Continuing with the theme, this ticket dug up from my archives is quite interesting as I can’t find any reference to this party on the web. I can remember going, but not so sure who with. I think it might have been an invitation only job but not sure, I remember walking into this grand entrance hall and there were lots of “beautiful people”, you know, those London types 😉 and a huge staircase. I think if you were important you could stay in the house bedrooms, but I’ve a feeling we might have been in a tent.
As usual I can’t remember a great deal about the night (it was 23 years ago, probably) but maybe it was Pete Tong and in 1995 😉 If you were there give us a shout and let us know.
I had a reminder of this place whilst watching “Salvage Hunters” the other night with Drew Pritchard visiting the place to try to ransack it of it’s worldly wares. He pulled up in the van and I said to my wife “I’m sure I’ve been to a party there” – sure enough he was right.
I found this flyer in my old bag of stuff. I must have gone to the night or I wouldn’t have kept the flyer. It was at the Music box, which I frequented a fair bit back in the day. If you weren’t around the Manchester scene then The Music Box was a basement club situated under Jilly’s Rock World on Oxford St. The Music Box was dark, sweaty and very, very loud. Great club.
I do remember going to the Electric Chair a lot at The Roadhouse, I think I went to the first one but not entirely sure. Memories are all a bit hazy now.
Transcript from flyer:
“So here we are in the glorious days of the 20th Century getting paranoid with the millennium machine sucking the blood from our necks, too busy to do anything because we are marinating tofu while trisha and jerry turn us into a mob of home improvements mutants and stencil spraying sunday supplement robots, listening to robbie williams because we are so post modern and ironic. kick the bullshit into touch and close down the infested 50p a drink cesspits filling our streets. stop the planet becoming one gigantic soulless trafford centre full of stepford wives and husbands eating at chain bars and restaurants, shopping at ikea with their generic dinner party friends. fuck the millenium, celebrate the real things and enjoy it now. long live passion, soul, debauchery and dancing in outerspace.”
Been rooting through my old stuff yesterday and dug out my bag of “things I don’t want to get rid off but don’t know what to do with” and found all my old love letters, all three of them, photos, tickets to see West Ham and some old tickets to gigs and parties. Some of them may be of interest so I thought that I would scan them in. This is my ticket from The Incredible Warp Lighthouse Party, Saturday 14th October 2000 featuring Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada etc. There is a bit of info on this night on the web, but not much. I was a huge fan of Plaid and BOC so was really looking forward to this one.
We queued up for hours due to intense security with airport style scanners to walk through. Beer and bar ran out by about 11:00pm. Live room was tiny so most couldn’t get in. Lots of scared kids sat on the floor in a huge warehouse (if you were there you’ll know why!).
Location was Trinity Buoy Wharf which was pretty much a derelict site at the time and the home of London’s only lighthouse. The views over to the millennium dome were pretty cool at night.
Bumped into Bjork though in the crowd which was interesting.
Yesterday we were on location in sunny Oldham shooting for The Cot Mattress Company. We have the lovely Katie on presenting duty and covered 3 new products, the Optima Eco, Optima Hybrid and EasyChange baby and toddler mattresses.
The guys from Cotmattress, Roger & Jon were great to work with and we had a really good time. Kit wise we used the trusty Canon C300 with 24-105, Senheiser EW lav packs, Arri lighting and Vinten support.
I was DOP, producer and editor for the launch video of the Behringer DM12 augmented reality interface. This amazing new technology was showcased at the Sheffield SynthFest.
SynthFest is an annual event for synth enthusiasts. The event features new developments in technology from all the major manufacturers, and many of the smaller, emerging companies. I was tasked with demonstrating the interface through video and collecting opinions and first thoughts of users of the interface.
The Behringer stand allocation was small, around 8 ft wide and 4 ft deep on a busy thoroughfare. There was limited space for lighting and cables due to H&S concerns. We needed to fit two synths, a computer and two sets of Hololens kit along with about 10 people into the tiny space. I managed to squeeze in a Litepanels Astra LED panel behind the synths but that was about it for the lighting.
The camera I used was a Canon C100 Mk2 with Canon 24-105 L series lens. The camera was built onto a hand-held rig, and audio from the interviews was captured with the Rode NTG-3 shotgun mic and Sennheiser EW-100 wireless hand-held mic. Interviews were conducted by the synth developers and I manned the camera. There were some challenges with the house lighting, as there always are in venues such as this. In the roof were the dreaded daylight fluorescent mixed with some tungsten lighting as well. White balance is always a challenge, as is matching up the Litepanels Astra.
We wanted to shoot people using the interface but this posed a problem in that unless someone wears a Hololens, you do not see the interface. We solved this issue by another person hooking in to the system with an additional Hololens. The second Hololens would view the first user of the interface (and synth) and be able to see the same output. This feed was then recorded into the system at fairly low bit-rate and 720p due to the limitations of the system. The resultant footage would then be edited into the final production later.
This may all sound a little confusing so I had better explain a little about the interface. The Behringer DM12 is a complex analogue/digital synthesizer that may be controlled from the front panel, by an external computer or tablet, or with the newly developed augmented reality interface. The AR interface projects the controls of the synthesizer into the field of vision of the user when wearing a Hololens. The user may then gesture with their hands in mid-air to alter the controls, and thus affecting the sounds of the synth, and the sequencer controls. It’s all quite Star Trek really, and just like sunshine indoors, it’s the future.
Pete Sadler is the top dog of the Behringer Dm12 development team and he introduces the video, followed by the opinions of various unsuspecting “synth fiddlers” that we captured throughout the day. During shooting we were collecting some great feedback re the interface and some good sound bites to use later.
In the edit suite this was a fairly straightforward edit. The developers got the Hololens footage to me asap and that was up-scaled from 720p to match the 1080p of the Canon output. Then it was just a case of picking the best interview snippets and matching up the Hololens outputs of that particular user. Overall I was happy with the result with the Canon performing really well once again, producing a lovely image. The edit was live within a day.
Behringer DM12 Patch Demonstration Video
As an additional production, I needed to shoot a synth patch demonstration by Ben Crosland. Ben had been commissioned to produce a whole bank of patches that would be shipped with synth when it hit the shelves. I wanted the audio to be as pure as possible so took a stereo output from the synth on 1/4 inch jacks into the two XLR inputs of the Canon C100 and set to line level. Ben jumped in front of the keyboard and demonstrated the patches while I hit record – simple. Later on I would shoot the synth panel in studio conditions and overlay this in the edit so that viewers had a clear view of which patch Ben was demonstrating.
Whilst taking care of all UK and some European video output for Behringer, I acted as director of photography, camera operator, producer and editor for a shoot to launch the new Deep Mind 12 synthesizer.
The idea behind this particular shoot was to get away from the standard, “hands on the keyboard – listen to this” demo that is usually found on YouTube. We wanted to demo the synth in a real band situation to emphasize the versatility of the synth.
Pete, who leads the development team already had a contact in Dan Goldman aka JD73, a prolific jazz/funk keyboardist extraordinaire from Leeds. Dan could bring in his band: Hamlet Luton – Bass, Johnny Heyes – Guitar and Erroll Rollins – Drums. The lads would be performing one of Dan’s tracks.
So now it was just a case of finding the right venue. I knew in my head how I wanted it to look, and I also knew that I wanted a studio setting. I set about finding the right one and remembered a contact I had from a previous shoot with Maximo Park and their engineer, Andy Hawkins. Andy had a studio in Leeds called “The Nave” so I checked it out online:
Bare brick, exposed beams, velvet curtains, wooden floors, Indian rugs and every classic, valuable piece of vintage music gear you could imagine. – Absolutely perfect!
Andy is a pretty low temperature dude, but also extremely busy. The studio is generally booked up for about 3 months in advance so get in quick if you want to use it!
There were enough details and images on the studio’s website and from Andy for me to plan the shoot without a visit, so I sketched out the dimensions, lights and cameras on my set planner. This needed to be a multi camera shoot and was quite tricky with limited space. I had a specific look in mind so designed the lighting accordingly.
I decided to go with 6 cameras. Camera one on keys (over the shoulder – me), Cam 2 covering guitar & bass (Ben), cam 3 frontal mid shot of keys (Deryn), cam 4 on slider covering drums, guitar and bass, cam 5 overhead on drums, and finally camera 6 in the gallery for the safe shot (this camera didn’t make the final cut).
Day of the Video Shoot
Only three of us in the crew, so an early start and crack on with the lighting. Andy had a “dirty” electrical supply at the studio so we wouldn’t interfere with the audio. Andy got to work on the audio prep while we rigged up. The musicians arrived at about 10:00 am, so they got to work setting up and everyone just worked around everyone else, with me on synchronization duties.
The musicians on this shoot were seasoned, session pros so happy to be placed and shoved around (thanks lads!) and just got on with the job. Andy got on with his job which was to multi-track and mix the audio. The track was recorded live with no fold-back, cans or overdubs. Not an easy job, but Andy is a pro. By about 1:00 pm the lights were in, spotted and focused, camera supports were in and musicians mic-ed up.
Gear wise I used a Canon C100 Mk2 with 24/105 L series lens, Ben used a C100 Mk2 with 70/200 L series to cover bass and guitar, Deryn used a Canon C300 with 70/200 on the long/mid of Dan on the keyboards. The wide slider shot was a Canon 5D mk2 with 24/105 L series , drums overhead was my Canon 60D and the wide overhead was a Sony FS7.
I loaded up a Cinestyle profile to the 60D and matched the 5D to this and set the 2 C100s and C300 to a matching profile. I then dialed in the white balance to the look that I wanted and transferred that to the other cameras. I wanted a fairly loose look to the shoot so directed the crew accordingly. With only three of us we had a lot of work to do between takes to reset the remote cameras and slider etc but both Ben and Deryn worked their socks off all day.
To tie in all of the audio to the video for the edit, I recorded guide tracks to each camera and clapped a sync point before each take. I would then perform an auto line up on all audio (including the finished mix from Andy in the control room) within Premiere CC.
I wanted record as many takes as possible and I think in the end I had six or seven takes that we could take into the edit suite. I didn’t want any cheats in the final edit like taking parts from one take and fudging it into another. Without a vision mixer in the crew or anyone monitoring the cam outputs I just had to hope Ben & Deryn were getting what I needed, – they did.
It’s all very well getting it technically perfect on our end, but if we shot a perfect take we also had to hope the musicians were happy with their performances otherwise they would want to scrap that particular take. – Hence the need for so many takes – just to be sure.
I have to speak about the musicians for a while, these guys were just fantastic. Watch the finished edit and check out the skill levels on show here, Erroll Rollins is absolutely rock solid on the drums. Really simple and effortless (watch how he starts and also pay close attention to his solo/breaks in the middle – incredible).
Hamlet Luton is on bass duty. How cool is this guy?The riff that comes in about 5:17 is just immense and plagued our heads all day, all night and then the following day!
Johnny Heyes is on guitar and the subtlety in his playing just blew me away. Master control of the wah-wah and doing just enough when needed. Check out his syncopated break at 5:46, incredible.
Then there is Dan Goldman on keys. Dan has lots of videos up on his YouTube channel to check out and is the master of improvisation. On this occasion though he’d planned out pretty much exactly what he wanted to do. Check out the extraordinary run at 5:02 (!).
All in all Dan had crafted a tune that ebbed and flowed from gentle piano to pure funk and back again effortlessly.
The Video Edit In the edit suite I had a pretty big task ahead, ingest a ton of footage from six cameras in full HD, then split it into takes, rename all cam feeds and sync up. Once all this was done I had to work out which was the best take in terms of video technicality and looks. I had an idea about the best musical performance but ultimately Dan and the band had to be in agreement on this one. Luckily opinions matched up so we could scrap the other takes and get to work.
Andy needed a couple of days on the mix from The Nave so in the meantime I just worked to camera audio. I used the multi-camera function in Premiere and mixed the cameras on the fly until I had it looking how I wanted. I then just graded it and it was ready within a couple of days of the shoot. I hope you like the finished edit.
By about 5 or 6 pm we had it in the bag (hopefully) and everyone’s happy. The band could go home while we cracked on with shoot 2 with Dan – “DM12 Funk & Soul patch demonstration”. Dan had written some patches for the synth which would ship within the presets upon release. I re-rigged the kit so that we could record a multi-cam shoot of Dan demonstrating the patches. The finished edit can be seen below.
At about 10 pm we attempted to go for a third shoot, layering track with the TC looper. The looper didn’t really perform as expected with the synth so as me and the crew were falling over after a bout 14 hours straight we decided to call it a night at about 11.
Now I don’t blog too often, but last time I did I was moaning about how my time machine had not worked and how great it would be if we could go back to the 70s/80s when things were a bit more exciting. “Why were they more exciting” you may ask? “are you mad?”
….Well, possibly, but I mean in terms of technology…. things were made a bit better and technology was becoming accessible. New tech wasn’t so much of a “throw away” item as it is today, knocked up in a factory with the cheapest components possible and cheap, lightweight casings. Yes I know we all want things to be cheaper, lighter, faster, and generally more accessible but wasn’t it great when there was no internet and you used to desire that “thing” you’d seen in the shop window. Then after harassing your mum for as long as possible for the money to buy it (and failing), trying to work out ways to earn and save up. Yes… save up, until you could buy it! (disclaimer:Reel 9 does not in any way endorse the act of “saving”. Money is available instantly from multiple outlets such as “getyerloannow“, “telluswhenitspayday” etc. etc).
If you were a youth in the late 70s or 80s then there really were only a few options. Paper rounds were a firm favourite, but it sure took a lot of cold mornings and nights with frozen fingers to get that “thing”, but didn’t we appreciate it when we did? I think this is an older generation thing passed down, as I remember going round to mate’s houses (and my own) of course where dads were extremely proud and protective over their latest purchase…..“don’t touch it!”would be the cry from said “mate” as we admired in awe the new Sanyo/Sharp/Bush hi-fi his old man had just bought. I mean these were great things. Silver…..brushed aluminium……wood…heavy knobs that turned…lights n stuff. These were things of beauty and woe betide you if you damaged another man’s Sharp.
But, alas, these things are no more and we are resigned to settling for the latest plastic item purchasing that the marketing masters have convinced us that we need to make our lives better. A few of us though have started a revolution. We go to car boot sales and charity shops hoping to seek out those old gems of technology that remind us of our youth….but it’s becoming harder…”everybody’s at it these days”. And they are.
What about when you used to get the “Loot” free ads paper and scour it before anyone else found that old Roland synth placed in the wrong section – “I’m avin that!” get round there and pick up a bargain. No chance anymore…we’ve got Ebay. Any old boys around that want to get rid of all their classic old stuff for peanuts?, no way, they’ve all been on Ebay pricing it up. If that’s not enough then you’ve got the car boot vultures…now these blokes are scary. Up at 4am standing in a field waiting for a car to arrive. Before you know it their face is stuck to the drivers window crying out in desperation “ow much for that Adidas bag in the boot mate?” The car hasn’t even stopped. I mean these guys are all over everything….records, old tech, hi fi, cameras, lenses, you name it.
Then there’s the charity shops, they’re even pricing up from Ebay! “ooh look its a Yashica 70-200mm, stick £50 on it Marg..” Now don’t get me wrong, I want the shop to make money, but isn’t the whole point of going in that of trying to find a “bargain”? I mean I went into a charity shop last week and saw an old suit I quite liked the look of. It was wool and seemed quite nice in old suit kind of way. The price tag read £99.99. Ninety Nine Ninety Nine!!! for an old suit?
So to drag you back to where I should have started without all of this rattling on I had basically given up hope of ever making a “special find” in time warp condition ever again, but then yesterday something happened.
The Mrs and I were out doing our usual “wander around small average town in the middle of nowhere looking at things for something to do” (we’ve all been there?….haven’t we?….maybe it’s just us) when a man called us into his lock up (don’t worry, it’s strictly legit). He had some stuff, loads of stuff. Usual old tat you’d find from any secondhand seller, but also some real vintage, interesting stuff, old radios, retro 70’s stuff and also some boxes with “new” stuff in, except it wasn’t new, it was new old stock. Now if you’re not familiar with the term NOS then it is usually things that were stocked in a shop for years but never sold. After some mooching and thinking plus some hard-nosed haggling I eventually came away with this…it’s new never been out of its box, made in 1978 of silver and wood and not been touched for 35 years! The Sanyo JCX 2150
The time machine had worked! I had gone back. It was cheap, it was a bargain, I was back in 1978. I got it home and decided to document its grand opening, the birth of the mighty Sanyo JCX 2150 that had been frozen in time for over 35 years, this could not be overlooked. Would it work? it could have been stored damp and the caps gone, only one way to find out…
It powered up with a lovely greeney-white glow across the huge display window. I hooked up a CD player, stuck the aerial to the wall and hooked up some JBL Control 1s to test it. Now unlike your normal Hi-Fi where the volume control only goes up to 10, this one goes up to 100!, I knew that it was gonna be loud.
Anyway it wasn’t as loud as I initially thought it might be but hey it is only 20W per channel. It sounded pretty good, so I carried on checking out the radio (rubbish reception up in them there hills I’m afraid) but it all seemed to work and generally sounded ok. I don’t think it will win any sound quality awards, but look at it….it is surely a thing of beauty in its own way.
For a moment, taking this thing out of its box and carefully plugging it in, turning the dial to tune in the receiver, the weighted controls…I was transported back to the days of my dad’s old Sharp in the corner, listening to West Ham on the radio on a cold winter night in the European Cup Winners Cup. Never really got that dad…”cup winner’s cup?…what do you mean?”.
What I’m going to do with him I’m not sure. It seemed a crime to awake him from his sleep, so I put him back in his bag…then his box….and then put him back to bed….for now.
EDIT – 2020 I found a little video that I took while it was out of the box, may be of interest. Why did I sell it!!??? huge face palm/plant type of thing. Oh well.
I recently managed the 2013/2014 Boardman video production on behalf of Halfords.
We shot around 23 bikes with two crews over 5 days. The finished bike reviews can be seen on Halford’s own website and also their Youtube channel. Shot in the glorious countryside around Bingley and in Leeds city centre, two teams worked extremely hard in the heat (and rain) to produce some great results. The excellent Mark Nutkins on camera used the Canon C300 to great effect, directed by the equally excellent Dave Mills.
Mark is a “real” cameraman, done his apprenticeship and trained by the best and it shows. He’s got “Russians” and “E-Z-Ups” and lots of rolls of tape! and the obligatory battered old estate car to lug it all around. A really nice professional so don’t hesitate to hire him for your next project. Dave is a director…..directors crack jokes all day and generally make everyone feel good about the shoot, another excellent professional.
Mark Brooke took care of sound duties and is also a true pro, don’t hesitate to hire him. With planes overhead, lots of dogs and kids he certainly had his work cut out. The bikes are awesome, here are some pics from the shoot.
I thought I’d post up some information that maybe helpful for those vintage enthusiasts of the classic Revox reel to reel machines such as the B77 and PR99 (feature on both coming later).
The correct NAB adaptors for 15 inch reels are becoming scarce, and when they do come up they are expensive. If, like me you were unfortunate enough to go the “cheapo” route and buy the $25 dollar option from Ebay you will no doubt be disappointed. They don’t fit. This results in a ridiculous “clonk” as the reels spin round. The reason is that the diameter is too small. There have been various solutions offered such as placing a CD behind the reels etc but none have worked for me.
I though I’d try my own solution and it seems to have worked. It’s cheap and a bit fiddly but seems to do the job for me.
All you need is some electrical tape, preferably black. Cut three small lengths to go in between the notches of the adaptor, stick on to the side and carefully press over the rim and smooth down. This will give one layer of diameter expansion. Try your reel and see if there is any improvement. if not, add another layer. Continue this process until the diameter is correct.
We recently documented this year’s exhibition, held at Event City Manchester. The event was a great success featuring all the major players within the UK taxi industry. A Skoda Rapide was given away in the prize draw and this year’s special guest was Craig Charles. The exhibition featured a Lamborghini Aventadour and an Audi R8, with stands provided by Autocab, Voyager, Kia Motors, Mercury, Cordic, T Dispatch, Ethos, Claybank Skoda and Westminster Insurance to name a few.
PHTM are currently taking bookings for next year’s exhibition.