No Moments Silence for Adlib with Hozier
Thursday, 7 February 2019
adlib-hozierThe Hozier crew (Photo: Steve Sroka)
UK - UK rental and production specialist Adlib continued its excellent working relationship with Irish singer-songwriter and musician Hozier, and a production team led by Sue ‘Duchess’ Iredale. The Liverpool-based company supplied sound and lighting equipment plus crew for the band’s recent UK and European tour, with a Coda sound system specified by FOH sound engineer Steve ‘Patto’ Pattison, and the realisation of an eye-catching and inventive lighting design created by Steven Douglas.
Patto joined the Hozier team mid-way through 2018, shortly after completing the Freedom Child world tour with Irish trio The Script. Hozier’s Nina Cried Power EP dropped almost immediately and with a new (second) studio album anticipated in the spring, the touring schedule started apace and continues worldwide throughout 2019.
Patto chose a Coda AiRAY system for the UK and Europe sections, after having an “amazing” experience with it on The Script tour. A powerful and versatile speaker system for its compact size, AiRAY can be flown or ground stacked in different configurations, sounding equally good and bringing a continuity to the wide range of venues on the itinerary.
“It sounds great in a 1200-seat theatre and a 15,000-capacity arena – one box covers all applications” enthused Patto. The speaker selection was key to the crew dealing with the daily variations in venues by using different quantities and rigging set ups. In the largest format they used 16 boxes a-side.
For Patto, the ‘devil is in the detail’ of the fill coverage, and to this end, he used one of his signature techniques: a small centre hang of between three and six Coda TiRAYs hung from the front lighting truss to cover the area around three rows back from the front. “Those standing in that area, the little ‘D’ shaped section just back from the front, always get a raw deal. In most venues any PA system will struggle to hit them depending on rigging points, sightlines, etc., while the lip fills will only ever hit the front row! Their ticket cost the same so we should give them the same experience as everyone else.”
He comments that the TiRAY speaker “is so tiny and light that it was completely unobtrusive on the truss… but had a huge impact in terms of enhancing the audience experience.” For standard stage fills Patto used Coda APS (arrayable point source) speakers sat above the subs to fill out the corners, and HOPS (high output point source) as the lip fills along the front of the stage.
They toured both SC2-Fs (dual 15”) and SCP-F subs, with two or three of each per side in the standard set up and several variations according to the shape and size of the room. The SC2-Fs were often used when the AiRAY was ground stacked as they provided a solid and secure platform on which to rig the AiRAY cabinets at the correct height as well as reinforcing the low end.
Patto has been using an Allen & Heath dLive S7000 console for the last couple of years, since it was launched, and also mixed The Script with one (audio for that tour was also supplied by Adlib). He likes it for its adaptability and because he doesn’t need any add-ons.
Working alongside Patto on this leg of the tour were a “fantastic” Adlib crew of Alan Harrison, a veteran of many arena tours who fine-tuned the system each day, and Max Taylor, who took care of all things onstage. Hozier’s monitor engineer is Darren Dunphy, who used a PM7D console - also free of external plugins and another desk that is “flexible and offers excellent reverbs”.
The band were all on Shure PSM IEMs. Hozier switched from a wired to wireless mic half way through the American leg so he could move around more freely, migrating from a standard Beta 58 to a Shure Axient Digital. “It’s one of the best radio systems I’ve heard at relaying detail, it’s all there even the small print” said Patto, adding that he’s loving working with everyone. “A fantastic team of people – there’s a great vibe on the tour and a massive buzz surrounding it – what more can you ask for?”
Lighting
Adlib’s Dave Eldridge took care of all Steven Douglas’s lighting requirements for the UK and Europe. The flown rig was distributed over two trusses – front and rear – and comprised 7 x Martin MAC Viper Performances and 24 x MAC Aura XBs. Another six Viper Performances - three a side - were rigged on two onstage torms that were framing the backdrop.
On the floor there were 6 x Portman P2 Hexlines on wheeled tank traps, positioned in a row upstage, another eight Viper Performances, 14 x GLP X4 Bar 20s and 14 x Philips ColorBlaze 48 LED battens.
Douglas’s concept for this leg of the tour was based around two special scenic drapes which he designed. These took light beautifully and were both illuminated from front and behind creating a real three dimensionality for the stage.
He explained that it was a slightly different touring / performance scenario in that the EP was released as the tour started with the album to follow, but the live campaign had to start then, so he produced an ‘interim’ design that didn’t give away any of the forthcoming album artwork or aesthetics, but does allude to some of it. It can be evolved and developed as the tour progresses after the album launch, and he was keen on having a thread linking the pre and post album phases of the stage presentation.
The cloths were made by Perry Scenic and are based on the notion of a dilapidated dwelling. The upstage one has a set of windows with scenic 3D printed window frames. The glass panels in the windows look dirty and grimy, but the drape is actually transparent.
X4 Bar 20s were used to illuminate the drapes from the front with a row of ColorBlazes in between the two drapes and another one upstage of the back drape, giving Douglas three separate layers to shift between. As different areas were lit in combinations, they brought totally different looks to the stage. Douglas worked alongside an Adlib crew of Kevin Byatt and James Betts-Gray.
Client manager Phil Kielty comments: “We do feel very lucky in that we are back working with Hozier again. His live show is hard to beat for pure passion and musicianship and his fans are so loyal. It really does feel like a unique personal experience being at one of his gigs. Patto’s mix through the Coda system sounded awesome and Steven’s lighting design was clever and artful. A massive thank you to Duchess for bringing us back into the camp!”
(LSi Online)

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