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PART 2: THE SEVENTIES

entec-1970The new decade sees Entec, together with the Pendletons’ sister companies the Marquee Club, Marquee Studios and the National Jazz, Blues (& Rock) Festival, continue to be at the forefront of the evolving music industry.

In 1970, a year after Woodstock captures the world’s imagination, festival culture becomes mainstream and Entec plays an influential role, providing both sound and lighting for the 10th NJF Festival – just weeks before Glastonbury hosted its first festival and Hendrix played his last major UK show on the Isle of Wight.

Held again at Plumpton, the growing trend towards heavier blues-based rock, more complex prog and acoustic singer-songwriters like Cat Stevens is well represented.

Work on ‘Top Of The Pops’ is extended to another season as John Lennon makes a rare appearance, performing ‘Instant Karma’ just weeks before The Beatles split.

In December, The Faces film a show at the Marquee for German broadcaster WDR.

entec-1971Television work for the BBC continues with a four-part Doctor Who serial, ‘The Claws of Axos’, broadcast during the Jon Pertwee era.

In March, The Rolling Stones make a special return to the Marquee, playing ‘Brown Sugar’ and other songs from their new album Sticky Fingers. This year also sees the Marquee’s décor change from the circus look to black painted walls with the yellow Marquee logo at the back of the stage.

The National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival finally finds a permanent home when it moves to Reading in June with Entec fulfilling its annual sound and lighting supplier role.

The Faces, Reading 1972
entec-1972An artist fee record is set at the National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival when the Faces are paid £4,000 for their Saturday headlining spot. Genesis earn just £175.

Reading will witness two major leaps forward for festival design in the ‘70s. The first comes in 1972 with the introduction of two stages, side by side, to enable quick changeovers between acts. Three years later, a large video screen is erected between the two stages.

December 20th

Entec Queen 1972Queen play their first gig at the Marquee with John Deacon on bass completing the band’s definitive line-up. Opening with warm-up act Fantasy, the gig is advertised in Melody Maker simply as ‘Two Live Groups’ – such is Queen’s still relatively underground status – and is organised as a showcase by their management and production company Trident in association with the NME and the Marquee.

Although it was common for name artists to bring their own equipment to the Marquee, having the on-site support of Entec as a rental source meant that good quality supplementary gear was on tap, and this proves very useful for Queen.

Before they can afford to rent their first touring systems of note, Queen carry their own basic PA, which includes an Allen & Heath mixer and Millbank 1kW amplifiers. It falls to Entec, however, to provide the stage lighting on this occasion, to give the ‘royal’ foursome an edge as they preview ‘Keep Yourself Alive’, ‘Liar’, ‘Ogre Battle’ and ‘Great King Rat’ from their forthcoming début album.

entec-1973Filmed over two days in October at the Marquee for American TV station NBC’s ‘The Midnight Special’, David Bowie’s ‘1980 Floor Show’ is notable for the star’s final appearance as Ziggy Stardust.

Eight years earlier, the Marquee had witnessed David Jones’ first appearance as David Bowie. He said: “I wanted to go back there because I had so many good memories over the years.”

1973 - Wings uk tourMay 11th

Entec is proud to be hired to service the first full-length UK tour by Paul McCartney & Wings, in support of their second album Red Rose Speedway and ‘Live And Let Die’, the Macca-penned Bond theme. The main 15-date tour features special guests Brinsley Schwarz and is preceded by a private show at ATV Elstree Studios on March 18th which is filmed for the feature-length TV special, ‘James Paul McCartney’. The tour is later extended into July with an additional four dates.

Entec 1974

entec-1974Another very strong Reading bill comes in a year that sees Entec support tours by Thin Lizzy and many other acts including chart toppers The New Seekers.

November-December

1974 Sweet - desolation boulevardThe Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard  is the new album that accelerates the band into a major headline touring act, as Pete Challenger, an Entec crew member from the ’74 tour, remembers: “The most interesting tour I did with the Sweet featured a drum and percussion ‘duet’ by Mick Tucker during the band’s hard rocking version of The Man With The Golden Arm. Mick was actually a seriously underrated drummer in that era. He had a big riser to one side of the stage with a projection screen next to him showing lifesize film of him [as the other half of the duet] that was shot prior to the tour.”

“Thank you for all the great work you did with the chaps! I remember seeing such positive reviews of the stage show and sound – one or two described as ‘perfect’ – which takes some damn hard work and commitment!” (The Sweet Book via Facebook).

entec-1975April-May

1975-PilotIn the wake of their recent chart-topping single ‘January’, Pilot embark on their 23-date Second Flight  tour with crew and equipment from Entec that includes an aircraft-shaped truss fabricated by Mike Hounslow.

August 22nd-24th

One Reading 1975of the decade’s more memorable festivals, Reading ’75 features weekend headliners Yes, Hawkwind and Wishbone Ash, as well as Supertramp, Judas Priest, UFO, Thin Lizzy and Richard & Linda Thompson. With an edgier scene just around the corner, as represented by Dr. Feelgood and the Heavy Metal Kids, the event is effectively the calm before the punk storm.

Entec’s involvement with Black Sabbath’s Sabotage tour spans the end of 1975 and early ’76.

entec-1976On February 12th, a band called the Sex Pistols play their first public London show when they open for Eddie & The Hot Rods at the Marquee Club. The Pistols are banned from the venue after just one gig.

February-March

Entec Cockney Rebel 1976On the back of their fourth album, Timeless Flight, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Jim Cregan, George Ford, Duncan Mackay and brothers Stuart & Lindsay Elliott – spend six weeks touring the UK and Europe, with back-up guitarist Jo Partridge and lighting supplied by Entec.
The company provides a standard rig for the period that majors in Altman PAR 64s and Strand PATT 750 beam lights, while Entec’s lighting department manager Mike Hounslow assumes the role of ‘lighting engineer’ throughout the run. Dave Jacobson and Jack Ingram mix the front of house and monitor sound respectively, and Kelsey Acoustics supplies a Kelsey-Morris PA system.
With a crew led by tour manager Richard Ames, the presentation of the shows is designed by Catherine Andrews, whose theatrical choice of backdrop style is enhanced by a set of films co-directed by Richard Monkhouse. Other notable personnel include production assistant Dave Wernham, equipment manager Mick Collins and security manager Toni Gibbings, while Edwin Shirley handled trucking.
The itinerary comes to a close with a final date on home ground at Wembley Empire Pool on April 12th.

Entec Sound & Light moves into new premises at Shepperton Film Studios where its on-site neighbours include The Who and the production crew and sets for an unheralded movie entitled ‘Star Wars’. The George Lucas creation is shot during the period in which Entec works on tours for the Bay City Rollers and Carpenters.

The 16th National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival is referred to as Reading Rock ’76 in official advertising.

When the Sex Pistols are goaded into uttering profanities live on air by Bill Grundy, host of Thames TV’s tea-time show ‘Today’, the punk rock phenomenon hits the front pages of every British newspaper.

entec-1977Entec Bob Marley 1977 works with many of the most influential names from the punk era, including The Clash, Ramones, Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers, Chelsea, The Damned and Eddie & The Hot Rods.

Entec also finds favour with the blossoming reggae movement. The Exodus tour by Bob Marley & The Wailers is one of the highlights of 1977. The tour, which benefits from the experience of both of Entec’s departments, is one of year’s biggest box office successes. Beginning in Paris on May 10th and rolling through Europe until early June, it climaxes with four sold-out shows at London’s Rainbow Theatre, the last of which is preserved for the Keith ‘Keef’ MacMillan-directed Live! At The Rainbow concert film.

Managed by Entec director Simon White, Marquee Studios opens a new remix suite fitted with an MCI 542 36/22 console and MCI tape machine. It is now one of the most prolific studios in the UK, recording artists including Elton John, Gerry Rafferty, Mud, Ralph McTell, Art Garfunkel, Monty Python, Vangelis, Rory Gallagher, Joan Armatrading, Kiki Dee, Van Der Graaf Generator and the Walker Brothers.

entec-1978Entec’s 1977 festival PAsound department rapidly gains respect as a Martin Audio systems rental house in the mid-to-late ‘70s. Happy customers in ’78 include the Sweet during their post-glam revival and the Patti Smith Group who tour in support of their hit single ‘Because The Night’.

Reading ’78 witnesses the infamous skinhead stage invasion during Sham 69’s set, as captured in the ‘Kids Are United’ short film.

More work with BBC TV comes with ‘Rock Goes To College’. With sound and lighting from Entec, this new BBC2 live music series showcases a wide variety of contemporary bands and artists at Student Union venues around the UK. A number of the acts go on to become Entec clients.

entec-1979The The Police 1979year’s Mod renaissance is evident at the Marquee Club where Entec gives a professional edge to several of the up and coming Modernists, like The Chords. Entec is also proud to support The Police throughout 1979 and beyond. Their set at Reading ’79 helps to seal their premiership status.

For Entec, the decade ends with a profound change. In March 1979, Pat Chapman leaves the Entec ‘hot seat’ and goes on to set up the highly successful Curry Club. To date, he has published over 30 cookery books, selling well over a million copies worldwide.

Under a new company name, Marquee Entec Limited, Entec Sound & Light will expand and prosper as the new decade comes into view.

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