For the last 14 years I have been working as a freelance sound engineer. I have worked in a wide variety of circumstances from theatre tours to festivals both in the UK and abroad. Much of my work was with PA company Spadger Sound Services. This has provided me with a second to none training base. Spadger was a one-man outfit and therefore I have been exposed to every aspect of public address: from loading the van, to system set-up and design, stage management, and engineering (FOH and/or monitors) single handedly, for any one concert!
Spadger's equipment was good, basic, and yet un-badged. This taught me how to obtain the best results from modest equipment - many engineers cannot cope unless the name tag says d&b, Nexo, l-acoustics etc etc. With a handful of necessary items, I am able to make any functioning sound system sound extensive, expansive and ultimately expensive!
Spadger Sounds main business was folk festivals. This poses its own set of unique challenges namely: numerous acts in very little time with contrasting stage set-ups, acoustic instruments with open microphones, and a demand for high fidelity audio. To say we worked miracles is somewhere near the truth! In 2006, Spadger provided sound systems for 23 major folk festivals, meaning an estimated 300-400 artists have been engineered by Spadger per year!
The ability to do our job with speed yet without compromising quality was Spadger's motto. Demonstrated well at Shetland Folk Festival whereby every act plays for 20 minutes with no sound checks! From Rolf Harris to African acapella choir Imbizo - 14 acts later and you know if you can survive that, you can survive anything!
After 26 years of services, Spadger's owner John Eeles has decided to throw in the towel (300-400 artists - no wonder!) and with 14 years and goodness knows how many artists I've mixed, how many vans I've loaded-unloaded, I have decided to offer my engineering services at a specialised level. Having seen the quality (or lack!) of engineers touring with bands, I have a good understanding as to where my abilities stand as a sound engineer. I believe the sheer amount of artists I have worked with, and the specialised nature of the acoustic scene I've been exposed to, stand me in good stead!
Hope to see you out there somewhere!
Live sound engineer specialising in acoustic, jazz, world, folk, roots, blues, traditional, orchestras and choirs