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Capital Sound Delivers Five Star Service, From ABC To OMD
Since its inception four years ago, the Rewind festival has seen the 1980s reborn for two days every year in Henley-on-Thames, while its sister event - at Scone Palace in Scotland - made its debut in 2011. Both enjoy the benefits of great audio courtesy of Capital Sound.
Rewind attracts a wide demographic, from legwarmer-toting 40 and 50-somethings keen to recapture their Pac Man-inspired youth for a weekend, to their children and many younger people keen to discover if the music of the 1980s stands up to 21st century scrutiny.
Despite acts on this year’s bill like OMD, Midge Ure and Big Country still commanding a fair amount of respect amongst fans, the festival’s emphasis is very much on fun, with the likes of Right Said Fred, Village People, Chesney Hawkes, Sinitta, Jimmy Somerville and Five Star delivering the requisite amount of tongue-in-cheek cheese.
Capital Sound uses similar systems for both Rewind festivals, which take place a month apart. Each day at both festivals opens with four performances by ‘full’ bands. From the fifth, a ‘house’ band accompanies performances by a number of solo artists. In some years, this format continues through to the headline act, although this year saw Big Country headline the first night at Scone, while Kool & The Gang and OMD headlined the respective nights at Henley, thus reverting to the format of the day’s earlier performances.
This year a Meyer MILO system, including two delay towers and HD700 subs, delivered the Front of House sound, with the show principally mixed on two DiGiCo D5s at FoH (manned this year in Henley by Mike ‘Bunny’ Warren and Joey Jowitt at Henley, with Liam Halpin and Dave Pringle at Scone) and two more at monitors, operated by Ant Standring and Sam Richards at both sites. Capital Sound also provided two Avid VENUE Profile consoles for OMD and Kool & The Gang at Henley.
“The FoH and monitors are flip-flopping on the consoles, plus we have Bheki Phakathi and Richard Gough on stage doing the changeovers, so it is a really full on day for everybody,” says Capital Sound project manager Martin Connolly. “They really get the short straw because they do all the changeovers and a lot of these bands don’t have backline crew. The backline is rented in and the musicians are setting it up, so they have to do a lot in a very short space of time.”
He continues, “Changeovers for the first four acts are about 20 minutes each, but after that it’s about five minutes. Despite it being a ‘house band’ with a different singer each time, there is always a new piece of backline to bring on and set up, so time is always very tight.”
Although the two systems were very similar, at Scone Palace the Capital Sound team had the luxury of spill not being a great issue. However at Henley, they needed to be very careful.
“Henley is a little more noise critical than Scone because of the nature of the area,” says Martin. “It’s a sensitive spot, as it faces the River Thames and is only a stone’s throw from the railway station. But one of the joys of Rewind is that it’s a very civilised festival - people dress up, they go along to chill out, have a laugh and recapture a bit of their youth.
“Adding the Scone show two years ago has done fantastic business for the event and, despite the pressure on our six-man crew, there is only one stage to take care of. And revisiting the music and fashion of the 1980s always makes you smile, doesn’t it?”