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Stevie C’s Blog.

What I’ve been up to…

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

Not Even Kidding You

April - July 2016

Best read in a Stornoway accent, “I’m a total fanny magnet, always trapping the fanny. I’m not even kidding you”. I’ve broken Rule No1 Of The Road. Speaking of breaking things, a friend was having problems silencing her burglar alarm after a power cut - so we murdered it on her insistence. The klaxons are now supporting a flyover, I’m The Fixer.

Having been blaring for 10 hours, annoyed the neighbours and police unable to help; removing mains power and the batteries in the bell box, user panel and control panel also did sod all. We later found out it was backfeeding from an unused panic alarm. It also transpired I had been chatting to the area’s alarm engineer - who had refused to come out on a weekend - in the same pub I was called away from.

Dundee Dance Event 2016

Dundee Dance Event 2016 in The Salty Dog - Chinese paper lanterns with hand-painted bulbs
Dundee Dance Event 2016 in The Salty Dog - DJ Mark Agacan playing on turntables and laptop software
Dundee Dance Event 2016 in The Salty Dog - DJ Mark Agacan playing on turntables and laptop software

As usual, I missed BonFest in order to prep for DDE 2016. Darren had been reminding me about repairing the table used for the DJ decks for a month. The joiner wasn’t available, so the DJ table got ratchet-strapped to another table. I also got sent to Maplin for a replacement power amp, We’re on our 6th ProSound amp now.

I supplied lasers, scanners, PAR cans, sequencers, mirror balls, LED lights, hazers and Chinese paper lanterns with my custom hand-painted bulbs inside - so that the pattern on the bulb was projected onto the lantern. We had the Pioneer DJM feeding the Mackie SRM 450s and the karaoke mixer-amp in The Void, which also sent a stereo mix down to the Peavey HiSys system in The Salty Dog. We had a Mac sending DDE graphics to the karaoke screen.

I was doing some some lights for Medina Bar & Grill - where a rival company left a cheeky “Having technical problems? Want more lights? Call us!” note on my t-bar.

DJ Ross in Klozet

Having recently been tech crew for Jon Pleased Wimmin, covered for DJ Ross in The Salty Dog (people complained about choons I played, the same ones they loved when Ross played them) and looked after his cat Smudge, I was setting up for him in Klozet before rushing off to work as crew at another gig in Newport. I’d made a graphic of him to be shown on the wall displays in the venue.

DJ Ross playing in Klozet Dundee. lights provided by Stevie C
DJ Ross playing in Klozet Dundee. lights provided by Stevie C
DJ Ross playing in Klozet Dundee. AV graphic provided by Stevie C

#ChurchDamage

In Newport, we went to church. Audiowave was supplying PA for Sinderins - you can download Sinderins’ album here. The hymn board was changed to “Hy Hy 69 PARPS 666”. It was such a nice day to be inside that a reveller fancied a snooze in the church grounds, next to the graveyard.

audioWAVE in Newport Church for the Sinderins band
audioWAVE in Newport - a drunken or tired reveller having a snooze in the church grounds
audioWAVE in Newport Church - Sinderins on stage

The shadows cast by the 4 500W halogen floods were very very eery. We also had fun hunting around for the main light switch after. I’m not from Newport, I’ll bet a fiver you’ve never been there either. You Knows It.

DD8 Music Up The Hill

Kirriemuir Den was facing some structural issues (some twat had smashed the toilets up and the Den itself had succumbed to the ravages of the Tory cuts), so DD8 Music held Live Up The Hill (at Camera Obscura) instead. We had a second gig immediately after - Bon Scott’s birthday bash in Kirriemuir Town Hall.

DD8 Music Live Up The Hill, not in the den. Camera Obscura
DD8 Music Live Up The Hill, not in the den. Camera Obscura
DD8 Music Bon Scott Birthday Bash in Kirriemuir Town Hall. Sound by audioWAVE, lights by Joe Hawke.

HebCelt Fest 2016

Now a veteran, I vaguely remember being an HCF Tech Crew newbie - although it wasn’t until my second or third year that I was sent for the sky-hooks and left-handed spanners. We had several newbies who are already looking forward to next year, and some who weren’t seen after 4 hours of the first day, after discovering that “Tech Crew” did not mean “instant sound engineer”. I offended one of them with my Backstage Humour.

Heb Celt Fest 2016 backstage sound and stage
Heb Celt Fest 2016 backstage setting up LX
Heb Celt Fest 2016 backstage video and vision mixing

Backstage, and the end result: being part of something amazing.

Hebridean Celtic Festival 2016 backstage behind the video screen
Hebridean Celtic Festival 2016 backstage beside the lighting rig
Hebridean Celtic Festival 2016 audience crowd

I was on the video team - along with Iain (an experienced cameraman), Kenny (acting director of photography) and a relation of Iain’s as a fellow cam-op.

backstage at Heb Celt Fest - Sunrise over Big Blue with Lews Castle in the background
backstage at Heb Celt Fest - Sunset over Big Blue with Lews Castle in the background

The hard disk in my MacBook Pro died while on-site making up the show graphics because of sitting atop a wobbly area of decking (video island). My system hung and displayed all the symptoms of a dying hard disk. Nobody cared. With my mood somewhat dampened, I finished my duties as cam-op for the night and went home for some wine and file system recovery.

Heb Celt Fest 2016 audience crowd in the Big Blue marquee festival tent
Heb Celt Fest 2016 audience crowd outside the Big Blue marquee festival tent
A view of boats in Bayhead Stornoway from the HCF festival site
Night-time at the Bayhead Bridge Centre in Stornoway
Interior of McNeill’s Bar Stornoway Panoramic pub photo
Interior of Lewis Bar Stornoway Panoramic pub photo

My Mac was running again (albeit very sluggishly) at the Tech Crew BBQ, (I brought along my amp & bookshelf speakers for music) - it lasted 10 minutes. Weirdly, iTunes kept playing the playlist, but you couldn’t edit the playlist or use any other application until you rebooted. Everything worked fine after the 3rd reboot. The experience taught me to keep regular backups. As per tradition, after much wine I hit on another member of the Tech Crew.

leaving Stornoway - Boats in Bayhead Bridge
Stornoway ferry terminal sea view
Stornoway ferry window water droplets

I considered an early-2017 pub crawl of the island; not wanting to leave, as usual. I almost got stranded in Inverness due to my link-up bus leaving early from the wrong stance.

DJ Ross & Stevie C

It’s official: we’re a duo. We were booked to do a friend’s wedding reception in Chamber East Dundee (the old chamber of commerce building). I setup and hung about for an hour, watching for gremlins. True to form, one of my scanners failed; years of good vibrations had loosened one of the molex connectors from the main logic board.

I had some down time until the end of the wedding, so I went for a yummy curry at Sunny’s in Whitehall Street. I got back to the venue thinking I’d have at least an hour to spare, until a massive brawl cut the evening short.

Gala Rocks! Coupar Angus

I was crewing for audioWAVE again, and got to mix the bands and karaoke in the beer tent.

audioWAVE.co.uk at Gala Rocks! in Coupar Angus
audioWAVE.co.uk at Gala Rocks! in Coupar Angus

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 the Dandy Warhols, Daft Punk, David Bowie, The Cure, CCR, Lindisfarne, Runrig, Van Morrison, Blondie and Oasis.

Red rum sir is murder