Liverpool, UK based ADLIB continues its work with leading comedy acts from around the world, supplying lighting & sound equipment and crew to the current Russell Howard Right Here Right Now UK arena tour - following on from their work with Russell Howard last year. At the helm of the tour, is TPi Award winning production manager Neil McDonald and Russell's Tour Manager - Russell Young, who keeps everything running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
The tour's lighting has been designed by ADLIB's award winning Ian Tomlinson, and is being operated on the road by Andy Rowe, working with technicians Neil Holloway and Mike Summerfield. FOH sound is being engineered by James Neale, monitors by Carlos Herreros, with ADLIB's Kenny Perrin out as audio systems tech.
With just Russell Howard and a single chair as the only prop/stage set - the challenge was on to make the stage an intimate and friendly spatial space for the delivery of a comedy show.
Tomlinson therefore created a basic architectural structure for the performance space to give it some shape and form via four 30 ft high by 2 metre diameter scenic columns made from white sharkstooth gauze. Inside these hang four 30ft high by 1m wide drapes made from Polyester canvas which are printed with 'Russell', 'Howard', 'Right Here' and 'Right Now' and lit from the top and bottom. All the drapes were made & printed by Halifax based J & C Joel.
There are 5 trusses in the roof, three for lighting and 2 for drapes and softs, with the 2 offstage columns hung from the mid truss and the 2 onstage ones flown off the back lighting truss.
Behind these are two 20 x 30 ft black drapes each side, with a central gap, and upstage of these is the very rear truss, complete with a full black drape which creates an entry/exit point to the stage.
The front truss is curved to introduce a greater perception of depth and three-dimensionality to the stage. Onto this are rigged 8 Martin Professional MAC 700 Wash moving lights, which are used as general stage washes. There are also 12 x 2-lite Moles for audience illumination and interactive moments during the set.
On the mid lighting truss are 6 x MAC 301 LED wash lights clustered around the 2 outer columns towards the end of the trusses. All 4 columns are also internally lit by a MAC 301 mounted inside at the top and bottom, their small dimensions making them perfect for the task! Also on the mid truss are 3 x MAC 700 Profiles, used for beamwork and backlighting of the forestage area.
On the third and most upstage lighting truss are another 6 x MAC 301s lighting the two columns that are flown from that truss, together with 6 x MAC 700 Profiles for making up big back-lighting looks and more powerful beam work.
On the floor in front of the drapes is a set of 9 sun-strips. Together with an additional unit each side of the entranceway, these are used to make a big, bold, exciting razzamatazz entrance for Howard who is in silhouette.
Two follow spots are used on the show, and where these are not available in-house from the venue, ADLIB is supplying.
Tomlinson's design creates a clean, contemporary backdrop that changes subtly throughout Howard's hilarious and highly dynamic performance, capturing the spirit of the show perfectly. In terms of fixtures, it's a very expedient lighting rig, but plenty of imagination makes it go a long way.
FOH engineer James Neale has mixed several comedy tours recently including Frankie Boyle, Lee Mack & Jimmy Carr. James is using ADLIB's new Coda Airline PA system for this one, a decision made due to its exceptional audio quality, vocal clarity and size to weight ratio.
The Coda system made its debut for ADLIB on last autumn's John Barrowman tour, where it was incredibly well received. With comedy shows in particular, even coverage and clarity is key, and the vocal projection capabilities made it an obvious choice for the Russell Howard tour.
The system in its largest format in London O2 Arena, was configured as 16 x Airline LA12 cabinets a side with 3 x Airline LA8s as downfills, plus side hangs of 14/3 LA12/LA8s, together with LA8 infills, all driven by Coda C10 amps. There were also an additional 16 speakers as delays, situated behind the FOH mix position in 2 hangs.
The FOH console is a DigiDesign SC48, chosen because Neale has used it on previous comedy tours and also because he was keen to utilise certain plug-ins including a Rane Serato, McDSP MC2000 multi band compressor and a Tube Tech CL 1B compressor.
Howard's vocal ranges from super soft to serious yelling during the course of the set, so Neale zaps the harsh 2.5K frequencies during the shouting with the Rane Serato. He also has to deal with some interesting mic techniques, as Howard frequently covers the mic with his hands to create sound effects to accompany gags.
The main audience requirement is for the vocals to be heard cleanly and pleasantly all around the arena - which is a big space for one person to fill - all challenges addressed by a smart audio system design and good proactive mixing!
Neale's systems tech is ADLIB's Kenny Perrin, and monitors - 2 flown L-Acoustics ARCS sidefills - are mixed by Carlos Herreros using a Yamaha LS9 console. George Puttock looks after the delay hangs.
Tour Manager Russell Young comments “I have worked with ADLIB for a number of years and I am always impressed with their innovative solutions, consistently high quality of work and the vision that is applied in understanding and meeting a client's demands.
Their dedicated, hard working team has helped to facilitate a stylish high profile arena tour, enhancing the quality of performance for both the comic and the audiences.”
For more press info. on ADLIB, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888, or Email [email protected]', Contact ADLIB direct on +44 (0)151 486 2214 or check www.adlibsolutions.co.uk