Metallica’s first-ever UK gig is at the Marquee.
The Reading Festival enters a ‘dark phase’ lasting two years. The NJF/Marquee organisation launches a failed attempt at finding a new home for the festival in Lilford. Reading’s Conservative-run local council intends to reclaim the festival site to build more homes, however, Labour wins back its council seat with a manifesto that includes bringing back the events.
Entec’s clients this year include Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, OMD, Big Country, Budgie and The Stranglers.
Marquee Studios enjoys another No.1 single with ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ by Dead Or Alive.
Channel 4 turns to Entec for production support when it introduces ‘E.C.T.’ (Extra Celestial Transmission) – a weekly show dedicated to heavy metal. Typical of its usual content, the first episode featured Motörhead, Lords Of The New Church, Magnum and Madam X.
Entec supplies the concert lighting for the Mike Mansfield-directed ‘Wake’, his film of a show by The Sisters Of Mercy at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The film is released later in the year on VHS.
The company is present at the Royal Albert Hall to service its first Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament at the venue.
Wham’s No.1 single ‘I’m Your Man’ is released and promoted by a black and white live performance-style video directed by the prolific Andy Morahan, and filmed before an invited audience at the Marquee Club.
Entec is pleased to work with the BBC on its TV series ‘Rockschool’. With tips from some of the world’s greatest musicians, such as John Entwistle, Tony Banks and Bill Bruford, the series explored the history of rock music and gave instruction in popular performance techniques.
Touring clients in 1985 include Rory Gallagher, The Cramps, Bobby Womack, The Damned, Bauhaus, The Sisters Of Mercy, Jesus & Mary Chain, Alison Moyet and Dead Or Alive.
The mid-to-late 1980s sees Entec provide equipment and crew for a number of television commercials for clients including the Central Electricity Generating Board, whose live music-themed ‘Energy For Life’ ad in 1986 features a cameo appearance from Entec’s very own Adam Stevenson. “That’s me climbing up the ladder with cables over my shoulder,” he says. “The actor was too scared to do it!”
Presented by Chris Forbes and Juliet Roberts, Channel 4 launches ‘Solid Soul’, a soul/dance music series with Entec supplying sound and lighting.
Tyne Tees hires Entec’s services for ‘Get Fresh’, a Saturday morning children’s TV show for the ITV network that runs for five series.
August 22nd– 24th
The Reading Festival returns after a two-year hiatus. The next couple of years will see an effort to restore a more eclectic mix of music with indie, soft rock and other genres alongside hard rock.
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra celebrates its 21st anniversary at the Marquee, where it began life in 1965.
A snapshot of Entec’s touring clients this year: Sade, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Cocker, Ramones, Rory Gallagher, Jesus & Mary Chain, Hawkwind, It Bites, Katrina & The Waves, OMD, Pat Boone, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Shakin’ Stevens, The Stranglers, Van Morrison and The Mission, with whom Entec enjoys a working relationship that will span more than 30 years.
Following the demise of ‘The Tube’, Tyne Tees Television introduces a new weekly music show, ‘The Roxy’, which is focused on the mainstream singles chart and benefits from Entec’s experience and live production skills.
Guns N’Roses famously play the first of three shows at the Marquee Club – their first-ever shows in Europe.
At Pinewood Studios, Entec services Island Records’ 25th Anniversary party. Broadcast under the title ‘Alright Now’, the event features live performances from Eric Clapton, Sly & Robbie, Robert Palmer, Joe Cocker, John Martyn, Paul Rodgers, Julian Cope and Aswad.
Entec provides extensive services at the World Student Games (Univerzijada ’87) in Zagreb, capital of the former Yugoslavia. It involves participants from 111 countries. Entec’s equipment includes the world’s largest Genie lighting system. Crew photo (L-R): Jim Hubbard, Derek Watson, Dave Smith, Adam Stevenson, Miec Heggart, Mike Townsend, Nige Holbrough and Paul Weber.
The Reading Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary. Sharing the bill with Status Quo, The Mission, Alice Cooper and The Stranglers are comedians Ade Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson and Rik Mayall, a.k.a. spoof heavy metal band Bad News.
Work on TV commercials continues with the Renault 5 Baccara premium hatchback campaign… and Magners cider.
As the Marquee Club’s Wardour Street lease approaches its end, the Pendletons sell the venue to Gaff Management, headed by Rod Stewart’s former manager Billy Gaff.
NatWest’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ commercial stars British soap actor Jesse Birdsall and is another TV ad project to benefit from Entec’s involvement.
Entec submits a design for The Second Summit Conference of Major Cities of the World, held at the Hilton in Istanbul.
Joe Satriani plays the last gig at the Marquee’s classic Wardour Street venue.
The Marquee Club reopens at 105-107 Charing Cross Road with American hard rock icons Kiss. Entec continues to supply sound and lighting to the club.
At Reading, the diversity of musical styles causes some friction, most notably when Meat Loaf walks off the stage after being hit on the nose by a plastic bottle from an unappreciative audience. Bonnie Tyler shows him (and Deacon Blue and Hothouse Flowers) how to weather the storm by standing her ground and changing the crowd’s attitude.
Entec’s inventory in 1988 includes the latest sound products from Martin Audio, Meyer Sound, JBL, Soundcraft, Midas, Rauch, BGW, Yamaha, DDA and Sennheiser. Lighting stock features leading-edge kit from Thomas, Altman, Berkley, Pani, Avolites, Celco, Genie, Verlinde and Xenon.
Channel 4 music show ‘Wired’ launches for a short run with technical support from Entec.
The Marquee – 30 Legendary Years, a double compilation album, is released by Polydor.
Over an extraordinarily hot weekend, Entec supplies sound, lighting and crew to the Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage, where Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, The Pixies, Suzanne Vega, Fairground Attraction, All About Eve, Hothouse Flowers and The Wonderstuff are amongst the performers.
New Order, The Pogues and The Mission headline Reading as Vince Power’s Mean Fiddler Group is invited to handle artist bookings and co-promote with NJF/Marquee, with the aim of pushing the festival towards a more ‘indie’ direction.
Neil Diamond’s The Best Years Of Our Lives tour arrives in Europe and takes on a state-of-the-art JBL sound rig from Entec.
Other new clients in 1989 include Jesus Jones, The Waterboys, Roachford, Wolfsbane, Julia Fordham, Godfathers and The Beautiful South.
Entec ends the year on home territory at Shepperton Studios where the first series of a new television game show, ‘The Crystal Maze’, is being filmed using the company’s equipment. Produced by Chatsworth Television for Channel 4 and presented by Richard O’Brien of The Rocky Horror Show fame, the show runs for six series, revolutionising the game show format.