Liverpool UK based ADLIB's audio division has designed and installed a fabulous ADLIB FD sound system into the city's iconic live music venue Eric's - which is open again for business.
The basement space in Mathew Street, downtown Liverpool, opposite the Cavern, flourished from 1976 to 1980 as a must-play venue for the best and most innovative punk, post punk, alternative and indie bands. Raw, underground (literally) and edgy, it launched a slew of meteoric, critically acclaimed careers from Echo & The Bunnymen to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, made history with incendiary performances and was a seriously credible hang out for the cool and creative.
More bands graced the stage at Eric's than any other club in Liverpool … until it was unceremoniously shut in 1980, and closed again in 1981 after a brief afterlife as Brady's.
The room then lay forgotten, derelict and abused as bar storage and a dumping ground for the food and drink outlets in the street above …. until 2011.
Local musician and singer / songwriter Ethan Allen – also a Nashville country star with his band the Cheap Seats – and back in town after many years in the US - was instrumental in co-ordinating the project to renovate and rejuvenate Eric's.
In a story of real passion and commitment, it has been restored to its former glory as an atmospheric performance space and a forum for cutting edge music for both un-signed and famous bands.
Spotting a gap in Liverpool's already lively night scene for a properly â€˜independent' 400 capacity venue for bands and live comedy, Allen was determined to keep Eric's as close to the original in vibe and appearance.
Absolutely crucial to this was getting the right sound system in place.
Allen turned to his long-time acquaintance Andy Dockerty, MD of ADLIB - "The best PA company in the UK," he declares.
Dockerty is also a veteran of the original Eric's, where he engineered many crazy and memorable shows! He and Allen date back to the start of both their music industry careers, with Dockerty also mixing many of Allen's bands over the years.
To have â€˜The best Sound system in Liverpool' was the brief issued by Eric's new owner John Lynch, and “ADLIB was the only choice,” says Allen, "their knowledge, expertise and service is second to none".
Dockerty takes over the story "Ethan is a serious musician and his total dedication to delivering everything that the artist might need whilst performing in Eric's was a major reason we got involved. His foresight and vision is taking the venue into a new direction, retaining the legend of its past, and with a new attitude, bringing a vision for the future”.
The sound system needed to be incredibly powerful. Providing full frequency response evenly across the whole room, the ADLIB FD product in conjunction with the AA81 infill/delay cabinets provided the perfect solution.
The low ceiling height makes a challenging sonic environment, which has resulted in a stack format PA, raised on plinths to get it to the requisite – and maximum – height possible.
The other major challenge was ensuring that the system was flexible and dynamic to deal with numerous different scenarios and live acts.
The main stacks are 2 a-side ADLIB FD high packs and 2 a-side ADLIB DF 418 subs - which seriously shift some air whilst producing the sound and the excitement needed for all types of music, plus a richness and lucidity to deal with the nuances of comedy and stand-up performance.
At the back of the room are four ADLIB AA81 speakers as delays to maintain clarity in that area, plus another two AA81s for outfill cabinets off to the sides of the main PA.
It's all powered by Crown XTI amps and controlled via a dbx Drive Rack 260.
A Soundcraft SI Compact console (24 channel) was chosen as an ideal mixing solution for its ease of use, small footprint and price. "It ticks all the boxes," says Dockerty.
Once the installation was complete, Dockerty fine turned the system for the specific ambience of the room …. And so far the formula is working well, with Eric's establishing itself on the touring circuit as a live venue with heart, soul and superlative sound!
For more press info. on ADLIB, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888, or Email â€˜[email protected]', Contact ADLIB direct on +44 (0)151 486 2214 or check www.adlibsolutions.co.uk
Photo: Andy Dockerty (L ) and Ethan Allen (R)