19th March - 11th May…
In other news, I’ve still not been back to the 208 Pub in Perth. Anyone want to join me? I’d quite like to do a gig there sometime.
This was to be my first non-working-at gig in a very long time, and part of Morrissey’s last tour (apparently). This may sound odd/sad, but this was also my first time in Glasgow on a social visit in a very long time. More to the point, the first time all by myself (albeit with Ross, Eddie, Dawn & Darren). Not much of an achievement, until I tell you that taking a mode of transport for a first time to an unfamiliar place gives me all kinds of anxiety/panic attack-related problems.
Also worth a mention at this point is how Dawn gets in with her handbag, but Ross with his similarly sized manbag, doesn’t…
World Peace Is None Of Our Business, apparently…
Something struck me about standing here (around who knows how many other people): I think it may have been the dawning realisation of how small I actually am, and how ultimately insignificant/worthless I am in the grand scheme of things, and how the earth is a dying rock and we’re all going to die a lot more sooner thanks to an asteroid or a far-right group…
As well as the mini-adventure, it also gave me the opportunity to ogle all the LED fixtures and flower-shaped blinders. After the warm-up act, a partition drape fell away to reveal a drum kit with what looked like neon/LED in the rims and a series of programmable screens (much like the ones from the casino in James Bond: Diamonds are Forever). I loved their use of the lights - as always - in the way that they make you think you’ve seen all they have to offer, but then do something else. Case in point, they had these LED strobe lights (which I’ll admit I fancy a couple of) that eventually showed off every color of the rainbow. I was really hoping he’d do How Soon Is Now? - but 2 seconds after I stopped filming, the drummer walked thru his kit and threw the snare into the audience and walked off-stage. No more encores, then.
Is it bad that I’m thinking about ways to replicate that light show on the cheap? I never did find out if that was a spot-op right above the stage… I took a minute or so of footage to later ask some fellow lampies “What Kind Of Blinders Are These?” - to which they asked back “You Went To A Morrissey Gig On Purpose?” If you’re bored and want to see what I was so amazed by - and to hear Ross’s laugh midway, hit play below…
Cue us being herded out (couldn’t help but think of the symbolism of that due to his views on animals) and me thinking “Maybe I could quickly give my business card to one of the Roadies/Techs in the hope of becoming an FS Op for the other 10 months of the year…”. Since this was a rare visit to Glesca for me, Ross elected to take me to a few bars… On the way back into town, I commented that some of the things we shouted to each other could well be Morrissey lyrics. I’m drawing on my personal experience of being run over by a boy-racer for this…
As I race along the street, you send me flying through the air
Earthwards back I fall, my blood is everywhere…
We were even treated to a PETA presentation synced to Meat Is Murder. All 5 of us elected never again to eat meat (this coming from someone who flirts with Pescetarianism). Until we got to the kebab house.
Ross insisted I put this photo in here: because of the indoors roof
Before our departure back to The ’Dee, we took in a few sights: Wetherspoons (for brekkie), The Iron Horse (I put money in the JukeBox and the management turned it off after 2 songs), The Waterloo (which had pretty decent speakers and lights for a pub), Delmonica’s Bar (me and Ross wondered about recreating the lights for The Salty Dog), The Underground (formerly Revolver) - my favorite thus far…
The Morning After: Delmonica’s Bar
Ross had been booked to DJ at a party in Alyth at The Burnside Inn, so I came along to do lights. For a 50th no less (there was no way she looked 40, let alone 50 - but I think that about most people I spend my life with these days). Just the usual 4 scanners, some moon flowers, a centerpiece sequencer and lots of LED fairy strings. This Alyth outing seemed to be rather uneventful, other than Ross buying some baking potatoes from a shed with an honesty box, and me breaking the screen of my PAS camera (which truth be told is in fact a POS).
50th Birthday Party at The Burnside Inn, Alyth: Stevie C and DJ Ross.
I’ve given up attempting to entice an ex-lecturer into what he thinks is a rough pub for a beer and a catch-up. Sorry, Nick.
Ross had been booked (again). As my camera screen was cracked, I took about 100 photos of the event and thankfully had one or two decent ones. Unfortunately, the cheap lamps I had bought for my scanners turned out rather dim, not so much 100W as 35W. Fortunately, I still had enough hours left in the old lamps and the day was saved (I usually make a point of replacing lamps prior to an event so that they don’t fail halfway thru). The seller refunded them without issue and I went Osram instead.
As a testament to Ross’ uncanny knack for selecting the best music & DJing to a crowd, during the period where he was laptopless (due to a customer’s drink and gravity), I lent him my MacBook with only iTunes and my own preference of DJ software (Mixxx). He was able to rock the pub out from 4pm to close - without downloading any extra music or software. Granted I do have an averagely large library, but even so - that’s not something I would have been able to do. If I had, certainly not for 8 hours.
So there I was, sitting all alone at the bar (no change there) feeling out of place (no change there), when this well-meaning party-goer attempted to engage me in conversation. “Why are you not coming over to join us?” she asked. I joked that I was the stripper. What happened next will haunt me for the rest of my life. Along with everything else.
DJ Ross & Stevie C in the Burnside Inn
It’s that time of year again - but not the time where I rush between 2 gigs like a maniac. I sat BonFest out this year. Even though it only ran over 2 days this year (because of the AC/DC Tour), I wanted to be fresh for Sunday - that and I was still a little disheartened from the BF2014 recording project. I say this every year, but this was the biggest yet - I had more scanners and some proper lasers to play with.
It took about 4 and a bit hours to set-up 3 lighting rigs, 3 interlinked PA systems and 2 mixers - all with clean power. Because the Salty already had so many LED lights, all it needed was 2 scanners, a moon flower and a disco dome. The Void/Salty Dog Function Suite had my other 2 scanners, my 16" mirror ball and LED pinspot, my blue laser, my quad laser, my Soundlab Vista (a budget version of the NJD Datamoon which is next on my list), a 900W fogger, an Acme Patriot and from one of the DJs: 4 LED PAR Cans and another laser. And yes, we had Quadraphonic surround (sort of).
DDE 2015 hosted by The Salty Dog Dundee & DJ Ross. Sound & Lights by Stevie C
What I couldn’t get my head around was the fact that the pub went from empty at 2-ish when I finished setting up; somebody seemingly turned a tap and all 3 sections of the pub were instantly rammed until the end of business that night. Compare this with previous years when people came and went - pub-crawling to see their favorite DJs, and the fact that it was raining pretty much all day. A lot of people did say that this was by far the best venue of the day…
I’ll take this opportunity to point out that I usually try to take my pics of the venue/gear/etc before too many attendees arrive to avoid being awkward. It was so busy me and Joel had to go out for ice as the ice machine couldn’t keep up…
DDE 2015: Sound, Lights and Lasers by Stevie C
I didn’t have time to implement my idea of hooking up a CCTV camera I had lying around (overlooking the DJs decks) to the AV channel of the TVs around the pub. Maybe next year.
Danny Walsh took a video as the afternoon was getting underway:
Aside from the usual sound/light/AV-related openings I’ve been looking into/applying to, I’ve also been looking at other stuff and thinking “Hey! I could do that!”, except I can’t because I don’t have the silly bit of paper like the HGV driving license required to push a wheelbarrow. I’m not making this up. Having helped out on a friend’s smallholdings, I started looking at entry-level farm-hand type jobs to fill the void - however as I have a degree from UHI in Sound Engineering, and not from the Scottish Agricultural College, that’s a no-no. I have to focus on occupations I’m 100% suited to.
I finally got a reply in a sea of unanswered applications - from an agency no less - however I was told that as I am now on the work programme (and therefore not technically counted as unemployed), they would not be interested in employing me as they would not be able to secure funding. Or in other words, they wouldn’t be able to receive a grant/bonus for taking someone off the unemployed register. You voted for this, not me.
At the risk of blurring the focus of the blog and dragging it towards the mealy mouthpiece of a right-wing crackpot, I’ll just say that I was left confused by GE2015. And that there are a surprising amount of idiots on Facebook who have no grasp on reality (at least they’ll still have someone else to blame while voting all their own rights away). Instead, I’m away to buy a 100" Plasma telly (now that I’m unemployed once more, I can afford it - at least according to various right-wing rags) but I’m not going to use it - I’m just going to keep it as a deterrent to stop my neighbours using one of their own.
I suppose re-mixing (not in the DJ sense) Live In The Den 2014 and BonFest 2014 in Logic Pro fits in this section? Not much in the way of effects, group busses or plug-ins: just gates, compressors, EQ and a reverb, ONE side-chain and a mastering EQ & compressor. That’s it - and it’s already sounding so much better. That said, I’m not sure if it’s a case of simplifying my channel set-up, using SkyTec bookshelf speakers (the same kind you can see connected to almost every Pub JukeBox in the land) as near-field monitors or just a fresh pair of ears.
In other A&C news, I’m still painting light bulbs (like the Rainbow variety I did for The Salty Dog at Dundee Dance Event) and collecting empty spirit bottles and refilling them with LED fairy lights.
Stevie C painting more bulbs. Depression Cure
I may have put my foot in it after going on The Book after being in The Salty Dog (probably a good thing that I don’t have a smart phone). I may have had my offer of technical services - to a local nightclub that is currently being refurbished - accepted. I don’t want to say too much for obvious reasons, but at the very least it’ll be another fortnight I can work instead of signing on.
Either I’ll specify a modest system and lighting rig or hand off the project to one or two other professionals I know (I might even be able to work with them on the project). All in the name of scratching other’s backs, or Karma or whatever.
That said, just like in the case of the Arbroath pub I may soon be DJing and pulling pints in (maybe even at the same time), it may not happen for whatever reason, so I don’t want to get myself too excited.
Speaking of nightclubs being refurbished, it doesn’t seem too long ago (pretty much a year, actually) that I was helping do up The Balcony. So I’m not exactly new to this. Sadly, I have to report that while The Balcony may or may not still be open, none of the original team are involved in it - partly due to a lack of customers. That’s what happens when people keep promising to visit and never do - local businesses need local support.
Also speaking of BOMTICC, I have prematurely offered to do lights for Roots at Mains Castle (see my Upcoming Gigs page) - with only four 100W scanners, 2 lasers and another on the way. Not that I think of my lights as my babies or anything (I do). I’m not feeling confident, even though the potential client is. Find out if I go thru with it in the next entry…
Because of my low voice, and the loud environments I live/work in, certain things I say sound like certain others… The ones on the relatively quiet bus are just weird, however.
“Can I pinch your Tobasco” = “Can I have a pint of Tobacco”
“Just a can of Tango” = “Pint of Lager”
“Tayside Dayrider” = “Single to Arbroath”
“I’ve got the exact fare” = “I’m a junkie and want change”
I may no longer be able to “create” the “Cool & Groovy Blog Graphics” as I have been forced to upgrade my version of iTunes. No, that’s not a typo. I used the Stix plug-in in iTunes 10.6.3 (and earlier) with a high-BPM track to create the graphics for my blog. DJ BGR (Ross) bought me a new iPod Touch to replace my broken camera and to say thanks for helping with DDE 2015; however both that and my soon-to-be new phone are not supported by versions of iTunes < V11. However, the Stix plug-in seems to have its options stripped out in version 11.
I’m going to leave out the extended moan about how iTunes 11 removes the artwork pane, is stupidly slow, doesn’t have a spectrum analyser (handy for evaluating mixes) or an automatic DJ with iDevice support… I’ll also not complain about how my version of Mac doesn’t support iTunes 12, and how newer versions of Macintosh and Windows wouldn’t support my DJ software or my collection of weird VSTs, just in case I was thinking of making the switch back to Windows…
We Aspies (allegedly) do not like change.
Seeing as I’ve started moaning anyway, why can’t all JukeBoxes run Linux and be QWERTY by default?
I should probably point out that unlike my Last.fm profile, these Top 40 are just the songs I love the most at the moment - not necessarily what’s been played the most or been recently added.
* Bands I have been mixing.
What time is it?