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Stevie C’s Blog.

What I’ve been up to…

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

More Lights

August - September 2016

Music At Barry Mill

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 like these, partly because they replace Party In The Field - which is on hiatus.

Stage with festoon lights, led par cans and fairy lights at Barry Mill, Carnoustie
Grounds of Barry Mill, Carnoustie. Beware the 3-legged man.

I worked alongside an acquaintance from The Rep who supplied the LED wash batons for the ale bar, and the parcans for floodlighting the grounds. In hindsight I should have let him use his slightly better festoon harness on the front of the bar - his had more lamp holders and was an exact fit for the bar whereas mine doubled back on itself.

Artsy Light-bulb (lamp) close-up with filament. Festoon harness installed at Barry Mill, Carnoustie.
Light-bulbs (lamps) in a festoon harness casting a shadow against a brick wall, Barry Mill Carnoustie
Festoon harness and LED PAR can lighting up the courtyard at  Barry Mill, Carnoustie

I decorated the apple tree with LED fairy lights (cold & warm white) along with some LED color-changing floodlights high up in the branches, providing a gentle wash on the branches and people below.

Apple tree with LED fairy light strings and led floodlights at Barry Mill in Carnoustie
Soft focus apple tree with LED fairy light strings and led floodlights at Barry Mill in Carnoustie

The band marquee had a festoon harness for decorative but also general light, powered from a separate circuit. Typically, a (new) lamp went out of each harness once the bands were on-stage. In addition, we had LED PAR cans, floods and disco scanners also on stage.

Barry Mill music stage with LED PAR cans, floodlights, disco scanners
Barry Mill music stage with LED PAR cans, floodlights, disco scanners

I installed some festoons with Chinese paper lanterns and my special hand-painted bulbs inside the kiln/mingling area, but forgot to take photos of them. The ale was from MòR Brewery and featured: Calm & Wise and Tea Vicar?

Music at Barry Mill Carnoustie. Night-time with lights and crowd in background.
My life of a thousand words in one picture: colour festoon bulbs, tools, wine, cider, Chinese paper lanterns, LED tape, extension cords, DPM camo.

Long weekend with DJ Ross

Ross and I had our work cut out: a disco in Klozet and a birthday celebration in Roseangle art gallery.

DJ Ross playing at Klozet Dundee with Stevie C’s disco lights, scanners, LEDs and fairy light optics
DJ Ross playing a birthday party at Roseangle Art Gallery Dundee with Stevie C’s disco lights and LEDs

Buy Cheap, Buy Often

I bought some cheap (1st clue) LED par cans from eBay (2nd clue). I wasn’t expecting touring-grade performance but I was expecting some mileage out of them. They lasted 2 gigs before the PSU exploded, leaving the generous 13A fuse in the plug intact. The seller now pretends not to understand english, but eventually agreed to a refund if I used an untracked postal service I’d never heard of outside the eBay ecosystem. Buy cheap and you buy often.

After some diagnosis and repair, it transpired the rectifier diodes had failed short, thus blowing the fusible inrush resistor. I modified the fixture to accept a 12v input from an old modem/router PSU, giving full RGB goodness but no KABLAMMO! I’d advise you to buy from a reputable seller, but if you absolutely must cheap out, at least replace the crappy PSU.

Inside a Chinese eBay LED PAR Disco Light. Transformer switch mode PSU and a pointless fan. Watching Frankie Boyle as well.

Alba Real Ale Fest & KT Tunstall

The Sellars Brothers Jazz Quintet playing at the Alba Real Ale Fest at The Royal Tay Yacht Club, Broughty Ferry. Sound by audioWAVE, lights by Steve Page.

I had a long weekend with audioWAVE; first The Alba Real Ale Festival at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry, Dundee and then providing PA for KT Tunstall at The Byre, Inchyra. The Alba Ale Fest lights were supplied by a different Steve (Page). I also bumped into an ex-lecturer who had gone to the dark side (environmental noise control). We had to keep the total sound from the stage & PA system below 90dB because of a moaning NIMBY, who chooses to live beside a rail line…

Alba Real Ale Festival at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. 5 samples of ale: Grape Vine, Bad Day At The Office, St Andrews, Loch Lomond & Harviestoun
Alba Real Ale Festival at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Sound by audioWAVE, lighting by Steve Page.

I had a 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 & Harviestoun. Reece made a new best pal who talked his arse off about starting a video production company with him.

audioWAVE d&b sound system for KT Tunstall at The Byre, Inchyra
trying out the beef chilli with all the trimmings at KT Tunstall gig at The Byre, Inchyra

Cookies Bar, Hilltown

DJ Ross and I had been asked to put on a disco in Cookies bar in the Hilltown, Dundee - the owners of the venue also owned The Gauger. I was originally booked and cancelled again for: a crew gig, an outside lighting hire and a house party on this day.

DJ Ross playing in Cookies Bar, Hilltown, Dundee. Salty Dog-style disco lights provided by Stevie C

Normally when my disco lights are powered up, they usually default to S2L mode. This being a Celtic pub, they all chose their moment to start up in static blue.

What happens in Cookies, stays in Cookies. Dancing on tables for instance. You’ll have to join us next time.

Wedding with Restless Natives

Wedding Reception disco lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: panoramic photo of Chinese paper lanterns, stage spotlights, LED fairy lights

I was asked to do lights for a friend’s wedding in Kirriemuir Town Hall and spent weeks planning it. My early purchase of light mounting clips was scuppered by an eBay seller who took my money, lied about sending the product, abused me then claimed that was her son… I arrived on the day, to find the LED strings put up with cheap last-minute replacement mounting clips had fallen off. No-one noticed the Gaffa tape I used instead.

Wedding Reception lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: Chinese paper lanterns, LED fairy lights
Wedding Reception lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: Chinese paper lanterns, LED fairy lights

A few wedding guests informed me they would not have noticed had I not drawn their attention to it. I used my usual disco lights with some extra 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. My fear of heights and lack of a flying system prevented me installing lanterns on the central truss.

I’m not scared of heights, I’m scared of falling and stopping suddenly.

Wedding Reception lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: Chinese paper lanterns, LED fairy lights and hand-painted light bulbs
Wedding Reception lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: Chinese paper lanterns, LED fairy lights and hand-painted light bulbs

There was a basic wash onstage for the band and a mirror ball lit by the in-house follow-spots, when they weren’t on the cake or happy couple during the first dance.

Wedding Reception lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: LED tape light, follow-spot lighting a mirror ball, first dance
Wedding Reception lights at Kirriemuir Town Hall: LED tape light, follow-spot lighting a mirror ball, first dance

Queens Hotel Dundee Wedding

I was pushed to get all the lighting gear out of Kirrie Town hall (somewhat worse for wear) back home and prepped again, showered, shaved and off to Dundee to meet DJ Ross for another wedding in The Queens Hotel. It went pretty smoothly, bar Ross’ mouse dying, leaving me to borrow one from the hotel reception.

DJ Ross playing a Wedding Reception Disco in The Queens Hotel Dundee function suite

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.

RTYC Wedding Reception

Overview of Wedding and Tay River from The Royal Tay Yacht Club (Sailing in Dundee)

One More Thing…

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.

Been listening to new albums from Leftfield and Jon Pleased Wimmin, as well as Suede, Daft Punk, Cast, Budgie, Small Faces, Richard Ashcroft, Morcheeba, Gramatik, Ozzy, Simple Minds & Divinyls.

Emit redder time?