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PART 4: THE NINETIES

The ’90s decade sees Entec move to its current Northolt base, become early adopters of d&b audiotechnik equipment, work on era-defining TV shows such as ‘The Word’ and ‘TFI Friday’, and enjoy a major role in the growth of two musical phenomena: BritPop and the tribute band.

As Entec (and the Pendletons) sign off their last Reading Festival with Nirvana’s legendary performance, the company begins long-standing relationships with The Bootleg Beatles, Björn Again and The Australian Pink Floyd Show, and shares an incredible journey with a band called Blur.

1990June 3rd

Entec - 1990 Fleadh festivalThe first annual Fleadh festival is staged in Finsbury Park with Entec’s support. Promoted by Vince Power’s Mean Fiddler Group, the Fleadh is the capital’s celebration of Celtic culture and is launched with headliner Van Morrison. Entec’s involvement will span the festival’s first three years.

July 17th-19th

Thanks to Harold Pendleton, the WOMAD festival successfully finds a new home at his old Reading Rock site at Rivermead, where it will thrive for a further 16 years.

August 24th

24 Hour Productions’ ‘The Word’ launches – it is the latest popular culture TV series to benefit from Entec’s sound and lighting. Broadcast by Channel 4 in the time slot previously occupied by ‘The Tube’, the series runs for nearly five years and is presented by Terry Christian. ‘The Word’ is screened live from LWT Studios before moving to Limehouse Studios.

August 24th-26th

With The Cramps, Inspiral Carpets, The Pixies and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds ruling the roost, the 1990 edition of the Reading Festival is a deeply indie affair. An unknown Noel Gallagher, then a guitar tech with Inspiral Carpets, also makes his first headline appearance… as half of a pantomime cow.

October 16th

Entec- - 1990 Blur tourEntec ventures out on its first tour as sound and lighting provider for the up-and-coming Blur, who are promoting their début single, ‘She’s So High’. The tour includes dates at Brighton’s Zap Club, The Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh, Essex, Aldershot’s Buzz Club, JB’s in Dudley, Manchester’s Hacienda, The Princess Charlotte in Leicester and numerous polytechnics. Entec is introduced to the band through working with them at the Marquee Club.

Other projects in 1990 include tours with Curiosity Killed The Cat, Soup Dragons, Jesus Jones, The Stranglers and Pop Will Eat Itself.

1991January

Entec - 1991 in NortholtAfter leaving Shepperton Studios to make way for a new film stage, and then briefly occupying office and warehouse space in Ashford, Middlesex, Entec moves into new premises in Yeading Lane, Northolt where it remains today.

February

Entec - 1992 laminatesSupported by Entec, Bob Geldof takes his Vegetarians Of Love tour around the UK and Europe.

March

Founded by Peter & Chris Coyne in 1985 after the demise of The Sid Presley Experience, The Godfathers are one of Entec’s most regular touring clients of the ’90s. In March, Entec’s sound and lighting teams accompany the band as they begin their Unreal World tour.

June 3rd

Aberdeen’s Music Hall hosts the launch of Roachford’s Get Ready tour.

August 23rd-25th

Entec - 1991 Fat BeastThe Reading line-up is populated by a number of Entec’s regular clients – one of them is Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, whose warm-up MC, Jon ‘Fat’ Beast (a successful indie music promoter), cuts a larger than life presence both onstage and backstage.

1992In the first half of the year, Entec services Barclay James Harvest’s 25th anniversary tour and the live itinerary that follows Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine’s 1992: The Love Album.

August 28th-30th

AfteEntec - 1992 Nirvanar the end of a three-year agreement with The Mean Fiddler Group, NJF/Marquee goes it alone for one last Reading Festival, the 30th in the series and also the last to be wholly supported by Entec Sound & Light.

Featuring memorable sets from Public Enemy, The Wonderstuff, Manic Street Preachers, PiL and Smashing Pumpkins, the festival’s most legendary moment arrives when – a year after making their Reading début – Seattle grunge icons Nirvana headline the Sunday line-up with a performance hailed as one of the finest moments of their career. Following weeks of rumours of a band split and frontman Kurt Cobain’s ill health, the show starts when Cobain enters the stage in a wheelchair, wearing a medical smock and a white wig.

Within a year and a half, Cobain is found dead. This final UK appearance by Nirvana is officially released in 2009 as an album and DVD.

November 26th

On a show with The Sundays, Entec works for the first time with Matt Butcher… a sound engineer with whom the company has been closely associated ever since.

1993In a feverishly busy year, Entec’s clients span all musical genres. Among them are The Pogues, The Mission, Jools Holland, D:Ream, Mica Paris, The Isley Brothers, Elastica, The Cramps, Sleeper, Killing Joke, The Divine Comedy, Gene and The Alan Parsons Project whose Try Anything Once tour is a great success for Entec’s sound and lighting departments.

Entec - 1993 tribute actsAs Entec services live events at Alton Towers, it also begins a long relationship with pioneers of the tribute phenomenon, The Bootleg Beatles, when the band’s company manager Raj Patel contacts Noreen O’Riordan to enquire about developing the band’s production with sound and lighting.

February 16th

Work on The BRIT Awards at Alexandra Palace is a highlight early in the year. The event is notable for Rod Stewart’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a reunion of the Faces.

August 8th

Previously known as Think Floyd, The Australian Pink Floyd Show play their first UK show, at a Wembley convention, and will later team up with Entec to expand their production. Entec continues to support ‘TAPFS’ today.

1994February 12th

Written and presented by Chris Evans, Channel 4’s weekend light entertainment show ‘Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush’ screens its first episode. Entec is onboard for the show’s year-long existence.

The Bootleg Beatles play their first concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

1995February 13th

Showtime, a film documenting Blur’s October 1994 performance at London’s Alexandra Palace, is released on VHS video to the domestic market.

Entec - 1995 Dick HayesApril

Dick Hayes joins Entec to head the company’s sound department. Within a few months, a ‘shoot out’ is arranged between a number of PA brands at HDS Studios in Southall, resulting in Entec’s investment in its first d&b audiotechnik system. “As soon as we turned on the d&b, we knew it was the perfect solution for us,” said Dick.

June 17th

Entec - 1995 BlurBroadcast live on BBC Radio 1, Blur’s Mile End Stadium concert is a milestone of the BritPop era. Entec is once again proud to be at the heart of the action, supplying both sound and lighting services.

September 12th

Comprising dates in coastal towns such as Cleethorpes, Eastbourne, Clacton and Great Yarmouth, Blur’s Seaside Tour is Entec’s first project to feature its new d&b investment. These show precede visits to North America and Japan, and a full length UK arena tour in November-December.

September 16th

Entec supplies a monitor package for The Boo Radleys’ Europe ’95 tour. It ends a month later with a sold-out show at Shepherds Bush Empire.

September 28th

Lighting and sound from Entec loads into Brixton Academy for two days of production rehearsals with Pulp, whose Different Class UK tour begins at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom three days later.

On the same day, Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, fresh from releasing her multi-platinum selling début album, Jagged Little Pill, arrives in the UK ahead of her first UK tour. Entec is chosen as production supplier.

1996The year begins with the Lighthouse Family’s Ocean Drive tour.

February 9th

Entec - 1996 TFI FridayTFI Friday begins its five-year run on Channel 4 with host and executive producer Chris Evans, and sound and lighting from Entec. Inspired by David Letterman’s ‘Late Night’ show in the U.S., it becomes one of Britain’s breakthrough TV programmes, inspiring a new genre of Friday night entertainment.

Kicking off with Ocean Colour Scene’s live performance of ‘The Riverboat Song’, the first show also features guest appearances from Skunk Anansie, Shed Seven, Count Indigo, Dawn French, Kathy Lloyd and (in bed) Cher.

May 3rd

Production manager Phil McDonnell hires sound services from Entec as Clannad set out on their Lore tour of the UK & Europe, which climaxes with the Fleadh in Finsbury Park on June 8th.

August 18th-19th

V96 launches the V Festival brand with headliners Pulp and Paul Weller. Entec is there at the start, providing lighting at the Victoria Park site in Warrington, Cheshire.

November 18th

Entec is a production supplier at the first MOBO Awards, held at the New Connaught Rooms in London.

The Marquee Club in Charing Cross Road closes during 1996 when the site is purchased for redevelopment.

1997January

The Boo Radleys start another European tour with Entec’s sound department.

March 11th

Entec hits the road on its first of many tours as sound provider for Skunk Anansie.

June 13th

Entec - 1997 The StranglersThe Stranglers play their special Friday The Thirteenth one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall with the Electra Strings and lighting from Entec. The show is filmed and recorded for a live album and Eagle Rock video release.

October

Entec embarks on the 10-date d:tour of the UK with Christian rock band Delirious?, whose Southampton Guildhall is recorded and filmed for a live album and the A View From The Terraces video.

November-December

Blur tour the UK with special guests Super Furry Animals.

December 26th

Entec- - 1997 - SpiceworldThe Spice Girls’ musical comedy film ‘Spice World’ is released in cinemas and grosses $77 million at the box office worldwide. For the film’s concert sequences at the Royal Albert Hall, Entec provides a d&b C4 sound system with Mike Dolling, Erik Evans and Tristan Johnson on the audio crew.

The year is also topped by touring projects with Henry Rollins, the Alan Parsons Project, The Sisters of Mercy and ELO Part II.

1998The first Lanhydrock Festival – originally titled Rock Meets Blues In The Park – is held in Bodmin, Cornwall with Entec providing production support for organisers the Pyramid Group.

February 5th

Entec - 1998 TPi coverBlur are the cover stars of the début issue of Total Production International (TPi) magazine. The publication runs a story on Blur’s November-December 1997 UK tour, which features Entec’s sound and lighting.

May 1st

Founded in Australia, Agnetha Falstart, Benny Anderwear, Frida Longstokin and Björn Volvo-us, a.k.a. ABBA parody tribute act Björn Again, play a sell-out show at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1999, they feature in a documentary for Channel 5 entitled ‘ABBA: Bjorn Again!’, which follows the band as they tour the UK. Entec is proud to support their tours throughout the 1990s and beyond.

June 27th

Blur perform at Glastonbury during their Entec-supported Traipsing The UK summer tour.

November

Led by Manchester singer-songwriter Jason Kelly, Stroke go out on a 12-date club tour of the UK. Tour manager Craig Duffy enlists audio help from Entec.

Other tours going out in 1998 included Sleeper, Delirious?, Elaine Paige, Cowboy Junkies, ELO Part II and Garbage, alongside a variety of projects such as children’s parties for Crescendo.

1999Projects include Neil Sedaka’s The Celebration Tour and violinist Vanessa Mae’s Storm On Tour.

March 9th

Grammy-winning rappers Salt’n’Pepa perform the first show on their Greatest Hits world tour, during which Entec provides services when it reaches Europe.

May 1st

Jewel heads out on her Spirit tour of the UK and Europe with Entec providing sound.

July

James, The Saw Doctors and Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra are the main acts performing at Guildford Live, a.k.a. GuilFest, in Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey in the year that Entec takes over the lighting for the three-day festival. Later, the company also becomes the event’s sound supplier.

October 1st

Entec -1999 laminatesEntec loads in at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr as Deacon Blue embark on their Walking Back Home UK tour. The itinerary includes two shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall. On the same day, Skunk Anansie kick off their Post Orgasmic Chill tour of Europe with Entec, at The Waterfront in Norwich.

November 9th

Ginger Television chat show The Priory is launched on Channel 4. The show continues until 2002, with Entec providing production services throughout its run.

November 17th

Sound and lighting from Entec goes on the road with Ben Folds Five for a European tour that begins at Copenhagen’s Small Vega Hall and closes with a date at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on December 19th.

November 18th

Entec - 1999 BlurIn Mexico City, Blur begin their November-December Singles Tour of Central & South America and the UK. It was the perfect ‘end of a century’ for both the band and Entec.

Entec would also like to thank those involved in the following tour, event and broadcast projects that also helped to shape our ’90s: ‘Hysteria’ (the World AIDS Day charity TV show for Tiger Television), Pro-Celebrity Tennis, Zildjian Roadshows, The Saw Doctors, Jesus Jones, The Waterboys, Zodiac Mindwarp, Danny Wilson, It Bites, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Hothouse Flowers, The Church, Mamas Boys, Senseless Things, Dare, All About Eve, Richard Thompson, Silverfish, They Might Be Giants and The Orb.

Entec - 1995 Alanis Morissette

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