1st Aug - 23rd Sep 2016…
I was asked to supply and install decorative lighting at Barry Mill for an annual day of live “Music At The Mill”. I love outdoor events such as these, partly because they replace Party In The Field - which is on hiatus.
Barry Mill, Carnoustie. Beware the 3-legged man.
Although I supplied most of the lights you see, I also had the opportunity of working with someone from The Rep who supplied the LED batons that up-lit the walls, the LED PARs that lit up the courtyard and a festoon harness that in hindsight I should have used instead of my own on the front of the mill itself. I say this because the lamp holders are spaced at 1 meter apart on my harness; so when a 20 meter harness is doubled back on itself when somebody miscalculates the length of the roof, one side looks brighter than the other - but here’s the thing: only to me. The other harness was 15 meters but with lamp holders at 25cm spacing - which I thought would have been a bit too bright…
Festoon lights lighting up Barry Mill
As well as LED fairy lights in the trees (cold & warm white for the big tree; RGBA for the orchard) surrounding the audience, I setup some LED color-changing floodlights high up in the branches, providing a smooth color wash on the branches and down below.
LED fairy light strings & LED floodlights in trees
There were more festoon lights in the band marquee acting as a decorative but functional general light source (on a separate circuit). Almost predictably, after putting brand-new lamps in the harnesses, a lamp went out of each harness after about an hour - by which time the bands were on-stage. In addition to the festoons & LED fairy lights there were LED PAR cans, LED floods and disco scanners also installed on the stage. I couldn’t help putting up a couple of Chinese paper lanterns…
Music at Barry Mill band lights
I also paid some attention to the interior of the mill as well - with more RGBA fairy light strings and festoons above the ale bar, the hired LED batons lighting the walls, and some more festoons with Chinese paper lanterns (and my special hand-painted bulbs inside) inside the kiln/mingling area - which I forgot to take photos of…
The ale was from MòR Brewery and featured: Calm & Wise and Tea Vicar?
Barry Mill Ale bar & night-time view
My life of a thousand words in one picture
Ross and I had our work cut out: a night of disco in Klozet and then a birthday celebration in Roseangle art gallery.
DJ Ross playing Klozet Dundee & Roseangle Art Gallery
Why will no 9-to-5 employer even look at me, it’s not as if i’m unwilling to work as hopefully evidenced by this blog. At best, “No Experience Required” gets a reply of “Sorry, You Don’t Have Enough Experience For This Role”. I’m speaking about roles that aren’t “Customer Focused” (what isn’t these days?) - ie: what an Aspie would be better suited to. One such example was as a HPWJ operative - I’ve just finished pressure washing my garden slabs and garage roof, how much experience do I need?
Other such problems in the life of me is dodgy eBay sellers. I bought some cheap - there’s your first clue - LED par cans from eBay. I wasn’t expecting touring-grade performance but I was expecting some mileage out of them. They lasted 2 gigs before the PSU exploded, taking out the fuse in my ext cord and the MCB, but not their generous 13A fuse in the plug…
This is the point where the seller now pretends not to speak a word of english, but eventually tries to get me to send the units back via an untracked postal service I’ve never heard of - in return they promised to send a refund - all outside of the eBay ecosystem. While writing this entry as of 23 Sep, I was hunting for the seller’s name when I noticed they have offered to send another PARcan in return for me cancelling the request…
Inside a Chinese eBay LED disco light, pointless fan. And Frankie Boyle.
As a side note: I removed the mains to low voltage switch-mode PSU that had blown up (I tried replacing the inrush metal-film resistor with another one, and made it go KABLAMMO! again) and fitted a DC jack; teaming it with a DC 12V 2A CCTV PSU, also from eBay. Now, just like the 1st generation eBay LED PARcans I also have, they seem to be holding up quite well. I ordered another variant of the light just to see what it was like, and inside was the same PSU sticking out like a sore thumb next to a seemingly pointless fan (there are no fins on the heatsink). So for anyone who fancies these; remove the horrible mains PSU and fit your own CCTV 12V PSU to it, but if you have the money, go for a Stairville from Thomann.de, at least then you get a warranty that’s worth the paper it’s written on.
So first of all we had The Alba Real Ale Festival at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. I was working as crew for audioWAVE, but the lights were done by a different Steve (Steve Page). What was cool was bumping into an old college audio lecturer who had gone to the dark side (environmental noise investigation). What was NOT cool was us having to keep the total sound from the stage & PA system below 90dB - all because of a moaning NIMBY nearby who not only isn’t home for the duration of the gig but also lives beside a much noisier rail line.
Alba Real Ale Festival at RTYC
I had a very nice 5-cup sampler of the various 40+ ales on offer during the gig: Grape Vine, Bad Day At The Office, St Andrews, Loch Lomond & Harveystone. We would have had a slightly earlier night had it not been for Reece’s new best pal talking his ear off after de-rig about him wanting to set up a video production company with him.
Next day, audioWAVE was supplying a d&b system for a KT Tunstall gig at The Byre, Inchyra. No pics of the band for obvious reasons…
KT Tunstall at The Byre, Inchyra & Yummy Chilli
Ross and I had been asked to put on a disco in Cookies bar in the Hilltown, Dundee; it was great to finally get a disco going here (the owners of the venue also owned The Gauger, where I used to drink in a past life). This took place on a day I was originally booked for and cancelled again for: a crew gig, an outside lighting hire and a house party.
DJ Ross in Cookies, Hilltown
Now, normally when you power-on my LED disco lights, they either default into sound-to-light mode or all red LEDs on (R:55 G:0 B:0). This being a Celtic pub, guess what colour they all chose to start up in?
What happens in Cookies, stays in Cookies - and it has to be seen to be believed, dancing on the bar for instance. I’m not posting pics, you’ll just have to join us next time.
Having being asked to do lights for an acquaintance’s wedding in Kirriemuir Town Hall, I had been planning this one for quite some time - that however didn’t stop things taking forever to be sent by eBay sellers (one seller eventually admitted they didn’t even bother sending the item, then got antsy when I left negative feedback). I setup as much as I could on the Thursday, the night before - with the usual brain-BSOD.
I arrived on Friday morning to continue where I left off, to discover that ALL the lovely LED strings I had put up with cheap (there’s that clue again) light hooks from eBay had fallen off the walls. In my defence these were bought when the more expensive ones got “lost in the post”. Desperate times called for Gaffa Tape, which no-one noticed or cared about once the main hall lights were off, and once they’d had a few…
KTH Balcony fairy lights
It was again remarked by several of the wedding guests that they would not have noticed these things had I not drawn their attention to it - and that I notice things others don’t, over-think things and never know when to stop putting up lights (see: impostor syndrome). Anyhoo, I had the usual 2 T-bars of disco lights with some extra twin-scans, LED PARcans & floodlights, LED fairy lights around the perimeter walls and on the balcony in addition to Chinese paper lanterns, again with my special hand-painted bulbs inside. I was going to hang some lanterns on the middle lighting bar, but was unable to gain access to it as there was no pickle/manual lowering system or a ladder high enough (with safety rails). I’m not scared of heights, I’m scared of falling and stopping suddenly.
Lanterns with hand-painted bulbs
I also did a basic wash onstage for the band and hung a mirror ball which was lit by the in-house follow-spots when they weren’t on the cake, bride & groom, or random couples during the first dance.
First Dance & Restless Natives
Speaking of busy weekends, I was pushed to get all the lighting gear out of Kirrie Town hall (somewhat worse for wear), back home and all sorted again, then myself showered, shaved and off to Dundee with half of the gear to meet DJ Ross for another wedding in The Queens Hotel. It went pretty smoothly, bar me leaving the laptop stand in The Salty Dog (a 10-minute walk away) and Ross’ mouse dying, leaving me to borrow one from the hotel…
DJ Ross in The Queen’s Hotel, Dundee
I tried taking a selfie in front of a mirror, which reflected me taking a selfie in front of a mirror, which reflected me taking a selfie in front of a mirror, which reflected me taking a selfie in front of a mirror, but it was too washed out to publish.
Not much to report here: another wedding reception with DJ Ross, back at the RTYC.
While working for audioWAVE, Reece and I came up with an idea for a game-show: like the numbers round of Countdown - the contestants are given a resistor value at random, and they must make this with series/parallel combinations of 10 randomly chosen standard resistor values. #BigClive
Your value this week is 640 ohms.
I’ve been asked to help with lighting for the Victoria Bar in Brechin. I’ll be there with DJ Ross on opening night. More info coming…
If you haven’t already, you should go buy these on iTunes: The Trade: Fight Club, Jon Pleased Wimmin: Dancing In Heels (HiFi Sean Radio Edit), Sinderins & Leftfield: Alternative Light Source
Emit redder time? Time for the pub…