MARTIN AUDIO'S ANIMAL MAGNETISM
Cap Sound Supports Foals and Dears on the same night (not to mention Wild Beasts)
When Capital Sound Hire sent their Business Development Manager, Richard Hannan to the influential South By Southwest Festival in Austin last year to seek out new up-and-coming bands he ran into Foals.
After SXSW he arranged a meeting with the band's management back in the UK, by which time they were being heavily touted on the back of the successful debut album, Antidotes.
After agreeing to provide ad hoc support to the five-piece art-rock dance band from Oxford (in the form of backline and mics), Capital has just completed the full production for a sell out tour of the UK's circuit venues, for a band who have become the hottest thing on the planet.
'At Capital Productions we are able to offer that bit of added support when a band has not yet reached the point where it has a stage or production manager,' says account manager, Paul Timmins.
With a Martin Audio W8LC Compact line array as the centre-piece, the London-based service company were still unprepared for the fact that on the night the band played the Carling Academy Brixton, they found themselves simultaneously providing reinforcement for a one-off show by Canadian band The Dears at London's Porchester Hall (OK, we'll forgive them the spelling).
'Now those animal names was a complete coincidence,' says Timmins, 'the more so when you consider there was also a band called Wild Beasts supporting Foals during their northern leg.'
Although Foals' management had changed along the way (to the mighty Q Prime) the Capital production team were ready to offer a full production service by the time the band played Radio 1's Big Weekend Festival at Maidstone in May this year - the curtain raiser to the summer festival season.
'They needed a monitor engineer - so I came out of retirement for that first gig,' continues the Capital man. 'We also put some backline technicians' names forward.'
Since this ad hoc beginning there has been a huge progression in the crew infrastructure. Liam Tucker, the new monitor engineer, is out of the Capital stable - and he has been happy to take the stage manager role on board. There is also a tour manager, Nick Jenkin, and two backline techs, while completing the roster of top production personnel, experienced LD Craig Allnut has been piloting the lighting board provided by Siyan.
Yet it was hardly a case of gilding (or should that be 'gelding') the lily for Foals, as in the the band's FOH engineer Paul Fyfe, Paul Timmins, had already recognised that the sound was in safe hands - and as soon as he was given the chance he opted for a Martin Audio Compact line array.
Fyfe has really enjoyed working with the Martin Audio system, - which was the perfect tool for aggressive rock 'n' roll, says Timmins. 'It was his first choice and he also picked the Digidesign VENUE, in particular making great use of the board's Drawmer plug-in dynamics and Tel-Ray Variable Delay.'
Micky Griffiths, Capital's system tech and FOH support, rigged 12 x W8LC's per side at Brixton (Pictured) and six WS218X subs per side - at 4,700 capacity the largest venue on the tour schedule - but for he majority of the tour they have used two hangs of nine W8LC and four WS218'Xs per side - in order to fit everything into one truck. The image is improved by adding four W8LM centre front fills while conventional W8C's provide sidefill augmentation.
'Brixton is still one of the best venues to work because it's so spacious - and with 12 boxes per side to fly off the stage you need that space,' he says.
Of course Cap Sound have a thorough library of venue dimensions - including quirks and foibles - to show optimum rigging. 'This includes not plugging in the fifth box down at Brixton - otherwise it fires at the balcony and produces slapback,' says Micky. 'It's Ian Colville's design and it works really well here
Capital Sound Hire's decision to form Capital Productions back in 2000 has really paid off, as since then they have enjoyed enormous success with bands such as Liberty X, Kasabian and Kosheen.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669
Jerry Gilert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140