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ADLIB Finishes Year of Comic Proportions with Russell Howard tour

ADLIB Finishes Year of Comic Proportions with Russell Howard tour


Liverpool, UK based ADLIB finished an outstandingly good year in the comedy – amongst other – sectors, supplying lighting , sound equipment and crew to the final leg of Russell Howard's phenomenally successful “Right Here Right Now” UK arena tour.

ADLIB first worked with the high profile funny man in 2008, and have followed his spectacular career trajectory encompassing a steadily increasing amount of live work in larger in larger venues.

The tour's lighting was designed by ADLIB's award winning Ian Tomlinson, and was operated on the road by Andy Rowe, working with technicians Chris Neary, Shaun Moore and Mike Summerfield. FOH sound was engineered by James Neale, with the redoubtable Marc Peers on monitors, who was also crew chief, working alongside ADLIB's systems tech Kenny Perrin and George Puttock.


Once again, Neale specified a Coda Audio Airline LA12 system, after achieving great results on the earlier leg of the tour. It is an ideal system for the job and the unique driver technology produces a high vocal clarity with consistency throughout the venue and it has an excellent size-to-weight ratio.

They toured 60 x LA12 boxes, which was usually configured as four hangs of 12 for main left and rights and sides, with the remaining 12 used for the delays behind the FOH position, which varied between three stacks of four and two of six, depending on the venue.

Twenty-four LA8s were supplied for use as fills – deployed both as downfills under the main hangs and as front fills. ADLIB also supplied all necessary motors, control and rigging to fly the system.

Eight Coda SC8 subs were on the deck in front of the stage. Their neat dimensions and massive power made them a versatile choice for all venues as well as being good for maintaining clean sightlines. All the Coda elements were driven by their proprietary C10 amps.

The only monitors/onstage fills were four flown L-ACOUSTICS ARCs, two per side.

Neale once again chose a DigiDesign SC48 console, which he has also used on other comedy acts and uses a Tubetech CL1B compressor/limiter and Rane Serato dynamics as plug-ins.

Peers used a Yamaha LS9 16-channel desk for mixing the monitors, and Russell Howard's mic of choice was a Shure SM 58.

Getting the sound right was relatively straightforward technically, but required lots of precision and attention to detail to ensure that Howard's dynamic range of accompanying vocal effects had the desired impact, and that his voice was loud and clear everywhere around the arena.


Ian Tomlinson's original design was such a success on the previous leg of the tour that Howard's production asked for an exact repeat.

With just Howard and a single chair onstage - the challenge was on to make it an intimate and friendly environment for the delivery of a comedy show in a series of large venues.

Tomlinson created a basic architectural structure to shape the performance space with four 30 ft high by 2 metre diameter scenic columns made from white sharkstooth gauze. Inside these hung four 30ft high by 1m wide drapes made from Polyester canvas, printed with 'Russell', 'Howard', 'Right Here' and 'Right Now' and lit from top and bottom. (Made & printed by Halifax based J & C Joel).

Five trusses were flown in the roof, three utilised for lighting and two for drapes and softs, with the two offstage columns hung from the mid truss and the two onstage ones flown off the back lighting truss.

Behind these were two 20 x 30 ft black drapes each side, with a central gap, and upstage of these, the ‘final' rear truss, complete with a full black drape to create an entry/exit point onto stage.

On the front truss were eight Martin Professional MAC 700 Wash moving lights, used as general stage washes, together with 12 x 2-lite Moles for audience illumination and interactive moments.

On the mid lighting truss were six MAC 301 LED wash lights clustered around the two outer columns positioned towards the end of the trusses. All four columns were also internally lit by a MAC 301 mounted inside at the top and bottom, the small dimensions of the fixtures making them perfect for the task! Also on the mid truss were three MAC 700 Profiles, used for beamwork and backlighting the forestage area.

On the third most upstage lighting truss were another six MAC 301s lighting the two columns flown from that truss, together with six MAC 700 Profiles, utilised for big back-lighting looks and more powerful high-impact beam work.

On the floor just in front of the drapes was a set of 9 Sunstrips. Combined with an additional Sunstrip either side of the entranceway, these helped make a big, bold, exciting razzamatazz entrance with Howard appearing in silhouette.

Two follow spots were used to highlight Howard and contrast him against the subtly changing set colours and textures of the clean, contemporary backdrop that morphed very slowly as the hilarious and highly dynamic performance unfolded. Atmospherically, this really captured the spirit of the show, and made a hand-picked selection of well positioned and intelligently used fixtures go a long way.

ADLIB account handler Phil Kielty stated “We've been following Russell's live career for many years and it's been truly amazing watching it develop . We're all genuine fans here and we keep the same team in place so Russell feels at home on the road. He's a down to earth and loyal guy and it is a real privilege to work on his tour alongside James Taylor & all the Avalon team..... Here's to 2012!”

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

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