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Stevie C’s Blog.

What I’ve been up to…

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

Black Watch function suite Dundee 50th

May - June 2015

Ross was booked to DJ at a 50th in the Black Watch club function suite, I was asked to supply some lights as usual. There was the also the usual one person who claimed everyone was hating the music (despite the packed dancefloor) and wanted her floor-killer instead. I wished I’d used more scanners instead of the moonflowers, and that I’d waited before asking for a pint of 70/- as it still hadn’t been pulled thru the lines.

DJ Ross playing at the Black Watch function suite Dundee with disco lighting supplied by Stevie C
DJ Ross playing at the Black Watch function suite Dundee with disco lighting supplied by Stevie C
DJ Ross playing at the Black Watch function suite Dundee with disco lighting supplied by Stevie C

DJ Forge

DJ Forge has left the country following several issues to move onto bigger and better things. I had initial reservations about him on (as I do with mmost new people), but I have immensely enjoyed working alongside him and absorbing his musical palette and technical insights. There were doubts about his musical style when he was added to the Salty Dog’s Dundee Dance Event lineup, but he soon blew all doubts away. As a fitting Leaving Do, he commandeered the Salty Dog Dundee PA system to play at his own party.

DJ Forge playing The Salty Dog Dundee
DJ Forge playing The Salty Dog Dundee
DJ Forge playing The Salty Dog Dundee

I Love Lamp

I’m loving the iPod Touch that Ross bought me as a thank-you for Dundee Dance Event 2015. It allows me to take amazing photos of my lights and the parties I’m at, as well as some of the weirder things I witness…

Joel perfecting a party trick that runs in the family at DJ Forge’s leaving do.
5 Standard Lamps found outside in the rain on Commercial Street Dundee under a bus stop shelter. I wish I’d pinched a couple. Got 10p for a bulb, pal?

Follow Spotting

Or is it spot-opping? Either way, I was asked to operate follow-spot for the Webster Theatre Arbroath’s Pasha Kovalev production. I must have enjoyed it, because the time flew past. I loved the light show, that goes without saying.

“Who’s the better spot op?” was asked by Pasha’s touring crew. On inspection of their cue sheets, I had to ask “What’s 221 again?”. That answered that question then… I’ll admit I much prefer scripted shows that run for several performances, if only because I can memorise the cues and not have to interpret partly unintelligible directions over cans. I’m still paranoid about my spot failing mid-show.

Roots at Mains Castle

I went to do a reccy of the castle, and accidentally walked into someone’s house - sorry. I had Mitch & co from audioWAVE to keep me from freaking out.

Mains Castle Dundee Courtyard:  Stevie C setting up lights while audioWAVE sets up sound and power for Roots
Mains Castle Dundee inside function suite: disco lights for Roots, with red uplighting for mood and disco scanners
Roots House Party/Rave getting off to a blinding start at Mains Castle wedding & function hall Dundee. lights by Stevie C.

when installing fairy lights in the tree, I had a head-scratching thought of “wern’t there leaves last year?”. I tackled the indoors function suite first with disco scanners, lasers and LED RGB Floods (set on on red) uplighting the brick walls. I used more of LED RGB floods outside in the courtyard.

Mains Castle Courtyard Dundee with Stevie C’s amazing LED marquee lighting. Alan Livie DJing at Roots. Sound by audioWAVE Dundee
Mains Castle Courtyard Dundee with Stevie C’s amazing LED marquee lighting. Alan Livie DJing at Roots. Sound by audioWAVE Dundee

I spent ages fixing an LED floodlight into the tree, along with a waterproof outlet that would allow the existing fairy lights to be powered from a nearby 16A ceeform outlet, only to find that the venue had been having some electrical problems. So after making an extension lead, I got some lights in the tree (it was pitch black otherwise). Someone shouted “Now We Can Climb The Tree!”… Silently thinking “I’ll climb on you, pal”, a sudden flash had me assuming the worst. All that had happened was an event photographer snapped my Builders Bum.

Roots at Mains Castle, Dundee. Courtyard lighting by Stevie C. PA hire from audiowave.co.uk
Roots at Mains Castle, Dundee. Courtyard lighting by Stevie C. PA hire from audiowave.co.uk

Baxter’s Function Hall 30th

DJ Ross had a booking at Baxter’s Function Suite; we arrived to find a system already in place. The lights were of the cheap LED-matrix variety (I’m not a fan of them), but they were adequate for the space. We decided to improve it by adding my lights and connecting Ross’s speakers into the ones provided. I may have fallen in love with the Martin barrel scan atop the fruit machine.

DJ Ross and Stevie C disco lights at Baxter’s Function Suite Dundee

The BFDJ

I had to give cancellation notice to Forfar Dramatic Society’s production of The BFG to cover for DJ Ross in the Salty while he was at a wedding in Gibraltar. This wasn’t “My Big Break”. I try to do this filtering process whereby I cue music that both I and the crowd enjoy. Speaking of filtering, I had a hard time of filtering background chatter out of people conversing with me (usually asking why I hadn’t playing their buzz-killing choon). A regular fell out with me because I was playing too loud - I was using a noise meter and calculations, not neurological processing like him - (though not nearly as loud as karaoke later on), but it’s all spillage under the tap, or whatever.

Stevie C DJing in the Salty Dog Dundee beside all the LED fairy Lights
Stevie C up Knob Creek and out of his Skull at The Salty Dog Dundee
The Salty Dog Dundee Sky Boat and LED tunnel

Finitribe

Baxter Park Sunbather (of Korova & Roots) had organised a night at Buskers Dundee where he himself would be DJing in-between - what I wrongly assumed would be rock - bands. I was treated to the support act Altres (whose CD I bought, to be given another CD free) as well as the main act: Finitribe. Would Dundee Music Live have a problem with these guys I wonder? Buskers: all I wanted your WiFi for was to check-in on Facebook and mention what great music there was.

Finitribe and Altres at Buskers Dundee. I had no involvement, other than supporting live music.

I was again impressed with the lights, I could learn something from this. Finitribe seemed to be improvising with glitchy Stutter Edit-esque effects in their soundscape, it was only when American Megatrends made an appearance on one of the screens I realised Windows had crashed and rebooted. For 2 out of the 3 times it happened, it sounded as though it was meant to happen.

Party in Alyth: Burnside Inn

DJ Ross from the Salty Dog Dundee and Stevie C doing music and disco lights at The Burnside Inn, Alyth
DJ Ross from the Salty Dog Dundee and Stevie C doing music and disco lights at The Burnside Inn, Alyth

I slipped out to The Lossett Inn, enjoyed many pints of cloudy cider and was allowed to play music off my iPod for the pub.

Stevie & Ross Go Large

I agreed to help Ross have a clear-out (having crashed there after gigs so often). There’s something about cleaning a DJ’s kitchen floor that’s far too parallel with the movie Kevin & Perry Go Large for my liking. I tried to give Smudge the Stevie C experience (and TBH I borrowed it from Charlie Chaplin) of having a lampshade hat.

Smudge the Cat looking very intrigued yet unimpressed by his new hat

LITD: Live In The Den 2015

We used much the same speakers, mics, amps and oxygen as last year. I’ve joined the audioWAVE gym: doing practical and useful exercise.

LITD 2015: Kirriemuir Live In The Den with DD8 Music and audioWAVE Sound Hire

Almost Blue.

I dondered along to the Salty Dog, only to end up helping run sound, and interconnecting the band’s PA to Ross’s PA system in the lower bar, so customers down there could hear the performance. For the first band, I connected the existing karaoke tie-line between Ross and the Tape Out of the bands’s mixer amp. Reece Hillis however required me to sprint to Kenny’s Music for a Y-split cable, 5 minutes before closing. The show must always go on, and there is always a way.

One More Thing…

I have found a Tiger to hug again. Yay.

Repeat after me, Stevie: “I Must Not Procrastinate”… Maybe later…

I’ve been listening to Finitribe, Morrissey, Lindisfarne, Budgie, Leftfield, Quantic, The Corrs, Suede, Black Sabbath, Depeche Mode and Peter Gabriel.

Time to go pack for HebCelt Fest.