ENTEC AT THE MARQUEE CLUB

The high profile live music venue – now located in buzzing Islington, London N1 – re-opened last week with a star-studded event headlined by top rock ‘n’ rollers Primal Scream.

This installation marks an historic continuation of Entec’s association with the Marquee club. The Marquee brand name is now owned by former Eurythmics pop star Dave Stewart of the Artists Network, and entrepreneur Mark Fuller (behind London’s trendy Sugar Reef and Embassy Club). The strength and driving force behind the new Marquee is Artist Network director and Group CEO Tony Quinn. The club’s day-to-day running is headed by the club’s general manager Matt Talbot.

The new Marquee reopens complete with a £4 million fit-out, as a 1200 capacity club/restaurant live music and entertainment destination venue. Features include Michelin star executive chef Gary Hollihead and chic, modernist, distressed concrete interiors.

Lighting for the contemporary Marquee Club is considerable more elaborate than the original club’s scheme! The 2002 Marquee’s visual elements have been designed and co-ordinated by Dan Cook, who vacated his post as Technical Manager of the Ocean Music Centre in Hackney to take up the exciting challenge of being the Marquee’s lighting manager.

Cook has designed a flexible lighting rig that will cater for the massive diversity of artists scheduled to play the Marquee. The equipment is supplied by Entec on a long term rental basis to facilitate regular updates.

Moving fixtures include Martin MAC 600s, High End Cyberlight SVs and Clay Paky Golden Scan HPEs. Added to that are Martin Atomic Strobes and a large variety of conventional fixtures, all of it controlled by an Avolites Pearl console.

The desk was chosen for it’s ease of use and because so many visiting LDs will be familiar with the Avolites control platform. They are also using Avolites dimmers.

Entec has also designed, built and supplied customised power distribution units for all it’s equipment in the Marquee.

Entec’s Adam Stevenson co-ordinated the equipment supply to the club, which additionally includes two legs of Tomcat ground support and two flown points for the lighting rig.

Entec produced the rigging design and co-ordinated the installation of the hybrid flown/ground supported idea which was a lateral solution to the physical restraints of getting lighting rigging points installed around a complex air conditioning system . The working stage area is 28 ft wide by 20 ft deep including PA wings – considerably larger than the original postage stamp size stage at the Wardour Street venue!

Entec were asked onboard the project by Gary McGovern, Dave Stewarts Studio maintenance manager and Marquee Club technical consultant. A definite decision was made to employ a rock ‘n’ roll lighting designer and supply company for this element of the Marquee.

Entec’s Head of Lighting Noreen O’Riordan comments, “It’s great to be involved with the Marquee again, and to have the opportunity to re-visit a venue in a new context, space and era. We’re looking forward to a long and healthy relationship with Tony Quinn, Dan Cook, Matt Talbot and all the others at the sharp end of the team in Islington”.

For the opening, Entec also lit the N1 mall with City Colors and Mac 250+’s fitted with Marquee logo gobos.

History

The Marquee Club was originally opened in 1958 as a jazz club in Oxford Street, and moved to it’s famous Wardour Street site in Soho (now the Mezzo) in 1964 for 24 glory years. In 1988, it moved to Charing Cross Road, and closed in 1996.

The Marquee enjoyed an illustrious and colourful reputation at the cutting edge of London’s raw, sweaty and very real live music scene ‘of the moment’. It was loved for it’s scuzzy charm and ‘large’ atmosphere, and launched a myriad rock ‘n’ roll legends including The Who, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, The Cream, the Sex Pistols, The Small Faces and many more.

The Marquee was originally founded and owned by Harold & Barbara Pendleton (1958-1987). The Pendletons are still involved with Entec Sound & Light, and were also originators of the renowned National Jazz Festival held in Richmond, Windsor, Plumpton and Kempton Park in the 1960’s. This moved to Reading in 1971 and became world famous as the Reading Rock Festival.

With the Festivals going strong in the late sixties, the Pendletons formed their own lighting and sound equipment company to service all their events and the Marquee Club. This was the birth of Entec Sound & Light. They broke new ground for what was then a very embryonic industry, now known as ‘technical production’, and an element that no 21st century venue, tour, show or event can be without.

Sound equipment suppliers to the new Marquee are Marquee Audio Ltd – another company which was originally part of the Pendleton’s ‘Marquee Group of Companies’.

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