED lighting hire for the Alba Real Ale Fest at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry Dundee
Audiowave and Steve Page providing D&B PA Hire and LED lighting hire for the Alba Real Ale Fest at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry Dundee
Audiowave and Steve Page providing D&B PA Hire and LED lighting hire for the Alba Real Ale Fest at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry Dundee

Urban Flava

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.

Audiowave and Stevie C providing D&B PA systems, and a rave lighting rig with strobes and lasers for Urban Flava in Mains Castle in Dundee
Audiowave and Stevie C providing D&B PA systems, and a rave lighting rig with strobes and lasers for Urban Flava in Mains Castle in Dundee
Audiowave and Stevie C providing D&B PA systems, and a rave lighting rig with strobes and lasers for Urban Flava in 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.

Ice Factory

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…

Stevie C and Audiowave supplying D&B PA and lighting with DMX control for a Rhumba-esque rave in The Ice Factory Perth
Stevie C and Audiowave supplying D&B PA and lighting with DMX control for a Rhumba-esque rave in The Ice Factory Perth
Stevie C and Audiowave supplying D&B PA and lighting with DMX control for a Rhumba-esque rave in The Ice Factory Perth

Dundee Pride

I was helping with lights, PA and being fabulous at Dundee Pride 2019, but what an arse-ache this was to plan.

Dundee Pride 2019 - PA supplied by audiowave.co.uk, lighting supplied by AML Event Hire (AMLighting.co.uk). Crew services from Stevie C :)
Dundee Pride 2019 - PA supplied by audiowave.co.uk, lighting programmed by Stevie C :)
Dundee Pride 2019 - PA supplied by audiowave.co.uk, lighting supplied by AML Event Hire (AMLighting.co.uk). Crew services from Stevie C :)

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.

Dundee Pride 2019 - PA supplied by audiowave.co.uk, lighting supplied by AML Event Hire (AMLighting.co.uk). Crew services from Stevie C :)
Dundee Pride 2019 - PA supplied by audiowave.co.uk, lighting supplied by AML Event Hire (AMLighting.co.uk). Crew services from Stevie C :)
Dundee Pride 2019. Queer Stage PA supplied by audiowave.co.uk, lighting programmed by Stevie C :)

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.

Stevie C’s custom hand-painted LED LGBT rainbow bulbs - perfect for Dundee Gay Pride 2019, as used by Klozet Bar
Dundee gay Pride bus
Stevie C’s custom LED fairy lights, as used at Dundee Gay Pride 2019

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?

A homophobic prick who - during the Dundee Gay Pride Parade - got out his car to scream abuse at the people taking part in the parade - including children.

Steve Steinman

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.

PAT

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.

PAT testing - spot why it failed
Repairing a Dell Inspiron with a new keyboard
Just trying the app that ages you by 40 years, applied to some lighting equipment

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.