Sound Division laps it up at Wildcats
Because of the complex nature of the installation - with sound relayed to 16 small private dance booths (five enclosed within a Bedouin styled tent on the first floor), four larger ones and the girls' changing rooms, as well as the general areas - clever digital source switching was required. This has been provided in the shape of the Soundweb London BLU DSP networking device, with local source and volume selection at the bar. Sound Division has also supplied a fully-equipped DJ booth on the ground floor, designed specifically for this style of operation, with a Denon DN-D6000 twin CD player, Allen & Heath Xone:62 professional mixer and the much used Shure SM58 handheld microphone for show calling.
Matt Haycox has established a winning formula since opening his first Wildcats in Wakefield back in 2004, and today his company, The Provocative Group, turns over £4.5 million. "Our criteria is to operate in prime locations - since this is a high street activity, which is very circuit led. Ideally I look for 5,000sq.ft sites operating on one floor."
Working alongside architect Jenny Bedell-Harper of InHaus Design in Leeds, Sound Division recommended a JBL sound reinforcement throughout to reproduce the type of lounge music appropriate to the concept. Either side of the pole on the main stage SDG has flown large AM4215/95 speakers, complemented by Control 28s in the bar and Control 29AVs upstairs to cover the restaurant which has its own pole stage.
The private booths are serviced by Control 25s (with the smaller booths and upstairs dance rooms on a distributed 100V line system). Further Control 25s are found in the ladies' changing rooms while discreet Control 24CM recessed ceiling speakers pump music out to the toilets.
The entire system is driven by the Soundweb London BLU-80 DSP (on an 8 x 8 matrix) with power provided by Crown XTi series amplifiers.
The next port of call for Provocative will be Birmingham's John Bright Street, where Matt Haycox has taken over the former Spearmint Rhino (as they did in Harrogate). Here the technology will evolve further, with creative use of LED lighting. And with other contracts already at an advanced stage, the aim is to have ten Wildcats open and trading by early in 2008.